This note just came in from Jim Taylor, VA3KU, Amateur Radio Program Coordinator, Emergency Management Ontario who has given me permission to reproduce it here.
Emergency Management Ontario has been monitoring the situation in Goderich, I was notified of the situation by the Duty Officer shortly after the event took place and although ARES services were not required EMO ARES was on alert and ready to supply communications support if required.
Although the EMO Radio Group supports the RAC ARES Ontario program I have found it difficult to make it clear at times that our group reports directly to Emergency Management Ontario and support all ARES/EMCOMM groups in Ontario regardless of whether or not they are affiliated with RAC or an independent group.
The RAC ARES Ontario DEC/EC contact database is seriously out of date and on numerous occasions have informed RAC of the current contact list which has been ignored. RAC has setup a new website www.racares.ca and it still has old contact information listed in the Ontario section. This should be a matter of great concern as this is how local government officials would make contact with local groups in the event of required services. It is not about what RAC perceives as to how the ARES program should operate but rather the needs of communities and the government agencies who are responsible for their safety.
Focus should be on the support of all NGO’s that provide community support during emergencies and disasters, the EMO Radio Group works closely with such agencies as; Red Cross, Salvation Army, St John Ambulance and CFARS.
There is so much more than the RAC ARES program in place in Ontario, many other groups provide community response service
(see: http://www.emergencyradio.ca/eocstations.html) and it is high time that RAC gets their collective heads out of the sand and start working with other groups in a true spirit of cooperation.
Jim Taylor, VA3KU
Amateur Radio Program Coordinator
Emergency Management Ontario
Provincial Emergency Operations Centre