Command and Control

Today’s Toronto Star editorial certainly doesn’t mince any words when it comes to what went wrong at Elliot Lake:

“McGuinty should order a prompt, focused review of the command and control aspect of the rescue effort.” (The italics are the Toronto Star’s.)

And isn’t it this same command and control mentality that has infected the Canadian Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and lead to widespread defections nationally and in the case of Ontario hams a virtual mutiny?

From what I’ve seen reading some of the officious and angry emails that have circulated recently many Canadian hams have good reason to fear that ARES is heading down the same path.

Just have a look at some of the recent voluminous planning documents that have been produced and which are routinely ignored by all those ordinary hams ready to serve their communities during public service events and times of need.

What we need now is more team building and less empire building.

What we need now is new leadership and less old-school blundering.

What we do not need now are any more pugnacious and truculent ill-tempered comments from cantankerous old sparks who are doing our hobby and our ARES efforts no good whatsoever.

What we do need now is a way to reengage with ARES and help it to grow into the effective and national organization it could become with new ideas.

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About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

2 thoughts on “Command and Control

  1. CARF was a grass roots organisation, I think it was because CARF was a Federation, ‘Canadian Amateur Radio Federation’; direction came from bottom up rather than top down that RAC has become.

    The Emergency aspect of Amateur Radio is one I take a more jaundiced eye of, but I think that comes from the empire building going on. I agree that at the very least every Amateur should know not to ‘self deploy’ and have available a ‘cheat sheet’ of how to be part of an emergency net, instead we have mounds of paper and a quasi military/police viewpoint. To give some necessary background, I started off in this hobby many years ago, and did a lot of cw traffic nets where we learned discipline. But and this is a big but, we had fun doing it, and yes to use your own words, we were part of a team.

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