When will the directors of Radio Amateurs of Canada wake up when it comes to Amateur Radio Emergency Service?
I can speak only to the Ontario experience where the organization has completely collapsed into internecine back-room fighting that has resulted into a split-off group forming and ill-will all around.
The blame falls upon our directors and the fault that caused this catastrophe lies with some individuals inability to understand that as elected officials, selected “special advisors” and appointed managers, they do not govern but serve not just the paid-up members but all Amateurs in Canada. (This is how you attract new members but the concept continually eludes RAC.)
For example, I’ve hear someone in RAC has now decreed that anyone who joined the breakaway Emergency Communications Ontario Association can’t hold a service position in ARES.
What! Is this true?
Who made this decision? How was this decision made? Why weren’t we told? What are our RAC directors going to do about this mess?
We have a newly acclaimed (as seemingly always) Ontario South Director in Rod Hardman, VE3RHF. Rod is a friend of mine and someone who I believe comes to RAC full of good intentions.
Funny thing was a few years ago I came to RAC full of good intentions and overtime I personally witnessed the reasons why RAC isn’t functioning and does not serve the membership (such as it is and shrinking rapidly) so I quit the position and I’m glad I did.
I refuse to be a member of a “leadership” group who do not understand that they are elected to serve and not govern. It’s a big distinction that is obviously lost on RAC and ARES officials.
It also shows a complete misunderstanding about how Amateur Radio works in emergencies. From the beginning of time, Ham Radio operators have provided public service to their communities in times of need.
The Amateur Radio operators who provide these services are volunteers in the finest sense of the word and not trained emergency responders (despite the silly hard hats and reflective vests). We will never be part of the official governmental infrastructure when it comes to disaster relief not should we try to get ourselves into the tent.
Yes it’s good to be organized. It’s great to have leaders. A plan is always welcome. But it is delusional in the extreme to think a bunch of old men (and a handful of ageing women) are going to join a para-military organization lead by some appointed Colonel Blimp.
With the end of the presidential tenure fast approaching it’s going to be up to Ontario South Director Rod Hardman and his fellow directors to first find someone capable of fulfilling the role of president. The first step of that new president should be to retire all of the unelected special advisors and other RAC hangers-on.
A truth and reconciliation committee wouldn’t be out of the question either. Why not e-mail your director and ask him what is he doing to fix this mess?