VOLUNTEERING – FROM THE OHIO SEC
  May 1st, 2014

With public service events filling the calendar, I wanted to focus on two very important topics.  I ask that you please read this carefully. The first point is personal safety. Your personal safety should be your top priority while volunteering. While we should be looking out for one another, it’s important to know that only you can look out for number one.  Personal safety begins with awareness.  Stay alert of your surroundings.  Trust your instincts.  Maintain a 360 degree mindset.  As you know the world is not linear so be sure to look up down and all around.While many amateur radio operators volunteer for the fun of it, it’s important to remember they are also an important asset to public service event staff and participants. We provide situational awareness by using our training, skills, and equipment.  It’s often said we are the eyes and ears of the event.  So something to keep in mind is a casual public service event can turn into a tragic incident without warning.  I reference the 2013 Boston Marathon where there were 3 fatalities and at least 264 wounded. Take a look at the Boston Marathon Terror Attack Fast Facts.  http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/03/us/boston-marathon-terror-attack-fast-facts/

I’d like to point your attention to the Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center website and read the 8 signs of terrorism. http://www.neorfc.us/en-US/signs-terrorism.aspx.
I also encourage you to watch an 8 minute video titled Recognizing the 8 Signs of Terrorism – The Cell.  It can be found on YouTube with over 92,000 views.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHjI6mj1jOA 

Homeland Security begins with Hometown Security.  Check out the “If you see something, say something” campaign.
http://www.dhs.gov/if-you-see-something-say-something%E2%84%A2-campaign

We cannot volunteer with blinders on regardless if it’s a parade, 1/2 marathon, 5K/10K run, 100 mile bicycle ride, or walk-a-thon.  Meaning, we cannot be volunteering thinking, “It won’t happen to us”.  This is called complacency.  Just last year, during the 2013 Pan Ohio Hope Ride…one of the water stops was evacuated and the cyclists rerouted because of a bomb threat.  It won’t happen to us?  It just did!I am not telling you this question whether or not to volunteer.  I am telling you this because every trained volunteer is needed.  Volunteers who use their eyes and ears, training, and equipment have the potential of saving lives.  But let me be clear, super heroes need not apply.  If you’re volunteering to get your name in the paper or be Captain America, then you’re politely asked to just stay home.

The take away from this is every volunteer is needed.  Learn the signs.  Be safe out there.
Don’t look back tomorrow and say you could’ve done more!”  From TV show Chicago Fire.
73 de Matt W8DEC
Matthew Welch W8DEC
Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator
ARRL – The national association for AMATEUR RADIO™
w8dec@arrl.net
440-585-7388
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 at 7:26 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

No Responses