The Field Services Organization of
the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.
“A valuable Community Resource!”
Mandate and Terms of Reference for the
RAC FS National Training Resource Group
note that the masculine form is being used throughout this document because
there are no female volunteers in the Group. The fairer sex is not being
ignored or slighted.)
Beginning in January 2006, the Vice President for Field Services, in
concert with FS volunteers, undertook an examination, from the bottom up, of the
FS in accordance with the RAC commitment to increased support of the FS without
crossing the line into “micro management”.
in that study, which was intended to encompass the complete FS, put most of
their emphasis and focus on the Amateur Radio Emergency Service/National Traffic
System (ARES/NTS) sponsored by the RAC.
of the main issues identified as requiring attention is a need for ARES/NTS
training and RAC support for that training.
It was determined that several pertinent training matters need to be
investigated and that a FS group should be formed to address those matters.
a call went out to the Amateur Radio community, asking for competent and
dedicated volunteers, who have experience in devising or presenting training and
who possess a sound knowledge of ARES/NTS operations, to step forward.
Those who believed they fit these criteria were invited to submit a brief
background résumé and to indicate their willingness to be cooperative members
of a team. Many responses were
received and invitations were issued to qualified respondents, resulting in the
formation of the RAC Field Services National Training Resource Group, also known
as the “NTRG” or “N-TRiG”.
The authorized assignment of the
NTRG is to research, formulate and facilitate a comprehensive, consistent and
uniform training strategy that is viable and realistic, which will serve as a
standard procedure guide (or guides) for the ARES/NTS operations in Canada and
thus support and improve that service while promoting it as a valuable community
resource. While the achieved
strategy can not ignore the existing ARES/NTS framework established in
In order to act successfully on this mandate, it is advisable that the
NTRG be cognizant of the following general points.
This list should not be considered as exhaustive nor should it exclude
other concerns, some of which will doubtless become known as the undertaking
progresses. The adage “There
are no such things as bad ideas, only missed opportunities” should be
heeded. In fact, the final strategy
of the Group might well result in a “Made in
and any documents resulting from NTRG deliberations as a “guide” rather than
an “edict” or “directive” to ARES/NTS groups
candidates for a new FS position of “National Training Coordinator”
ARES/NTS training manuals and similar documents to identify any need for
revision/re-writing and implementation in ARES/NTS operations
updating the RAC Certified EC exam, as necessary
methods of training presentation, including on-line (internet) and hard copy
inclusion of training in the Incident Management System (IMS) for ARES
implementation of a “train the trainer” program for Sections
formulate a RAC
Certified ARES Trainer exam (similar in form and style to the existing RAC
Certified EC exam)
research and acquire best training methods and ideas, including those which
might be offered for download
and inviting suggestions from existing ARES/NTS groups (PEEL ARC ARES training
manual is but one example)
inclusion and integration of new technology being used or likely to be used by
be aware of the
job descriptions of the various RAC ARES positions when formulating training for
our served agencies expect and need from the ARES/NTS and then determine what
the ARES can readily provide
consider inclusion of cross-training with served agencies and others (this might
include training of ARES/NTS ops to operate equipment of the served agency)
try to avoid
attempts or temptation to re-invent the wheel or change for the sake of change
attempt at all
times to keep in mind the basic purpose and role of the ARES by reviewing the
ARRL Public Safety Communication Manual which is embraced and used by the RAC FS
be careful not
to arbitrarily dismiss existing systems such as the NTS but instead attempt to
fit it into today’s ARES needs; or present sound business reasons for not
applicable, determine financial costs involved
to paraphrase Star
Trek, “dare to go where no man has gone before”, but don’t sever your
life line when space walking
20) be mindful of the fact that RAC is a bilingual organization, striving to provide support and service to Radio Amateurs across Canada in both official languages, including areas where French may be the predominate language.
CHAIN OF INFORMATION, CONFIDENTIALITY, AUTONOMY:
The Group has a chairman and a number of other volunteer members.
The VPFS is an ex officio member. The
chairman comes from those Group volunteers who have indicated a willingness to
take on that extra responsibility. From
that number the chairman is appointed by the VPFS.
because he is acting in an appointed representative position on behalf of
RAC’s Field Services, it is only reasonable that the chairman be a full RAC
member in good standing, preferably for at least one full year prior to being
appointed. This is not inconsistent
with other appointments within the RAC FS. Therefore
RAC membership is a requirement for the chair’s post.
The chairman also should be a Canadian Radio Amateur, licenced and
chairman oversees Group deliberations in accordance with the stated mandate such
as by chairing meetings, appointing sub-committees from within the Group itself
and reporting directly to the RAC Vice President for Field Services in a timely
manner, for example. It is his responsibility to ensure a cooperative and
coherent structure within the Group, to maintain focus and encourage timely
completion of delegated duties and responsibilities.
While it is expected that E-mail will be the primary means and a
reflector has been set up for that purpose, he may choose whatever additional
mode is convenient for the conduct of Group business.
it is expected that the Group, although structured, will be somewhat informal in
operation, the provisions of Robert’s Rules of Order may be consulted and
employed by the chairman at his sole direction.
However, the key should be cooperative consensus and a displayed
willingness by all to be open minded and ready to shift paradigms when
necessary. It is expected that
everyone will “buy in” to this ideal, as well as respect the views of other
members. It is further expected that
each member of the Group will respect the confidentiality of Group deliberations
so as not to compromise its integrity or possibly jeopardize its strategy.
Frankly, anyone who cannot meet these expectations or who otherwise is
unable to conduct himself in a spirit of cooperation toward the common goal has
no place in this Group. Collegiality
is respectfully requested and definitely expected.
chairman may implement such working conditions or take any reasonable action
that he deems necessary for the overall benefit of the Group and its mandate.
the chairman’s discretion, persons from outside the Group who are believed to
have information, expertise or other resources helpful in realizing the
Group’s mandate, may be consulted in regard to Group deliberations, but that
should only be to the extent their expertise relates to a particular issue at
hand. This may be particularly true
in the case of a Group sub-committee seeking specific resource material when
such is not readily available from within the Group.
training documents and recommendations arising from Group deliberations and
presented to the VPFS by the chairman shall be those of the Group only.
In other words, the NTRG has complete autonomy, within its mandate and
terms of reference, to consider any reasonable means at its disposal to fulfill
progress reports will be submitted quarterly to the VPFS.
The final report of recommendations and completed training documents will
be reviewed by the VPFS who may or may not seek further clarification, or put
forward suggestions, before taking the Group’s final report to the Board.
In any event, it shall be the Group’s recommendations through consensus
that form its report.
The NTRG’s initial mandate shall continue to October 31, 2007, on which
date it will expire, subject to renewal.
R.D. (Bob) Cooke VE3BDB
Vice President for Field Services
Amateurs of Canada Inc.
The Group consists of Don Mackinnon VE4DJ (Chairman): Lance Peterson VA3LP, Eric Jacksch VE3XEJ, Bob Boyd VE3SV, Tim Smith VE3HCB, Jeff Dovyak VE4MBQ, Monte Simpson K2MLS, Glenn Killam VE3GNA, David Drinnan VE9FK, Forbes Purcell VE6FMP, Ian Snow VA3QT, Pierre Mainville VA3PM and Bob Cooke VE3BDB (ex officio). Interestingly, the majority are members of RAC, a fact that can easily be confirmed through a Membership Check on the RAC website.
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