EOC Response Team Requirements
30 August, 2009
Hall County A.R.E.S.
EOC Response Team Responsibilities
Hall County A.R.E.S. maintains an amateur radio station at the Hall County Emergency Management Agency. This station is owned by the citizens of Hall County and the facility is managed by the Hall County EMA. We have a primary response team of six individuals that are tasked as first responders in the event of an activation of this facility and a request for operators made by the EMA. We participate in this task as unpaid volunteers and solely at the discretion of the EMA management.
Our primary mission is to support the EMA and the citizens of Hall County as emergency communicators. The EOC response team is issued credentials and key cards that grant access to the EMA in the course of conducting our mission. There is a specific set of mandatory criteria to obtain and keep these access credentials. This document outlines these requirements. These rules may be changed as necessary at the request of the EMA management or the Hall County ARES Emergency Coordinator.
These requirements have been put in place to ensure the public is served in a professional manner. A copy of this document will be kept in the EOC Amateur Radio Room and on the Hall County ARES website. All EOC response team members are required to keep themselves informed on these regulations and comply fully with them. Failure to do so will be result in forfeiture of their EOC access cards and identification.
All Hall County ARES EOC response team members will make any information required by the EMA available without delay. The EMA will perform a background check on all EOC team members pursuant to the issuance of their credentials. Acceptance of these credentials by a person confers the authority of the EMA or the Hall County ARES Emergency Coordinator to revoke these privileges and request return of them for not complying with the rules and regulations set forth in this document. The Emergency Coordinator will not issue credentials without full approval of the EMA management.
The first requirement of all EOC response team members is to be an active member of the Hall County ARES as prescribed in the rules and regulations of our organization. To be considered for this team, an ARES member must hold a General Class, or higher, Amateur Radio License. All team members must act in a professional manner whenever engaged in ARES or EOC activities. All EOC access card holders must agree that Hall County ARES is their primary served Agency during a localized event. Due to our limited number of cards, we cannot have our primary team members prioritizing another group over ARES.
EOC response team operators will keep all of their contact information updated in the Hall County ARES and the Hall County EMA databases. This includes all addresses, phone numbers and email. When any EOC response team member’s personal contact data changes they have 10 business days to inform ARES and the EMA.
All EOC response team members are required to have FEMA ICS 100 and 700 certifications. All EOC team members must also complete the ARRL EmComm EC-001 or the Hall County Basic EmComm Course. Documentation of these courses, along with a copy or your current Amateur Radio License must be filed with the Hall ARES Membership Coordinator.
All EOC response team members must attend at least three (3) regular ARES monthly meetings per calendar year. They must also participate as a net control or alternate net control operator during a sanctioned ARES training net at least three (3) times per calendar year. All EOC team members must participate in one (1) Hall ARES Simulated Emergency Test per calendar year.
The Emergency Response Team will conduct a minimum of two (2) specific training sessions per year. Attendance to at least one (1) of these sessions is required by all EOC team members. In addition to the mandatory training session, all EOC team members are required to log two (2) hours of station operation per calendar year. It is recommended that this operation time happen outside of the EMA’s standard office hours or on weekends to minimize interference with the day to day operations of this facility. If a team member must do this Monday through Friday during the 8:00 am through 6:00 pm hours, 36 hours prior notification must be submitted to the Emergency Coordinator via his listed email address.
These minimum training/participation requirements are estimated to take 10 to 12 hours of total time per year. We recommend that all EOC response team members actually train and participate as much as their schedules allow to be better prepared to serve the community. All activity in the EOC radio room must be logged by signing in and out on our approved station log.
REAL TIME EMEGENCY RESPONSE RESPONSIBILITIES
When an emergency is declared by the Hall County EMA management which requires amateur radio operators, notification may be made by a number of means. First line of notification will be what is considered standard communications such as wired phone lines, cell phones and internet. Whenever there is a failure of standard communications, Hall ARES EOC response team members are required to monitor official Hall ARES published radio frequencies for activation notices. All ARES EOC response team members must posses and maintain the equipment to monitor these frequencies.
In the event that an individual team member is notified of a need at the EOC they are required to make all reasonable efforts to respond once they have secured the safety of their family and property. If they genuinely feel that in a particular situation, responding would put themselves or their family in real danger, they may defer activation until they mitigate the situation. Refusing to activate in order to work for another emergency organization will be considered a violation of the terms of their EOC team membership. This is not saying that an EOC response team member cannot have other affilitation, just that in a localized emergency Hall ARES must be considered their priority.
NOTICES OF FAILURE TO COMPLY
The Hall County EMA, The Hall County ARES, nor the Hall County ARES Emergency Coordinator are not required to issue warnings before access credentials are placed in revocation status. When convenient, these entities are encouraged to inform Team Members that they are in violation of the rules of standards and practices but this is not required. Recognizing that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances in a team members life, the EMA Management and Hall County ARES Emergency Coordinator can allow a team member an agreed amount of time to bring themselves into compliance. These agreements must be in writing and the terms of an extension must be met. These agreements are not meant to allow any team member to circumvent the rules for an extended period of time.
REVOCATION OF CREDENTIALS
When a team member is found to be in violation he will be informed by the Hall ARES Emergency Coordinator via the members registered email address, letter or telephone. The team member has three (3) business days to reply. If the team member does not qualify for a temporary extension, approved at the sole discretion of the Hall ARES Emergency Coordinator, they will be ordered to surrender their credentials either in person or by U.S. Postal Service registered mail to the Emergency Coordiator within a period of ten (10) business days. The below copy has originated from the current management of the EOC/EMA.
The ARES EC is the contact for the access cards, and it is the EC responsibility to assign the cards issued to ARES, when an assign card changes hands, we just need to the name of the individual who had and the card and who the new person the card was assigned to, this way we can make the change in the computer system.
ARES is assigned 6 cards. At this time there will be no more cards assigned to the group. We will depend on the EC to make the decision as to who is the ARES group is assigned access to the EOC. Keep in mind when ARES is activated in the EOC, almost one hundred percent of the time EOC staff will already be in the EOC when ARES members arrive.
The EC will have to make the determination as to card assignment and distribution of the six cards.