Thursday, 29 May 2014

RAC and the Hallucination

I’ve been pretty quiet on the subject of the RAC Empire for the past little while.  However, having read the Blog of Peter, VE3HG, the other day, I felt I too should comment on the state of ARES in this country……not that anyone from RAC will ever listen!

Peter mentions the lack of an ARES reporting structure.   Perhaps people have forgotten that we once had in Ontario an excellent on-line reporting system that was run by our ex-SEC, Bob Gammon, VA3RX.  It was an ARES resource website that had a dedicated page were the DEC’s and EC’s could fill in an on-line form, a monthly report, and submit it. Bob even paid for the website URL and hosting charges himself, not RAC.  Bob closed down that site after he had been unceremoniously fired for no reason from the Ontario SEC position.

I guess the question that needs to be asked is if individuals are so concerned with the lack of a reporting capability, why hasn’t something been done in the four years since Bob closed down the original site to rectify this issue?  Perhaps ARES needs its own national standalone website to solve this issue? 

The one thing that a reporting structure could put an end to for good are the two and three member ARES groups that do absolutely no training and conduct no exercises.  And that, as Martha says, would be a good thing.

The other question being asked is why we do not have a VP for the Field Service these days?  I guess the answer is because the previous one quit because he must have been tired of all the constant BS coming downstream at him.   I actually like Doug Mercer, the previous VPFS.  I thought he was doing a great job, that is until he started listening to some of the Ontario SM’s and their idiotic ideas, then it went downhill from there.

RAC ARES needs to adhere to the “KISS Principle”, not the complicated and unnecessary pile of drivel that is currently being spouted by the so-called “experts”.  Some of our esteemed SM’s seem to be building empires that Julius Cesar would drool over, rather than concentrating their efforts in building a solid volunteer base to expand out from.  I have said it before and I will say it again, we are amateur radio volunteer emcomm operators, not sworn members of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals Reserve!

The question of the legitimacy in the way RAC ARES groups are formed was also brought up in Peter’s Blog article.  Why are we so worried about this?  Do we really need RAC’s permission to form an emergency communications group?  No we don’t !!!!  Just call it an “EmComm” or “Public Service” radio group and just get on with it!  If RAC isn’t giving you the service and support you need, move on, forget about them, there’s other ways of doing business that does not include RAC. If you guys think that the agencies you serve worry about whether or not their emergency communicators are RAC approved….think again, they’re just glad you’re there helping them out with their communications issues.

Peter’s Bog also mentions the future requirement for Police Record Checks for ARES members.  Personally I don’t have an issue with this.  As it stands with the non-RAC affiliated Emcomm group I belong to, our served agencies do not require us to have a PLC yet, but that could change if a new CEO or CEMC is hired in one of the four municipalities we support and asks for them to be done.  No big deal, we’ll get them done. 

The Blog goes on to mention that RAC “ARES may become so encumbered with bureaucratic, political and legal issues that it will be unable to function.”  I think they’re already there.  Have you seen the number of unelected appointees to the executive recently?   It’s becoming more and more evident that with Comrade Bawden also wearing the VPFS hat as well as his Presidential hat right now, nothing is being done at all with ARES, it’s simply being left to flounder along as it always has.

So the bottom line and the question that needs to be asked, is why are ARES members still supporting RAC, when it is so evident that RAC is not supporting you?  Ask yourself this, what tangible thing has RAC actually done for your ARES group in the past 12 months besides hold out their hand for your membership money?  I bet the answer in the vast majority of groups is “not a bloody thing”……which again leads us to the question, “Why are you still supporting them?” 
It’s obvious from what we see and read that RAC has no real vision for ARES, and without a vision there can be no plan to actually execute.  In closing I’ll leave you with a quote from Thomas Edison that sums up RAC  - "Vision without execution is hallucination.”

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