EmCommPublic Service Events

Hams Replaced By Zello

Ouch – that hurts!

Reality is that “our specialty” – comm systems and coordination have been replaced by Zello. Check out the Cajun Navy during Houston Harvey. How brilliant to use Zello (I have used it myself for years). Worldwide coverage from your smartphone with unlimited channels. None of the formal “ham-talk”, put anyone, with or without a license, on your channel and voila, you have a net. If you listen to the Cajun Navy you will realize that a week after the hurricane hit, the flood stricken areas have full cell coverage with just a few holes in coverage.

So what are we (the Hams) going to do about this?

Well, we have some choices. Let’s see:

  1. Don’t become outdated! Embrace new technologies.
  2. Adapt with times.
  3. “Public Service” has the word “service” in it. Become service minded. Change the clubs motto as well.
  4. Become solution minded – end the “our way (or highway)” mentality.
  5. Promote ability.
  6. Stop the – “When everything else fails” attitude. It will not happen!
  7. Adapt – don’t get replaced.
  8. Make new Hams feel welcome and important – they are!
  9. Embrace new views.
  10. Become the “goto guys” not the “oh, them?!” guys.

I have had the fortunate opportunity to be a part of some “reworked” teams like the Boston Marathon Comm Team. Yes, it is ham-radio on its best, but not necessarily the way we are used to. The coordinators are striving to make it sound and behave more like the public safety comms to fit in and match. It has built credibility with both the organizers and agencies.

Let’s face it, Event Comm and the “Tuesday Night Traffic Net” are kind of apples and oranges in the fruit salad. Event Comm is a fast-paced trouble solving comm with resolutions as primary objective. This is what our customer needs during events.

So will we adapt or become replaced? It really is up to us.

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