It seems like the successful growing events (still using ham operators) are adapting from the traditional “ham” to the new Amateur Radio Operator. So what is that?
Ham operators are commonly conversationalists; say very little with very many words. Kind of like the computer geeks, we are the radio geeks (me included). Antenna on the car and radio on the belt. Guilty!
Public Service Events don’t have time for friendly conversations. It is all about moving information efficiently. “Information” is the key. This may be in digital format or in voice, but in neither case is it volumes of friendly fluff words to make it a friendly conversation. In my article “How To Talk On Radio” there is a link to one of the busiest Air Traffic Control Towers in the world. Additionally, there are numerous international flight with pilots using English as their 2nd or 3rd language. Listen and you will here a business like, but friendly, very efficient way of moving traffic (ATC instructions). Of course, mostly because we (yes, i am a pilot) use phraseology from the Pilot/Controller Glossary.
If we want to “stay in business” and thus be able to justify our spectrum, we need to become a part of the event and sound like them – them could be the organizers, ems or public safety. Being different makes us not fit!
By the way, who says ham radio is talking only? Data transfer and tracking is just as much ham radio as verbal communication. Technical know-how, flexibility, ingenuity are all more important components. WE have resources and privileges no-one else have. We need to use this in the most productive way and, again, make us relevant.
Time to think outside the box. Let’s become volunteers with resources! Fill a void, plan and create stretched goals which puts us in the wow-category!