Getting your Ham Radio License

Started by Stonewall, January 03, 2021, 12:42:35 am

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NIN

Quote from: Stonewall on January 04, 2021, 04:52:06 pm
Quote from: TheSkyHornet on January 04, 2021, 04:38:24 pmHeck, I can't even get into an ICS-300 because I don't take Ground Team training seriously enough for the Gods of the Auxiliary. New faces need not apply.

You're doing it wrong.

If you do a "CAP ICS-300" then you're likely only going to get CAP's vast experience and knowledge on the Incident Command System.

Mostly not correct, dude.

I did a CAP-run ICS 300 course thru SER last summer. The instructors were CAP folks, but all were emergency management folks on the outside of one stripe or another.  Much/most of the instructional material was a *little* more easily related to CAP-specific ops and situations by CAP-knowledgeable instructors, but all the class materials and learning exercises were still the FEMA-specific materials, not CAP-specific.

Same-same with the ICS 400 I finished last month.

At the end of the day, its really no different than a fish & game guy showing up to an ICS 300 and getting his cram-jam on with full-on fireground terminology that he'll basically never use because the instructor(s) are all fire folks.  That guy is never going to an apartment building fire, so knowing a fire battalion from a company (beacuse they're all using those terms) isn't going to help him much.

Quote<snip>
I 100% believe there is a huge benefit to taking these types of courses outside of CAP if you can. They're free and the only thing you need is the prerequisites (100, 200, 700, 800).

The wealth of knowledge and experience from the instructor(s) was impressive. These people had been there, done that. From Hurricane Katrina to floods and earthquakes. This isn't to say the CAP-led ICS courses aren't valuable, but I expect you'll get a single perspective when everyone is from the same organization.

I would flip that on its head and say that CAP needs to get the word out in the EM community that they're doing these online courses so they can get "non-CAP students" into these courses for the exact same reasons.

Its not like the CAP Mobile Training Team got the authorization to do these ICS courses online from FEMA and immediately dropped in to "CAP-only" mode. The majority of the people they have teaching this stuff teach at their local or state EM trainings (Non-CAP) and learned ICS "someplace else."

Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
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NIN

BTW, because of my knucklehead brother-from-another-mother Stonewall, I'm scheduled to take the General on 16 January.

I'll finally get some low-band voice privs. (yes, yes, I know. But in the old days, back "right after Marconi invented the [darn] thing" [bonus points to you if you get the line], Novice & Tech did not have voice privileges on HF. CW only.) I have been a 2m only kind of guy since 1982 or so (both amateur radio & CAP).

Its about time I upgraded. I was a Technician, then a Tech Plus, and now I'm back to Technician again. My dad will be thrilled, probably want to give me one of his old HF rigs so I can chase DX (me: "borrrring!")

73, K1NIN
Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
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Eclipse

Quote from: NIN on January 05, 2021, 05:58:39 pmIts not like the CAP Mobile Training Team got the authorization to do these ICS courses online from FEMA and immediately dropped in to "CAP-only" mode. The majority of the people they have teaching this stuff teach at their local or state EM trainings (Non-CAP) and learned ICS "someplace else."

I'm gonna have to throw the "your mileage may vary flag on this".

Yes, there's likely plenty of CAP folks who are EM Manages and related instructors who can offer the ICS classes
to a CAP-only audience with a more benevolent schedule, but in these parts there are a number of CAP-only
folks who went through the trainer process explicitly to do CAP-Only classes, and you would not want them
in front of CAP people, let alone LEOs, Fire guys, etc.



NIN

Quote from: Eclipse on January 05, 2021, 07:33:46 pm
Quote from: NIN on January 05, 2021, 05:58:39 pmIts not like the CAP Mobile Training Team got the authorization to do these ICS courses online from FEMA and immediately dropped in to "CAP-only" mode. The majority of the people they have teaching this stuff teach at their local or state EM trainings (Non-CAP) and learned ICS "someplace else."

I'm gonna have to throw the "your mileage may vary flag on this".

Yes, there's likely plenty of CAP folks who are EM Manages and related instructors who can offer the ICS classes
to a CAP-only audience with a more benevolent schedule, but in these parts there are a number of CAP-only
folks who went through the trainer process explicitly to do CAP-Only classes, and you would not want them
in front of CAP people, let alone LEOs, Fire guys, etc.

Come on, Bob: "in these parts" != the majority of CAP.

As I said, so far in my experience with these courses (and these trainers are teaching all over the country, not just in a specific geographic area), the majority of the trainers I've  encountered teaching are experienced "outside of CAP" in emergency management and teach ICS modules at their local or state EM training courses.

Over two courses, I've had interaction with close to a dozen trainers. I can think of only one or two who were "CAP-only," and even then: they were pretty darn good.

So I will agree: your mileage clearly varies "in your parts."  But don't believe that is representative of all of Civil Air Patrol.
Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
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Eclipse

I never said it was representative, but I have always been strongly against the "CAP-Only" classes
lead by a CAP member, as it runs counter to the inter-agency intent of the training.



jeders

As much as it pains me, I have to agree with Eclipse. If the CAP led classes can get outside agencies involved, then great, but absent that, I recommend that people attend classes held by non-CAP agencies with non-CAP students. This has less to do with the quality of instruction (everyone, be it CAP, FEMA, the local VFD all have good and bad instructors) and has more to do with the interaction between different agencies. We need to get our name out there and get to know the other agencies before disaster strikes so that we're not pointing fingers during the disaster. As valuable as the information and training is, having a few minutes with local EMA people is just as, if not more, valuable.
If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse

TheSkyHornet

Joint Resource Management training always outweighs Single Resource Awareness training.

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: Stonewall on January 04, 2021, 04:52:06 pm
Quote from: TheSkyHornet on January 04, 2021, 04:38:24 pmHeck, I can't even get into an ICS-300 because I don't take Ground Team training seriously enough for the Gods of the Auxiliary. New faces need not apply.

You're doing it wrong.

If you do a "CAP ICS-300" then you're likely only going to get CAP's vast experience and knowledge on the Incident Command System.

I did ICS-300 in 2018 and 400 in 2019, both through the Ohio Department of Emergency Management. I did 300 in Butler County and 400 in Franklin County, about 2 1/2 hours apart from each other and through different agencies. We had everyone from firefighters to meteorologists in the classes. Interestingly, there were one other CAP member in each of those classes that neither of us coordinated. I 100% believe there is a huge benefit to taking these types of courses outside of CAP if you can. They're free and the only thing you need is the prerequisites (100, 200, 700, 800).

The wealth of knowledge and experience from the instructor(s) was impressive. These people had been there, done that. From Hurricane Katrina to floods and earthquakes. This isn't to say the CAP-led ICS courses aren't valuable, but I expect you'll get a single perspective when everyone is from the same organization.

Maybe you've seen the email by now:

Both the Region-hosted ICS-300 and ICS-400 have been filled. There were 56 requests to join but only 20 slots available for each session. Nobody from within our Wing was selected to attend.

"The ES Department will be in contact with the NESE MTT team to determine if and when we can hold another set of classes in the Wing.  We will also speak with the State EMA's office to determine if there are any local classes available as well."

Now, I didn't even apply this time. I inquired about the class and was told that I need to go ask someone else other than the person who sent the email. I abstained from bothering. I previously signed up for Wing-hosted ICS classes before and was told no on several occasions because I'm not actively involved in CAP/ES.

I think I'm done attempting.

Like I said, apparently I don't take it seriously enough.

NIN

The MTT holds classes all over the country.

You don't need to take it in-wing or even in-region

(although for your own comfort and sanity, you may wish to take it "in-timezone," +/- 1. YMMV there)

My wing got one slot earlier mid-last year for NER's ICS 300.  I consulted with my ES folks and handed it off to a guy I knew would need it more than me. I then signed up for ICS 300 in SER. Apart from the obvious references to states in SER, and some funny accents, I don't believe there was any appreciable difference in the training value.





Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
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Spam

I don't know how NIN managed to get a student slot for SER... I've been asking up my chain for ICS400 for some time, only to be told by the good Dr. managing these courses that one cannot apply out of Wing (I asked if I could sign up for one of the virtual ICS400 courses being offered in another Wing/Region). He directly told me (in November) that I could not sign up out of Wing.

If a course is virtual what difference does it make which unit geographically is "sponsoring" it, these days? I can't even get on a wait list for Georgia or SER, it would seem, much less even apply to one elsewhere. And forget about in person local EMA courses these days. So, I guess I'm stalled to get my IC rating back.

Cheers
Spam

NIN

Quote from: Spam on January 07, 2021, 04:53:41 pmI don't know how NIN managed to get a student slot for SER... I've been asking up my chain for ICS400 for some time, only to be told by the good Dr. managing these courses that one cannot apply out of Wing (I asked if I could sign up for one of the virtual ICS400 courses being offered in another Wing/Region). He directly told me (in November) that I could not sign up out of Wing.

If a course is virtual what difference does it make which unit geographically is "sponsoring" it, these days? I can't even get on a wait list for Georgia or SER, it would seem, much less even apply to one elsewhere. And forget about in person local EMA courses these days. So, I guess I'm stalled to get my IC rating back.

I hate to suggest that "rank hath its privileges" (because most folks who know me know that I don't take advantage of such things), but nobody said anything about "out of wing" or "out of region" to me in the process. I emailed, asked "Hey, if you have a slot in your ICS 300, can I get in?"  Now, my signature block may open doors in ways that I am not expecting.

The NER ICS 400 I was in last month had at least one student, and maybe even two, from MAR.

I think some of it depends on signups and the specific course's instructor/mentor capacity. I know for 300, it was "We'll let you know if we have the space" and, eventually, they did. It could very easily have been "Sorry, sir, we're completely full up with SER folks.."

Even virtually, you have only so much capability to deal with class sizes. Each class (300 & 400) that I've been in has been split into manageable small groups with an experienced instructor/mentor to help them out in the group exercises. When you're all together for the "main lectures" I suspect it doesn't matter if its 10 or 50 students that much. But you can only take the break out groups to a certain size before it gets unwieldy and you cannot supervise the learning. If your breakout is 10 students, 2 or 4 could probably hang back and never contribute and it would be harder to know. If your breakout is 5 students, its far more obvious who is and is not engaged in the learning.

So some of these classes, I get the impression, vary in capacity based on the availability of qualified assistant instructors.
Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
Nothing posted on CAPTalk should be considered policy unless otherwise stated
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Spam

I just went back and re-read the reply to me from Dr. Ditch, and I need to pull back some of my comment. He indicated that their current offerings were full - not that I was not welcome to apply out of Wing/Region.  I think that my impression was based on his suggestion that we get my Wing/Region to request a class, coupled with some historical issues around approvals for out of Wing training.

So, my apologies, I was indeed off base there.

Sorry for the off thread.

R/s
Spam

Stonewall

Quote from: TheSkyHornet on January 07, 2021, 04:36:04 pmI think I'm done attempting.

Like I said, apparently I don't take it seriously enough.

OH EMA is offering ICS 300/400 virtually these days:
ICS 300, Mar 23-26
ICS 300, May 18-21
ICS 400, Jun 16-18
ICS 300, Jul 27-30
ICS 400, Aug 24-26

https://ema.ohio.gov/Training.aspx

While no one will ever convince me that virtual or distance learning remotely comes close in value to in-person training/education, this will have to work until COVID is destroyed.