RACES, ARES, AUXCOM, ACS, CEV — the world of volunteer emergency communications is filled with acronyms, and these are just the names of our overlapping groups!
Well, now add AEC, for Auxiliary Emergency Communications, to the list. I’ve even added it to the name of this site.
AEC is the name chosen as an umbrella for the volunteer emcomm program as it becomes more integrated into the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the federal version of the Incident Command System. No implementation date has been set, but AEC is likely to wind up (where it belongs) as part of the Communications Unit in the Logistics Section.
(You’d think there would be a web page that explains the AEC phenomena from the DHS perspective, but Google failed to discover it).
I recently attended a two-day AEC course at the California State Warning System. The course is designed to help ham leadership better interface/integrate with the Communications Unit during an incident. Big emphasis on the kind of professionalism (break out the polo shirts!) that many ham groups lack.
AEC is a good idea, one whose time has come. DHS is taking communications volunteers more seriously, but is expecting more from us in return. AEC can make us full players in an ICS-managed incident. Stay tuned.
(If you’d like the training, it will be offered in the days prior to the 2013 Dayton Hamvention. It would be worth the extra time in Ohio).