But so many in our hobby feel that public service (ARES and RACES) is worthless and beneath their dignity and talent. There are still many more of us who have remained active and participate in all aspects of support for emergency first response event., No flashing lights; no sirens; no badges; no parade banners. We've all heard the BS stories before from the lazy7 louts who snicker and do nothing.
Ham radio doesn't save the world and an untrained volunteer isn't worth a tinker's damn. Everyone in our hobby likes to talk, do cvw, and a host of other forms of electronics - including antennas. We just choose to give something back to support our community - not take its place. Your assertion that our license is considered as a "golden" key to become a first responder is absurd at best and none of us claim expert status. We just help out when asked. If you don't care to participate,fine - just sit back and enjoy the qso.s like the rest of us.
But so many in our hobby feel that public service (ARES and RACES) is worthless and beneath their dignity and talent.
I wouldn't call non-EmComm hams "lazy."
I never got on the EmComm bandwagon. Why? Because I got my ham license to talk to people on the radio and to experiment with electronics. I didn't get into the hobby to play pretend police, fire, EMS, etc. I also don't participate in EmComm because I have no business there. I don't have the necessary training that's needed in a real emergency situation, so that means I stay out of the way of the people who do rescue work for a living.
In the past 10 or 15 years there has been a rise in the number of people that got into ham radio to do nothing more than EmComm. That's one good thing about the hobby is that there's something here for everyone. Some of the EmComm folks may think it's silly putting up wire dipoles in your yard, using CW to communicate with others, and chase DX. That's fine, you do your thing and I do my thing. But don't call others "lazy" just because they get something different out of the hobby than you do.
Notice how I used the word "hobby?" That's because ham radio is a hobby. It's not some magical golden key that turns you into a certified emergency worker. Just as taking one Skywarn class does not magically make someone a weather expert.
I have no issue with those hams that want to participate in EmComm. By all means, go forth and save the world with your ham radio. I won't stop you. Just don't lump the rest of us into the "lazy" category because we see ham radio for what it is: a hobby.
Is amateur radio's "old technology" still viable? If so, how has it remained viable given the advancements in communications technology.
Is amateur radio's old technology still viable? Heck, in a severe emergency, it's all there is! When Sandy came into town and took out the power, internet, landlines and cell phone towers, the only way that people were still communicating was through radio! What's even funnier was that the only emergency communications that were available to the general (non ham) public (except for satellite phones), was CB!!
So does this mean that ALL public safety (police, fire, EMS, etc.) radios quit working? I'm honestly asking the question because I don't know what happened during Sandy.
While it is possible that the trunked and repeater systems for those services were all down, I would imagine that some/most had some backup systems? Were the Public Service radios still able to communicate via simplex (talk-around or failsoft) if any of the repeater or trunked systems went down?
My reason for asking is that often amateur radio is the "only way" during an emergency because Public Safety systems take short cuts and don't have the necessary backup systems in place. Either that, or, actually the Public Safety systems are working but yet us as hams have a large ego and "believe" that our hobby-radios are the only ones working.
Again, I'm asking an honest question here.