MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
Pickens County Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Pickens County Chapter of the American Red Cross
The Pickens County Chapter of the American Red Cross (hereafter referred to as “American Red Cross”) and the Pickens County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (hereafter referred to as “Pickens CARES”), representing public service oriented amateur radio operators, hereby agree to cooperate to jointly provide emergency communications in support of disaster relief operations in Pickens County.
This agreement between Pickens CARES and the American Red Cross establishes a framework for cooperation and a close working relationship between volunteer radio amateurs and officials of the Red Cross in Pickens County. This agreement is intended to promote the sharing of local resources available to the parties to best serve the public interest in times of disaster or other emergency situations.
Pickens CARES is the local Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) group for the area served by the Pickens County Red Cross. At the national level, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), comprising more than 170,000 amateurs, sponsors the ARES program and has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American National Red Cross. This agreement is intended to serve a similar purpose at the local level.
III. ROLE OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS
The primary role of the American Red Cross under this agreement is to identify communications requirements in support of its disaster relief operations. The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers that provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. During disasters the American Red Cross strives to preserve lives and relieve suffering by meeting emergency needs, such as food, shelter, and critical medication, as needed to mitigate the effects of a disaster. Under its congressional charter and other federal statutes, the American Red Cross has the authority to conduct disaster relief operations, including opening and operating emergency shelters, either unilaterally or in conjunction with the local emergency management organization.
IV. ROLE OF PICKENS CARES
As an ARRL sponsored emergency and public service communications organization, Pickens CARES can be an extremely valuable resource during times of emergency or disaster, particularly when normal communications systems fail. Pickens CARES’ primary role is to: (1) recruit, organize and train licensed hams as highly skilled communicators and (2) establish and maintain volunteer membership to assure that supplementary communications can be provided to the American Red Cross.
V. ROLE OF THE EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
The ARRL-appointed Emergency Coordinator (EC) will mobilize and coordinate the emergency and training drill response of ARES members to provide efficient and high quality supplementary communications to the American Red Cross. During extensive communication failures, the EC will recruit qualified amateur radio volunteers to supplement the communications requirement.
VI. PRINCIPLES OF COOPERATION
Local communication resources must be coordinated and utilized to the fullest advantage during disasters, emergencies and other public service situations to ensure the protection of life and property. Pickens CARES and the American Red Cross agree to:
(1) Maintain on-going liaison with each other, encouraging members of both organizations to develop increasingly effective communications and cooperation.
(2) Jointly develop training exercises and a heightened state of preparedness.
(3) Cooperate in times of disaster or emergency to meet the needs of the public.
(4) Work within their respective lines of authority and observe the lines of authority of each other.
(5) Employ Pickens CARES personnel primarily as communicators. A Pickens CARES member may decline to perform other duties not related to communications supporting American Red Cross operations.
(6) Distribute copies of this agreement and publicize its contents to their respective members as well as other organizations, both public and private, which may have an active interest in disaster relief.
(7) Establish a mutually acceptable means of identification for volunteers under this agreement, which is honored by local public safety agencies during disasters and emergencies.
(8) Understand that either party may have similar local agreements with other disaster assistance related agencies/organizations and that resources in times of disaster may be limited and prioritized to meet the most critical agency needs.
This memorandum shall take effect upon signing by authorities of Pickens CARES and the American Red Cross.
This memorandum may be amended by mutual agreement of both parties and will remain in effect until terminated. The Pickens CARES Emergency Coordinator and the representatives of the American Red Cross will periodically review this agreement and coordinate such revisions as needed. Upon 90 days written notice, this memorandum may be terminated by either party.
For Pickens CARES:
Date Emergency Coordinator
For Pickens County Chapter of the American Red Cross:
Date Chapter Manager
Last modified by Tommy Clarke (ARC) 4-25-2003
Signed by John M. Hoyt / W5UGD for Pickens CARES on 4-29-2003
Signed by Tommy Clarke for Pickens County Red Cross on 4-29-2003