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New Online Introductory Emergency Communications Course Now Available

06/15/2011

Registration is now open for the new online Introduction to Emergency Communications course (EC-001). Course information, including a description, pre-requisites and instructions on how to register are available on the ARRL website. Slots are still available for the section beginning Friday, July 29; the registration deadline is Sunday, July 17.

The new Introduction to Emergency Communications course includes updated content from the previous Basic Emergency Communications Level 1 course, as well as some content previously included in the former Level 2 course. The EmComm training program has been restructured to offer two courses: This enhanced basic course for EmComm volunteers who want to serve as part of an ARES® response team and the management course -- Public Service and Emergency Communication Management for Radio Amateurs (EC-016, also available on the ARRL website) -- for those who are serving in ARES® leadership and management roles.

ARRL Education Services Manager Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, explained that she is also looking for qualified volunteers to provide support as Mentors for the course, as well as Field Instructors who want to lead classroom sessions to instruct the course material.

“A Mentor is someone dedicated to helping other amateurs expand their knowledge and skill in Emergency Communications and other technical subjects important to the amateur community,” Johnson said. “Mentors are also expected to keep themselves current with the course material as it is updated over time, but this doesn’t mean that you have to be an expert. When a student asks a question, you can look up the answer in your own course material or ask for assistance from other mentors to make sure you’re delivering the right answer. Teachers have known for years that the best way to learn something is to teach it. Mentoring is the next best thing since you get questions about the material you may never have thought about. Mentoring is sure to stretch your knowledge in ways you never expected.”

Johnson explained that Field Instructors should explain how the content of the course fits with the kinds of emergency responses that might be used in the local community. “Instructors should familiarize the students with the emergency responders in the community, include practice activities to illustrate the course content and adapt the activities to your local situation to make them as practical and relevant as possible,” she said. “The purpose of the instruction is to assure that students comprehend the lesson material which has been developed to provide a common foundation of knowledge for effective participation in an emergency response. The objective is for students to gain practical knowledge as well as hands-on experience, essential -- and crucial --to being prepared for local activation.”

ARRL members who register for online courses will receive a substantial discount on the enrollment fee.



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