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Demand High as New ARRL Introduction to Emergency Communications Courses Open


The ARRL Lifelong Learning Department has launched a revised and updated Introduction to Emergency Communications (EC-001) course, and demand to sign up is prompting the recruitment of additional course mentors to expand the schedule. Registration just opened for the first of four EC-001 online sessions, which will run from Monday, April 1, until Friday, May 31.

“The demand for this course has exceeded our projections, and the four sessions scheduled for 2019 are already filling quickly,” ARRL Lifelong Learning Manager Kris Bickell, K1BIC, said. “This course is designed to be interactive with mentors guiding each session, so we’re seeking additional mentors and will schedule more course sessions as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience as we expand capacity for this updated version of EC-001.” Bickell is developing a notification list (scroll down) to alert those who didn’t get into the first round of courses when a new round of sessions becomes available.

The new EC-001 course has been beta-tested by course mentors and transferred into a new online learning platform. With the closing last year of the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC), EC-001 lost its virtual home and was taken offline. At that point the ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Lifelong Learning teams started exploring short- and long-term alternatives to offer the course. After careful evaluation and review, a decision was made to move the course to a more modern learning management system called Canvas, which will be used while the new Lifelong Learning Initiative program is under development. EC-001 will eventually become a part of a comprehensive online learning environment.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer Introduction to Emergency Communications EC-001 once again,” Bickell said. “The Emergency Preparedness staff here has been incredibly helpful as we’ve worked together to get the course back up and running. Input from previous EC-001 mentors has been an invaluable part of the testing phase. The timing is right to put the course back online.”

EC-001 is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for emergency communications volunteers. With the online format, students can access the course at anytime from anywhere during the 9-week period and may work at their own pace and on their own schedule. As in the past, students will be able to register and take the course entirely online. The Canvas platform is also mobile-responsive, meaning that students can view the course materials, interact with fellow students, and complete assignments from any mobile device.

“We hope this course will be the starting point for you in your service to your community as radio amateurs and inspire you to think outside the box and look at new and useful ways the radio amateur can lend a hand to the public that has given us the trust of our spectrum of skills,” ARRL Assistant Emergency Preparedness Manager Ken Bailey, K1FUG, said.

Individual EC-001 sessions will serve up to 30 students, supported by an experienced mentor. Courses are free of charge. To be eligible, students must meet certain prerequisites, listed on the registration page. The registration page includes the entire 2019 schedule of EC-001 sessions.