ARRL Roanoke Division Director George “Bud” Hippisley, W2RU, is the new chairman of the ARRL Board’s Public Service Enhancement Working Group (PSEWG). He succeeds Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, who stepped away as PSEWG chair after being named to lead the ARRL Programs and Services Committee, to which the PSEWG reports. Hippisley thanked Williams for his work in leading the PSEWG since its inception more than 3 years ago.
With the completion of several major tasks, including the establishment of the ARES® Plan, a standard set of principles and guidelines for emergency preparedness volunteers, and the launch of the ARES Connect volunteer database management program, two original PSEWG members have stepped down.
Joining the PSEWG is Northwestern Division Vice Director Mark Tharp, KB7HDX, who assumes the seat held by Pacific Division Director James Tiemstra, K6JAT, who has been appointed to the ARRL Executive Committee. Another original PSEWG member, past Northwestern Division Director Jim Pace, K7CEX, opted not to run for re-election this past year and has retired from the group.
Continuing on the PSEWG are ARRL Headquarters staff members Emergency Preparedness Assistant Ken Bailey, K1FUG; Field Organization Team Supervisor Steve Ewald, WV1X, and Communications Manager David Isgur, N1RSN. Outgoing Chair Williams and Incoming Chair Hippisley both expressed appreciation for extensive ongoing support provided to the working group by ARRL Headquarters’ staffers.
Issues the PSEWG is expected to tackle in the months ahead include developing a system for collaboration between ARES and the National Traffic System (NTS); updating the ARRL EC-001 and EC-016 courses; rolling out an ARES Task Book Review, and updating the ARRL Ham Aid Deployment Policy.
Currently, the PSEWG conducts most of its deliberations by email and weekly or bi-weekly teleconferences. The group wishes to express its thanks to the many field volunteers and emergency communications groups that provided input and review comments on the way to creating the ARES Plan, which was approved at January’s Board meeting. Hippisley said he expects the PSEWG to again solicit and incorporate field input as it continues working on its remaining tasks.