ARRL and the American Red Cross (ARC) have renewed their long-standing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for another 5 years. The MOU spells out how ARRL and the American Red Cross will work cooperatively during a disaster response.
“We are pleased to extend our partnership with the American Red Cross,” ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said. “This agreement details how ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) volunteers will interface with Red Cross personnel within the scope of their respective roles and duties whenever the Red Cross asks ARES volunteers to assist in a disaster or emergency response.”
The MOU calls on both parties to maintain open lines of communication and to share information, situation, and operation reports, as allowed to maintain confidentiality. They also will share “changes in policy or personnel relating to this MOU and any additional information pertinent to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.” ARRL and the American Red Cross also will encourage their respective units to discuss local disaster response and relief plans. They may further cooperate in joint training exercises and instruction. The Red Cross will encourage regions or chapters to participate in ARRL Field Day, the Simulated Emergency Test (SET), and other emergency exercises.
“This agreement keeps in place the strong and mutually beneficial bond between ARRL and the ARC,” said ARRL Director of Emergency Management Paul Gilbert, KE5ZW. “The Red Cross is a primary served agency for ARES teams, and it’s important that we be able to work together toward common goals when responding to an emergency.”
The agreement points out that any ARRL volunteers who are interested in also becoming Red Cross volunteers should understand that a background check is a requirement. Although ARES has no background check requirement, radio amateurs who register as Red Cross volunteers must abide by the Red Cross’s background check requirement.
ARRL and the Red Cross also may cooperate in the sharing of equipment.
A Statement of Cooperation between the two organizations at the local level may be developed separately from the MOU to spell out the role of each in providing services to communities during or after a disaster event.
The new MOU was signed by Trevor Riggen, Senior Vice President, Disaster Cycle Services, American Red Cross, and by ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR.