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Private Sector Technology Volunteers Supporting Disaster Response »

Team Structure

It seems like this is an ARRL ARES team for IT instead of Amateur Radio Comms.


Now, using some of the information in the original post as an example, a Tech Team would have to consist of the following people/roles, with minimum staff recommendations for a single location.


- Network Administrators and/or Technicians (with Network+ and/or Security+ private-sector credentials at a minimum): Absolute Minimum of 2 (12 hour shifts)


- Server Administrators (if any locally-administered servers will be needed to be deployed, Current variation of MCSE, Linux+, Security+, 4+ years Enterprise Server Environment Admnistration) minimum of 1 administrator assuming 1 server.


-- May need a Database Administrator if large-scale local databases will be needed.


- Desktop Technicians (CompTIA A+ Certification and MCP Certifications with Windows Operating System required) to support the end-users. Minimum of 2 (12 hour shifts).


- No Social Media Operation, this should be coordinated through PIO. If the PIO requires assistance, then a Desktop Technician can provide some assistance in installing software or creating accounts securely.


- Information Security (Minimum Security+ Certification with 3+ years experience): Works along side all above roles to ensure that secure operation practices are followed. Minimum of 2 person crew (12-hour shifts)

Submitted by in Apr 2014

Comments (8)

  1. The Communications Unit develops the Communications Plan (ICS 205), to make the most effective use of the communications equipment and facilities assigned to the incident. Additionally, this Unit installs and tests all communications equipment, supervises and operates the incident communications center, distributes and recovers communications equipment assigned to incident personnel, and maintains and repairs communications equipment on site. The Communications Unit is responsible for effective incident communications planning, especially in the context of a multiagency incident. All communications between organizational elements during an incident should be in plain language (clear text) to ensure that information dissemination is clear and understood by all intended recipients. Planning is critical for determining required radio nets, establishing interagency frequency assignments, and ensuring the interoperability and the optimal use of all assigned communications capabilities.The Communications Unit is responsible for planning the use of radio frequencies; establishing networks for command, tactical, support, and air units; setting up on-scene telephone and public address equipment; and providing any required off-incident communication links.Auxiliary Emergency Communicator: This unofficial ICS position supports the operational and technical aspects of the Auxiliary Emergency Communications Unit.

    Optimal interoperability involves equipment familiarization and an introduction to regional/state interoperability at the time of hire (e.g., in an academy setting). Formal training for interoperability and use of ICS/NIMS should be provided during supervisory and management training. Functional and full-scale exercises should be conducted regularly, and scenarios should be comprehensive and include the broadest possible range of stakeholders.

    Plans, training, and equipment, and the capabilities they represent, are validated through exercises.
    in Apr 2014
    1. brad Idea Submitter
      1) Are you copying from sources, or inputting ideas directly? I ask, because it does seem like most of your responses are simple copy/paste from documentation rather than ideas. If it is from documentation, could you site the source and provide any public-facing links to note that it is from documentation?

      2) "The Communications Unit is responsible for planning the use of radio frequencies; establishing networks for command, tactical, support, and air units", Part of this sounds like a nitch already filled by ARRL ARES Teams, but I could be wrong. If Amateur Radio is expected to be part of a Tech Team, that whole side of things is best filled with individuals from ARES, again, coming back to skill sets.

      The more you post on this issue, the more questions there are:
      1) What are we defining as technology? Information Technology Systems (e.g. data networks, computers, etc.), or just anything with wires and circuit boards. If the former, a team can be created by identifying Private Sector IT Roles and placing them in the team based on anticipated need. If it is the latter, building the team is going to be much, much more difficult and will require electrical engineers among others.

      If we are dealing with just Information Technology Systems (data networks, computers, and related technology), then the bulk of any tech team is going to be Desktop Technicians and Network Technicians, people who can repair and maintain devices and people who build, repair, and maintain networks, with perhaps Database Administrators or Server Administrators who have skills in networking or desktop support. Security will be a role that should have some cross training, depending on whether their skills focus on Network Security, Server Security, or Database Security.

      Many of the IT-Industry certification platforms will likely provide much of the prior training needed as far as technical aptitude, FEMA specific training will have to be outlined.

      I'm not sure if you're familiar with IT Certifications, let me know if you would like some insight.
      in Apr 2014
  2. Great idea...would be intresting to see it set up as a pilot program to work on the particulars.
    in Apr 2014
  3. Well, actually it is already set up and as indicated by brad. AUXCOM (RACES/ARES/ACS) runs hot and cold between agencies on the issues of application, practice, training, exercises, and deployment. Difficulty exists where some agencies and activities focus only on primary (PSRS) communications rather than a combination of primary, alternate and continuity of communications.
    in Apr 2014
    1. brad Idea Submitter
      Do you know if FEMA has any ideas what the "critical gaps" are? I suspect, from experience, the main gap is deploying and tearing down LANs for Incident Command and other sites (shelters, etc.).

      Another challenge will be what recognized organizations FEMA expects to partner with. Information Technology unfortunately does not have a private service organization like ARRL to work from... yet.
      in Apr 2014
  4. Well, this is all novel but NIMS represents a core set of doctrines, concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes that enables effective, efficient, and collaborative incident management. Addressing this concept those that advocate the IT solution fail to communications fail to offer the the alternative or solution to the incompatibility in software used at each jurisdiction. Further frustrating the IT’s imitative to re-invent the wheel is the reality that IT solutions are satisfactory in TYPE-IV and TYPE-V incidents but have historically fallen short in TYPE-I and TYPE-II incident events such as 9-11. Joplin-MO, Northridge, and Katrina regarding interoperability since the transmission mediums to remote servers and IPs were damaged or destroyed. The posting and resultant response is flawed since it addresses pure procedure rather than the integrity of the medium and does not address redundancy.

    FEMA specific training will have to be outlined? Again, this assertion is novel since FEMA specific training is outlined to the ‘CAPABILITY’ and qualification to credentialing. The credentialing process entails the objective evaluation and documentation of an individual’s current certification, license, or degree; training and experience; and competence or proficiency to meet nationally accepted standards, provide particular services and/or functions, or perform specific tasks under specific conditions during an incident.

    The above posted suggestion/s and solution/s appear to not conform to common operating picture, interoperability, reliability, scalability and portability, resiliency, and redundancy. Further, frustrating the posted suggestion/s and solution/s is the aspect that such may not have been subjected to lessons learned and best practices though application in inter-jurisdictional/inter-agency exercises and appears to lack validation.

    The process for managing and maintaining NIMS ensures that all users and stakeholders—including all levels of government, functional disciplines, NGOs, and the private sector—are given the opportunity to participate in NIC activities. The NIMS management and maintenance process relies heavily on lessons learned from actual incidents and incident management training and exercises, as well as recognized best practices across jurisdictions and functional disciplines.

    The NIC will work with appropriate standards development organizations (SDOs) to ensure the adoption of common national standards and credentialing systems that are compatible and aligned with the implementation of NIMS. Identification, adoption, and development of common standards and credentialing programs include the following: Facilitating the development and publication of national standards, guidelines, and protocols for the qualification, licensure, and certification of emergency management/response personnel, as appropriate., Reviewing and approving discipline-specific qualification and certification requirements (with input from Federal, State, tribal, local, nongovernmental, private-sector, and national professional organizations, asappropriate). Facilitating the development and publication of national standards, guidelines, and protocols for equipment certification, including the incorporation of existing standards and certification programs used by incident management and emergency response organizations nationwide.

    The author of the above posting challenge is to identify alternate operating strategies, provide for continuity communications, and validate these capabilities through test, training, and exercise (TT&E) programs.
    in Apr 2014
    1. brad Idea Submitter
      Access to the World-Wide-Web and subsequent TCP/IP global connectivity can be achieved with the proper, if not expensive, technology (such as sat. data). Without some method of connecting to the global network, tech teams are going to be limited in their abilities to provide connectivity to the outside world, however there are major benefits to being able to setup ad-hoc LANs where systems locally can communicate with one another, and again, some limited global access can be obtained with a dish and access to a residential-grade Satellite Internet connection. It may be limited to a single device or a small network of devices, but it would be better than no connectivity. Furthermore, given the right association with skilled members of the Amateur Radio community, it is possible to setup radio data interfaces, again, not optimal capacity, but would allow connectivity to the outside world.
      in Apr 2014
  5. Unfortunately, I am unable to post the ARRL/FEMA agreement at this time because this site is not provisioned for an upload of attachments at this time. However, an agreement does exist and the link is below.


    Do you know if FEMA has any ideas what the "critical gaps" are? Gaps and shortcomings arise from failures of planning, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking action to correct and mitigate. Essentially, this is caused by failures to meet standards, measures, and metrics within NIMS, Target Capabilities List (TCL), Core Capabilities List (CCL), and the Continuity Evaluation Tool (CET). As stated before: Plans, training, and equipment, and the capabilities they represent, are validated through exercises. Exercise evaluation informs preparedness priorities by highlighting potential preparedness shortfalls in the areas of planning, organization, training, and equipment prior to real-world incidents. HSEEP exercise and evaluation doctrine is flexible, scalable, adaptable, and is for use by stakeholders across the whole community. HSEEP doctrine is applicable for exercises across all mission areas—prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Using HSEEP supports the National Preparedness System. HSEEP doctrine is based on national best practices and is supported by training, technology systems, tools, and technical assistance. The National Exercise Program (NEP) is consistent with the HSEEP methodology. Exercise practitioners are encouraged to apply and adapt HSEEP doctrine to meet their specific needs. by providing a consistent approach to exercises and measuring progress toward building, sustaining, and delivering core capabilities.

    The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) is a capabilities- and performance¬ based exercise program that provides a standardized policy, methodology, and terminology for exercise design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning. HSEEP also provides tools and resources to facilitate the management of self-sustaining exercise programs.
    In accordance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 (HSPD-8) and the National Preparedness Goal, HSEEP uses a capabilities-based approach to individual exercises and exercise program management. In the spirit of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), HSEEP promulgates standardized policies and terminology usable by officials and emergency responders at all levels of government. This is national standard as determined by HSPD-8/PPD-8. Training ensures that all personnel know what to do, how to do it, and when it should be done.

    To help States and local jurisdictions manage their own HSEEP programs, DHS has adopted a four-part method-ology to implementation. The four elements of this blended learning approach are: 1) Policy and Guidance, 2) Training, 3) Technology, 4) Direct Support. Training is an integral part of an exercise program and should work seamlessly with exercises in HSEEP. It is cyclic: training, exercise on a progressive stair-step approach seminars, workshops, tabletops, games, drills, functional exercises, full scale exercises. Identifying and assessing risks and associated impacts helps organizations identify priorities, objectives, and core capabilities to be evaluated through exercises.
    in Apr 2014

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