I would like to re-introduce you to AERO – the Association of Emergency Radio Organizations (AERO).
Back in the late 1980’s, a group of amateur radio operators got together with a number of County Emergency Managers and formed AERO. Their purpose and mission was simple, ‘…enhance the ability of volunteer radio organizations to support emergency management and disaster response agencies with supplemental communications in times of disaster.’ Believe it or not, this group is not only still active, but it is still training amateur radio operators to support you in your work as a local/County Emergency Manager. But, we need your help!!!
At the AERO meeting earlier in 2015, Hennepin County Emergency Management offered to take a ‘temporary’ leadership role to help move this group forward. We would like to gather all of the interested Emergency Managers that are served by AERO, to discuss the future of this organization, future leadership, and curriculum and where this organization goes from here.
AERO is a completely volunteer organization that is devoted to the premise that if we train amateur (ham) radio operators, we can support their local disaster response organizations with supplemental communications in time of need. Those of us who have taught classes see it every time; young and old ham radio operators excited to learn how to support their local EM and how to give back to their local communities. The problem we’ve found is that due to time, retirements, moves and the like, the local Emergency Managers who helped create this dynamic organization are not available to provide the guidance and leadership this organization needs in order to move forward.
I want to reiterate that HCEM’s role is temporary, because our ultimate goal is to bring you and your organization to the table once again. This is an organization that provides a service to you and your community – it only makes sense that you or your representative have the opportunity to determine where this organization goes from here.
Michael J. Ostlund
Past Board Chair and current Board member
AERO Board of Directors
It’s a new AERO to meet a new and growing need, and we’ve updated our training to meet that need. In this article you will learn what you need to get involved.
AERO is an organization of emergency communications organizations that establishes and offers emergency communications training in support of its member organizations served in Anoka, Dakota, Carver, Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties.
In order to take AERO training, you must be a member of one of our recognized AERO organizations.
Since AERO is an organization of organizations, individuals cannot be members. Your participation in training is contingent upon your involvement in a Metro-area government-recognized emergency management or disaster support organization that provides its own communications capability by recruiting Amateur Radio Operators.
These organizations include government emergency management organizations, hospitals associated with the Metro Hospital Compact, and disaster support organizations like the Red Cross (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Salvation Army. They also include amateur radio organizations associated with a government agency such as Bloomington Communications Group, Maple Grove Radio Club, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Communications Response Team, Hennepin County Emergency Management Auxiliary Communications Team, Ramsey County Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, CERT Teams, and various ARES/RACES/SKYWARN organizations like Metro Skywarn, Dakota Co ARES/RACES or Anoka Co ARES/RACES.
To get involved, join a recognized organization, one of the above, or another not mentioned.