I am Dale Sewell N4SGQ and I am running for Section Manager of Northern Florida. This election is about bringing us together as a Section to function as a whole, as one community, one ARES program, and section that knows what is happening because it is kept informed rather than in the dark. A Section that consistently trains, exercises, and communicates the same way from one end to the other. Sure it sounds impossible. Not trying will guarantee that it is impossible. That's what we've accomplished so far but we can do better and we will do better. We will do better because we have the talent in the Section to help make it happen. Here are some of the areas I have heard you set as benchmarks for us to strive for:
1) Emphasis on restoring consistency of section-wide ARES standards through training.
2) Incorporating ARES training into courses for new amateurs.
3) Emphasizing inclusion of all classes of amateur licensees in ARES activity, diversity of operational needs
4) Coordination of Section training by Assistant Section Manager and District Trainers for site training.
5) Web based interactive training
6) Revision of Northern Florida Section Emergency Communications Plan (NFSECP) to restore a consistent ARES/RACES program consistent with ARRL structured programs.
7) Inclusion of existing WL2K communication system into NFSECP.
8) Improved communications with county government emergency management representatives to maximize opportunity for mutual gains.
9) Higher visibility in Public Information perspective promoting our value to public service in each county.
I bring to this assignment 37 years of experience in amateur radio, beginning my career as a novice in the Five Flags Amateur Radio Association in Pensacola, Florida at their second meeting. I joined ARES as a novice and by 1975 had earned my first ARRL Public Service Award for work during Hurricane Eloise on a deployment to handle traffic. I served as the Emergency Coordinator for Okaloosa County in the early 90s. I was a communications specialist for the FL-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) serving on several exercises in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida and served on deployments for Hurricane Andrew in Miami in 1992 and Hurricane Marilyn in St. Thomas, VI in 1995. I served as Section Traffic Manager for Northern Florida in 2004 and Section Emergency Coordinator in 2004. I.ve served as Net Manager for the Northern Florida Phone Net, the Gulf Coast VHF Traffic Net, and the Tropical Phone Traffic Net. I am experienced in dealing with government officials through my work as AFGE Food Inspectors Union Local 3152 vice president and AFGE National Joint Chairman pro tempore for Food Inspector Locals. I also dealt with large meat and poultry company corporate representatives in my work as a workplace violence analyst, representing United States Department of Agriculture management. These communications are not unlike the communications one would conduct with served agencies and with government officials at various levels. It's not magic; it's all just organizational communications. And it's time for no nonsense communications. Honest communications.
More importantly than any of that, I am an active Northern Florida amateur. I am on the SSB nets, I check into QFN regularly, I.ve handled traffic for over 30 years, I am a SYSOP for a wide coverage Telpac node on VHF, I maintain an informational website for Northern Florida amateur radio related information, and I do my best to put back into this great hobby what it has blessed me with for most of my life. Like you, ham radio has been an important part of my life and I believe that public service is our mission. I believe that we must stay focused on that mission and work together to deliver the best service we can, everyday, toward that mission.
For over the last decade and a half the Northern Florida Section has had the same Section Manager. Reflect on the last five of those years and ask yourself,"Has the Northern Florida Section been moving forward or is it time change?" What has improved? What has changed? Are we better prepared for emergencies? Isn't it about time for somebody with new vision and ideas to propel the section forward in a positive direction?
I would appreciate your vote so that we can work together for a strong and unified Northern Florida Section. Thank you and 73.