On February 25, 2014, Dan O’Donovan, W4DOD, was appointed to the position of Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) for the State of Tennessee by Section Manager (SM), Keith Miller, N9DGK.  Dan’s appointment is for a two year term starting on January, 1, 2014.The SEC is the assistant to the SM for emergency preparedness and is appointed by the SM to take care of all matters pertaining to emergency communications and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) on a section-wide basis.  There is only one SEC appointed in each section of the ARRL Field organization.

Dan currently serves as Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Jefferson County ARES (JCARES) and has appointed Larry “Jay” Hance, KI4OTR, to assume his EC position effective March 1, 2014 (see related article).

Attached is a statement issued by Dan concerning his appointment.

Dan O’Donovan W4DOD

I am very pleased to accept the appointment as your Tennessee Section Emergency Coordinator and I look forward to working with hams who share my passion for emergency communications and “giving back” to our communities.

My vision of the SEC role is simple: to support the Emergency Coordinator.  In my view, the EC holds the most important position in the ARES organizational structure not only because the vast majority of incidents and events have and will occur at the local level but also because the EC and his or her members have the greatest potential to provide the most efficient and timely response to their served agencies.  The relationships established between local ARES groups and local officials have the strongest volunteer Emcom working relationships.  All other ARES positions and appointments, no matter how grandiose the title including SEC, serve one purpose….help the EC not by dictate but rather by sharing information.  The best ideas and practices of a particular ARES group need to be leveraged and shared throughout the Tennessee Section.  While some uniformity is necessary such as monthly ARES reports (imagine correlating 95 different report styles!)  I believe that information being shared, with the SEC, ASEC’s and DEC’s as the conduit will benefit each and every ARES group.

There is much to be accomplished in the weeks and months ahead and I will need your ideas, recommendations, and support. Some short-term goals include the following:

  • Information / Equipment Database– establish a database available to all ARES members on the TN Section website that identifies member operating capabilities by county; local ARES net schedules with repeater / simplex frequencies.  Identify hospitals, EOC’s, and other agencies having amateur radio stations or equipment.  Establish an ARES / emergency management resource document repository.
  • Develop a TN Section Emergency Plan – We don’t have one yet.
  • Develop Training Recommendations – An ARES Training Recommendation Document would provide EC’s with a tool providing for standardization, progress tracking and recognition.  The initiative would consist of (1) a training workbook similar to COML and COMT task books and (2) a training matrix.
  • Establish Digital Mode Training Nets – With the increased use of digital modes, local ARES groups should consider incorporating digital modes on their weekly voice nets.
  • Topical “White Papers”– present “White Papers” dealing with various Emcom subjects to all ARES members for review and comment. One such example might be why Broadband- Ham net (MESH Technology) might benefit the EC in activation and what steps are necessary for building an intranet.

The Tennessee Section is very fortunate to have many talented members who bring a wide amount of knowledge and experience. Through collaboration and mutual support, we have the capability of sharing ideas and experiences and making the TN Section ARES a highly sought resource by our served agencies.  I am confident we can achieve our goals and enjoy this ever evolving hobby.  Your comments and suggestions are always welcome and you should feel free to contact me at w4dod@arrl.net or 865-484-1032 (H) or 865-437-9955.


Dan, W4DOD”