Individual Conduct in ECOM Nets

This week’s training material was adapted from the 14 SEP 1998 edition of California’s Auxiliary Communications Service Newsletter. Information on obtaining additional information about the ACS Newsletter can be found at the end of this article.

The Four C’s of Emergency Communications The best advice for anyone performing emergency communications can be summarized by four C's: Calm, Courteous, Correct, and Concise. CALM. Try to keep emotion out of your voice. No matter what the emergency situation, a calm, professional attitude will help keep things cool and get the message through more quickly and accurately. Losing your cool, calm attitude may cost an important message. The more reason you have for getting excited, the more important it is for you to remain calm. As an emergency communicator, you should set a controlled, calm example for the other people to follow. COURTEOUS. As an emergency communicator, you must always think of yourself as a public servant. Regardless of the provocation, remain courteous at all times. Never display your temper on the air. Remember the "Golden Rule" at all times and practice it. Never fight with other operators over calls or reports. Always follow the instructions of the Net Control Station - whether you agree with those instructions or not. Most problems can wait until after the emergency situation is over. If some problem absolutely must be ironed out, do it by telephone, on another frequency, in person, or via the Internet - but, not on the net. CORRECT. Work to keep errors out of your communications. Use the International phonetic alphabet and repeat the message where appropriate to get names, locations, and other information accurately. Write everything down for reference. Remember, your role is communications. When the Emergency Operations Center or Net Control Station asks a question, go get the answer from the person responsible, don't just give your best guess. It is always better to admit you don't know rather than give out information that is wrong. Always use plain language -- do not use jargon, Q-signals, 10-codes, etc., which may not be understood by everyone. Avoid using specialized words and codes, even those of the agency you are supporting unless the message is going specifically to an addressee of the same agency who will clearly understand the acronyms and abbreviations. CONCISE. Your job as a emergency communicator is to get the message transferred while also allowing time for the other operators to get their messages transferred. Avoid tying up the net by keeping your transmissions as brief as possible. Always leave a few seconds between transmissions in case someone needs to break in with an emergency traffic. A strictly business attitude is your best technique for assuring effective and efficient communications. You must consider the conditions - if everyone on the net is being heard well, there is little need to spell common words, but if conditions aren't good or the word is unusual particularly difficult, then it makes sense to spell it phonetically. Don't rush - speaking a little bit slower often gets the message through faster because the other operator doesn't have to ask for repeats. Don't assume everyone has a pad and pencil instantly ready when you need to send them a long or complex message - ask first, it saves time in the long run."

The archives of and instructions for subscribing to the California ACS newsletter can be found at that organization’s web site: Calm, courteous, correct, and concise are good rules to follow when participating in any form of emergency communications - whether the situation is one of local, regional, or international in scope.