When I retired several years ago one of the first things I did was throw anything away that might tempt me to get a job! But I’ll send a short note to get things going for you.
I attended the University of Arkansas studying Electrical Engineering until I realized that had nothing to do with what I enjoyed! During the summer between my sophomore and junior year, I started as a volunteer fireman. At that time, the Fire Department would send you to EMT school for free. I did that just as a way to keep from having to get a real job. Unfortunately, it did lead to a job at the first municipally owned ambulance service in the state. I was then able to go to the very first paramedic class held in Hot Springs. We started with 40 students, and 5 of us finished. It was quite the experience.
As part of my duties at the ambulance service, I was assigned as the representative to the Local Emergency Planning Committee. The communications guy told me that I needed to be a ham radio operator, and I didn’t have any better sense so I said OK. I shortly became the ARRL EC for Garland County, then was appointed as the Southwest DEC. I became the Section Emergency Coordinator when David Norris was elected as SM. I enjoyed that position until David was elected as a Director. The ARRL appointed me as the Section Manager when that occurred. During that time I became responsible for all amateur and outside-the-box communications for what is now the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM). I was appointed to be the Section Emergency Coordinator by our current SM, Jay Ferguson N5LKE.
Along the way I was able to attend the first Communications Unit Leader (COML) class in the state. I am the chair of the Communications Unit Working Group (COMU) for the state, which is responsible for advising the Arkansas Wireless Information Network (AWIN) on qualifications for all ICS positions in the Incident Command structure, We also make recommendations about talk groups for Public Safety agencies.
I teach ICS 300, 400, COML, and AUXCOMM for ADEM. I am a member of the SAFECOM committee, which is a Federal Advisory Board. I sit on two other committees for AWIN; Technology and the Policy Working Groups. I’m also a voting member of the Arkansas Wireless Information Network Executive Committee. I hold an amateur, SHARES, and GMRS licenses, I live and breathe radio.
I am married to Debby KD5UPS, who is a retired airline pilot. We live in Royal, Arkansas, where I am the 5th generation on the Lazy R Ranch.