In 2018 we celebrate our 20th year of operation!
Are you interested in helping our community by playing an important emergency communications role during major civic events, emergencies and disasters? Want to learn new skills and gain experience? Please consider joining VECTOR!
Need no convincing? Skip to Application Process.
Bringing together the power of ordinary citizens and amateur radio to enhance community resiliency for times of emergency and disaster.
Is VECTOR a good fit for me?
An interest in public service is one trait all VECTOR volunteers share.
We exist to develop a core emergency radio communications team around which we can organize the wider amateur radio community in the event of emergency or disaster.
What benefits does membership and participation offer?
VECTOR provides training, get involved in civic events, emergency drills and exercises and help build the organization’s capabilities in areas randing from process to technical, organizing to teaching. We are building core capabilities and facilities around which the greater Vancouver amateur radio community can muster in times of emergency.
VECTOR provides directly and via our City and external partners a wide range of training including:
- Radio Room Orientation briefs members on radio room start up and operation procedures.
- Incident Command System Level 100 the foundation of the common command structure used in British Columbia and throughout North America by first responders and emergency organizations.
- Level 200 ICS courses in Planning, Operations, and Logistics
- Emergency Operation Centre Fundamentals (via the Justice Institute of BC), a prerequisite to certain advanced courses.
- Personal Safety / Crowd Awareness briefing conducted by Vancouver Police Department
- Radio Skills Course, particularly well suited to new radio amateurs, this popular course is held one night a week for four weeks. The course covers a broad range of topics ranging from “simplex and repeater operation”, “effective radio messaging”, “how to buy the right radio(s) for you” to “VECTOR event operations” and more. Students are paired up for fun homework consisting of getting on the air and gaining practice using simplex and repeater operation.
- VECTOR Grab and Go Radio Kit Operation involves establishing the station and operating voice and data radio systems.
- HF Station Certification required for members wishing to operate the HF station solo.
- Radio Station Manager (via Justice Institute of BC)
- Net Control Operator is a multi-module course designed to impart and reinforce skills needed to be an effective control operator able to manage a busy radio net (a net is like a controlled on-air meeting and is a key tool during emergency response).
- Introduction to Emergency Social Services and many other ESS courses are available to interested members.
- … and much more. See also our training page.
Access To Radio Stations
Our HF/VHF/UHF radio stations are available for the use of members who undertake EOC Radio Room certification. The VECTOR HF station may be of particular interest to apartment bound hams that would like to take in a contest now and then and radio mentors are available.
A VECTOR member becomes part of the City’s Emergency Response Plan. We plan and prepare for “the big one” and other significant emergencies, and hone our skills through drills, exercises and activations in support of civic events.
Each year the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Police Department celebrate their volunteer partners with a gala or open house event. In 2016 VECTOR as an organization was bestowed the City of Vancouver Award of Excellence in recognition of our team efforts.
What does VECTOR do?
Throughout the calendar year VECTOR is invested in the planning and preparation segments of the emergency management continuum. We identify a few major projects each year we wish to undertake, plan for them, raise funds and work the project to completion. Projects range from the purely technical to training and human resource development.
Exercises are a key component of emergency preparedness. We develop and run our own internal exercises and integrate with groups including Emergency Social Services, City of Vancouver Emergency Management and others.
On the operational side we participate in a number of annual events with our close partner the City of Vancouver including Emergency Preparedness Week and Celebration of Light.
What can I offer the team?
Growing an all volunteer emergency communications team requires many hands possessing different skills. VECTOR could not continue to flourish without the diversity of experience brought forward by our members.
Areas of possible interest include:
- Administration: membership, treasury, management
- Training: producing course ware, teaching, coaching
- Operations: voice & data radio operations, leadership
- Planning: analysis, documentation, project management
- Systems: maintaining our radio and computer systems
Must I already have an Amateur Radio Certificate of Proficiency?
Strictly speaking, no, but we do suggest all prospective members strongly consider obtaining one. We can help. VECTOR runs several Amateur Radio Certificate of Proficiency courses each year and our students enjoy an enviable rate of success.
Unlicensed volunteer members will still find ample reward in getting involved in any one of our many off-air initiatives.
See Membership Frequently Asked Questions for further information.
Review the membership requirements to confirm your eligibility.
If you have not already done so, become a Vancouver Volunteer Corps member. This City of Vancouver program serves as a common intake program for VECTOR other Vancouver volunteer programs. Click here: http://bttr.im/959nf
If you are already a VVC member, or have just become one, ensure you’ve added to your profile information in the custom fields section here (login may be required): https://app.betterimpact.com/Volunteer/CustomFields. Answer the Are you interested in joining VECTOR? question and, if you are already an Amateur Radio operator, provide your call sign. Be sure to save the changes.
We recommend you then write to our membership committee at firstname.lastname@example.org to introduce yourself. We’ll keep in touch throughout the application process.
The membership registrar will email to you an application package you can print out.
Complete the application package forms and attend Vancouver Police Department Cambie street offices to undergo a VPD VECTOR Police Information Check / Vulnerable Sector Screening. See the membership FAQ for details.
Once your VPD VECTOR Police Information Check result is returned to you (approximately two weeks), assemble and return via postal mail your completed application, including the Police Information Check result and fees, to VECTOR c/o E-Comm 911, 3301 East Pender Street, Vancouver BC V5K 5J3.
VECTOR offers to individuals both full and associate membership in the society. Membership dues are $20 annually and can be paid by cheque or via Interact eTransfer (details available from our membership team).
Full members are eligible to vote in board elections, run for executive positions, and obtain access to all VECTOR facilities. In order to obtain full membership the applicant must:
- Be at least 18 years of age; youth younger than 18 should contact email@example.com.
- Support our mission: VECTOR exists as the organizing vehicle for members of the amateur radio service to build auxiliary emergency communications capability to enhance community resiliency in the City of Vancouver.
- Hold a currently valid Canadian Amateur Radio Operators Certificate.
- Follow the membership application process as defined above.
Associate membership is available to individuals who do not currently possess a Canadian Amateur Radio Operators Certificate but who otherwise meet the requirements for full membership.
Associate members typically are those seeking to obtain their Amateur Radio certification and are given priority in registration for the VECTOR Amateur Radio License Training & Examination Course. Aside from the Amateur Radio Operator’s Certificate requirement, associate membership requirements are identical to those for full membership. Please contact our membership team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to apply as an Associate Member.