In 2018 we celebrate our 20th year of continuous 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.
Ready to join our team? Skip to Application Process.
Bringing together the power of ordinary citizens and amateur radio to enhance community resiliency for times of emergency and disaster.
VECTOR exists for one purpose: to build out an all-volunteer emergency radio communications team around which the wider Amateur Radio community can organize in times of emergency or disaster. We’re proud of our Amateur Radio heritage and the professional team we have built.
Our members come from all walks of life bringing with them the varied skills necessary to build an effective emergency communications team. It’s not all about radio or technology: planning, preparing, project management, training, developing proposals, liaison with other agencies and multiple levels of government, developing partnerships with the community and beyond - and yes, there’s plenty of radio and information technology too. There’s truly something for everyone.
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 ranging 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 Essentials (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 Communications Station Manager (via EMBC / 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?
Ready to join our team? Skip to Application Process.
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 and developing an all volunteer emergency communications team requires many hands possessing different skills. VECTOR could not continue to flourish without the diversity of experience and perspectives our members bring to the organizing. Areas of possible interest include:
- Planning: analysis, documentation, project management
- Training: producing courseware, teaching, coaching
- Systems: developing and maintaining our radio and computer systems; networking, software development; exploring new radio techniques and solutions
- Operations: voice & data radio operations, leadership
- Administration: membership, treasury, strategic planning, marketing, organizing, leadership and management
Must I already have an Amateur Radio Certificate of Proficiency?
Strictly speaking, no, but we do suggest all prospective members strongly consider obtaining their Certificate of Proficiency and a Canadian Amateur Radio Call-sign. We can help. VECTOR runs several Amateur Radio Certificate of Proficiency courses each year and our students enjoy an enviable rate of success.
See Membership Frequently Asked Questions for further information.
While our applicaiton process looks complex when spelled out here as steps, the reality is becoming a VECTOR member is straightforward and we’re here to help.
- Review VECTOR membership requirements to confirm your eligibility.
- Write our Membership Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to introduce yourself. They’ll be delighted to answer any questions you may have about VECTOR or our application process. If you are already a member of the Vancouver Volunteer Corps please let us know.
- If you are not already a member of Vancouver Volunteer Corps (VVC) you should visit this link to sign up on our Better Impact volunteer management system. Please inform email@example.com when this has been completed and what your VVC username is. You will need to upload to your profile a photograph of your head and shoulders against a plain background. This photograph is used to create ID cards relevant to our program.
- Once your VVC profile has been established the VECTOR Membership Team will
send you via email an application package containing:
- Vancouver Police Information Check / Vulnerable Sector Screening Consent Form
- VECTOR Application & Confidentiality Agreement
- EMBC Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer Form
- Complete the VPD VECTOR Police Information Check (PIC) form and attend Vancouver Police Department Cambie street offices to submit the form. There will be no fee charged to you. See the membership FAQ for details on the PIC process and your privacy, VPD hours of operation and location.
- For privacy reasons the VPD VECTOR Police Information Check (PIC) result is returned to you, within approximately two weeks. It is then your decision to continue the application process by sending the PIC result to the VECTOR Membership Registrar.
If after receiving the Police Information Check result you choose to proceed with your application to VECTOR, assemble your application package including completed:
- Original copy of the Police Information Check form; photocopies are not acceptable.
- VECTOR Application Form & Confidentiality Agreement
- Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer Form
- $20 annual membership fee
As our office is located in a secure facility no hand delivery is possible. Send your completed application package including the original PIC result by postal mail to:
VECTOR c/o E-Comm 911
3301 East Pender Street
Vancouver BC V5K 5J3
On receipt of your application package the VECTOR membership registrar will review it for completeness. You will be contacted to set up an opportunity to meet with a member of the board of directors to sign confidentiality, code of conduct and indemnity agreements. At that point you will be welcomed as a new VECTOR member and provided with an orientation to our emergency communications facility located at the Vancouver Emergency Operations Centre.
VECTOR offers to individuals both full and associate membership in the society.
Membership dues are $20 annually and can be paid by cheque with your application 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; those younger than 18 should contact firstname.lastname@example.org regarding our youth outreach program.
- 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.