The biggest thing (for me) that was not allowing the Amateur Radio Community to “recruit” me was the small but very public group of what I call “loonies”. The online ham community calls them “Whackers” or “Orange Vests”. These are the people that at any SLIGHT emergency will push themselves into the middle of the problem, often causing more harm than good. That is not the objective of ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services). ARES members are there to support the existing EMS/EMA in the case of malfunctioning or disabled communications systems. ARES drills may take place, but are planned in advance and coordinated as to not cause any portion of the pool of emergency resources to be strained.
What has become a bit of a joke with the online community is how often these “whackers” will cover their vehicles in antennas and fill their dashboards with various equipment much more than is necessary to complete the task. Hamsexy, the website and forums of those hams and citizens turned off from the “loonies”, has put together a few articles showing the extent of their craziness. People have echoed their views of ARES from the non-ham public with anecdotes explaining the extent of the Orange Vests’ involvement in where they aren’t needed.
To complete my post, I’m going to insert a log from a conversation I had with some other hams that hang out in an IRC room I’ve been attending for a couple days now. It has been insightful, I’ve received a bit of feedback on a couple of the hot issues in Amateur Radio currently (D*Star was yesterday).