What is it. A basic set of standard training subjects or areas to provide a base level on knowledge to support Amateur Radio communications events and regulatory requirements.
Why is the need. Working as an individual, with a team or a served agency it provides for a common knowledge base to meet regulatory, operational, safety or served agency requirements.
"Just as you don't go to a prom to learn to dance, you don't go to a disaster to learn how to respond."
How it benefits. Provides for smooth and safe support of a communications need locally, regionally or nationally. Having folks respond from this area to another or come into this area from another, everyone has a common basic knowledge set.
Where I can find assistance. There are local mentors in various subject areas that can help. Your local ARES leadership can provide some directly or direct you someone who can help.
There are also good references from around the amateur radio community, ARES and RACES groups throughout the country that have some great resources available. Just remember that some information will be tailored to their specific needs and served agency requirements. As an example hams in California support the CAL FIRE efforts. Their structure and operational requirements will be different, to some degree, in various areas than hurricane support for the gulf coast or winter blizzard events in the northern areas.
Sales pitch. Being able to tell a served agency, local or otherwise, that we have folks trained to a nationally recognized standard permits a much better ability to meet our community’s needs in the event of a disaster or special event. It also allows others to come help us that speak a common language of technical skills.
Link to NTX ARRL Task Book