Bay group looking for 'Neighborhood Ambassadors' to help in an emergency

If you are someone (like myself), who believes that a little preparedness goes a long way, and that the citizens of Bay Village deserve some protection, then let’s talk about a concept that I helped create about a year ago, during a time when the City had just got done reeling from the aftermath of a hurricane that came all the way to Bay Village: the Neighborhood Ambassador Program.

I am a longtime resident of Bay, and have been part of the Auxiliary Police Department for the last 12 years. Last year, I created a group called BayComm, which acts as a network of radio communications amongst residents of the Westshore area, should traditional communications go down. Volunteer membership is growing, as more and more residents realize that there is safety in numbers, and that our infrastructure is aging.

Now that BayComm is in place, we need to extend this network of volunteer residents who are willing to step up and get involved in helping their neighbors, when needed.

We are looking for residents who are interested in nominating a “Neighborhood Ambassador” on their street. That person would represent 15-20 other households, using wireless two-way radio equipment that would enable them to talk with others throughout the city, who are trying to coordinate a “response plan,” and get assistance to residents in need. The only time that the Neighborhood Ambassador (NA) would be activated would be during a time when the power was out, and other forms of communications (cell phones, internet, email) were down.

Think of it as something that a neighborhood would do by nature anyway: coming together for the common good, and help those that need help. The only difference would be: instead of not having any way of reaching city safety forces (police, fire) because phones are down, the person with the CB radio in hand would have the ability to report those needs directly through BayComm, and get help.

Here is an overview of the expectations of the Neighborhood Ambassador, and their group:

  • Purchase a handheld/mobile radio, at a cost of about $150 (this cost could be absorbed by the group of residents)
  • The NA would participate in regular BayComm activities, to receive training on how and when to communicate with others, when assistance is needed
  • Designate an alternate person to be the NA, during vacations or other time away
  • Be aware of the training available through the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), as to how to respond to various types of emergencies, in an attempt to help residents in trauma
  • Register as a BayComm member and NA team in a citywide database, for the purposes of knowing what coverage is available for designated areas of the city
  • Know that they will be held to no higher standard than any other resident, in a time of crisis, but that they will be committed to providing the communication needs of their neighborhood

What we need to do at this time is to get the program started, and that’s why I’m asking everyone reading this article to think about what role they might want to play in the program. Whether you see yourself as that Neighborhood Ambassador or as someone who is part of the NA group on your street, just start talking up the idea with your neighbors, and consider responding to me, if you’d like to talk it through further.

We can’t always rely on government to get the job done. This is one of those things that we can empower ourselves as residents to do on our own.

Please contact me at, to discuss how your street can join Bay's Neighborhood Ambassador Program.

Jim Kettren

BayComm Operations Manager

Read More on Community Service
Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.29.2013