Here’s the latest Amateur ARES News compiled by HQ ARRL.
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Accessed on 21 September 2022, 1319 UTC.
Content republished with permission of The ARRL. Copyright ARRL.
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September 21, 2022
Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE
ARES® Briefs, Links
Julio Ripoll, WD4R, National Hurricane Center station WX4NHC Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator, reported that Hurricane Earl tracked far enough to the east to spare Bermuda the strongest winds. The last report the NHC station received from the VoIP Hurricane Net Team was: “Pirates Cove, Southampton, Bermuda, Wind Measurements: Measured; Sustained Wind Speed: 35 MPH; Gust Speed: 48 MPH; Wind Direction: NNE degrees.” Ripoll thanked all stations for the reports, especially VoIP Hurricane Net Director of Operations Rob Macedo, KD1CY, and John Stevens, VP9NI, “for staying up late tonight and sending reports.” Ripoll said “It has been a very quiet season so far. Earl is just a warm up! The Atlantic is still very hot and the Sahara Dust and Shear Winds are fading.”
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. Founded in 1865 to facilitate international connectivity in communications networks, the ITU allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strives to improve access to ICTs by underserved communities worldwide. The ITU’s amateur radio page is worth reviewing. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is the worldwide federation of national amateur radio organizations. The membership of the IARU consists of more than 160 member-societies in as many countries and separate territories. Here, in ITU Region 2 (the Americas), there is a vital Region 2 amateur radio emergency communications program, which has published the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide, and is recommended reading.
The state of Florida is starting the long-awaited state-sponsored AUXCOMM courses, with the first class coming up in November. Jason S. Matthews, K4AUS, DHS/CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) ICTAP Program Support, said “A good cross section of attendance is key, as the networking component and getting folks collaborating at the courses are one of the best parts.” The State of Florida Division of Emergency Management in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security is offering the AUXCOMM Auxiliary Communications Course in Fort Pierce November 4-6. The course is free of charge. Applicants need to have completed the FEMA ICS100, 200, 700, and 800 on-line courses and have an interest in working with public safety agencies. Apply for registration for the AUXCOMM course. For a review of this course, see May 2016 QST, pp. 77-78.
2022 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test Guidelines
Test Your Readiness on October 1 – 2
ARRL’s Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is October 1 – 2, 2022, and this nationwide exercise is the chance to test your personal emergency-operating skills and the readiness of your communications equipment and accessories in a simulated emergency-like deployment.
ARRL Field Organization Leaders at the Section and local levels, and many other volunteers that are active in public service and emergency communications, are developing simulated emergency-like scenarios in consultation with a variety of agencies and organizations for whom radio amateurs are known to provide service during emergencies.
Please remember that station readiness and personal training and practice are tenets of the Amateur Radio Service. Any time we spend on the air will contribute to developing and practicing our personal radio communication capability.
The ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), the National Traffic System (NTS), the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), SKYWARN™, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN), and other allied groups and public-service oriented radio amateurs are among those who are eligible to participate in the simulated exercise and to practice emergency operation plans, nets and procedures.
Changes for 2022 SET
For the 2022 Simulated Emergency Test, there will be bonus points for cooperation with Army MARS stations and sharing information between MARS and amateur radio stations. Please refer to the reporting form to calculate the bonus points.
Please stand by for new 2022 SET reporting forms that will be posted among the resources on the Public Services/Field Services Forms page on the ARRL website.
ARRL Emergency Communications and Field Services Committee Update
The efforts of the ARRL Emergency Communications and Field Services Committee (EC-FSC) continue with four assigned subcommittees: ARES® /AUXCOMM, NTS™, Radio Clubs, and Field Services Restructuring. Each has an obvious and specific focus to evaluate the present structure and processes in their respective areas, and supply recommendations for change and improvement. Each subcommittee tasking calls for contact with many people in the ARRL Field Organization, community leaders, and served agencies. While this work is complex and ongoing, in the interim, the EC-FSC has completed a number of other tasks to improve services and recognition for ARRL members. Other improvements include (ARES-specific information is in bold):
1. An update of the ARRL Affiliated Club Commission Program for recruiting ARRL members. The new plan, now offering a higher commission and greatly simplified paperwork, provides a significant incentive for clubs to sign up more of their members to be ARRL members.
2. Recognition of US military veteran status in ARRL’s publication of Silent Keys reports. Recognition is permitted for all honorably discharged members of the U.S. Armed Forces and all National Guards. The information will be gathered from Silent Key submissions
and noted in the Silent Keys column in QST.
3. Members now have full access to all ARRL Division and Section newsletters through our web portal. If a member wants to see what a neighboring Division or Section may be doing, the information is now easily available.
4. QST now carries a new column, “Club Station,” where clubs can share information about their activities and initiatives that may inform and inspire other clubs.
5. The ARES Plan has been updated with a few recent changes and posted on the ARRL web pages.
6. The results of this year’s Simulated Emergency Test (SET) will be able to be electronically filed and all of the score calculations will be done by the new online program. This has been tested and will roll out in time for the October 2022 SET.
7. Annual reporting/renewals for Affiliated Clubs and those clubs who are also Special Service Clubs (SSC) have different renewal dates – all based upon the anniversary of when the club was Affiliated or became an SSC. Often one of the dates was overlooked during the club’s renewal process. As of January 1st , 2024, these dates will be fully
synchronized and will renew simultaneously, ensuring no club will lose its SSC status because of an oversight. New and renewing SSCs are now listed monthly in QST.
8. Clearing the backlog of pending Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between ARES groups and served agencies. Five MOUs have been approved, two more are near completion and one awaits signature from the cooperating agency. While this work is
ongoing, we are planning a template version of an MOU, which will greatly simplify the MOU process and speed the approvals. — ARRL Emergency Communications and Field Services Committee Chairman Dale Williams, WA8EFK
This Month is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2022 theme is “Build a Lasting Legacy.” Prepare for disasters to create a lasting legacy for you and your family. Join a CERT program. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations for the period of time when professional first responders are not yet able to assess the needs of your community. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on other more needy areas and complex tasks. Find your local CERT team, and offer ARES and emergency communications support.
In June 2003, ARRL became an official affiliate program of Citizen Corps, an initiative within the Department of Homeland Security to enhance public preparedness and safety. A Statement of Affiliation made ARRL an affiliate under the four charter Citizen Corps programs–Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service, Community Emergency Response Teams and Medical Reserve Corps. The League joined the National Safety Council, Points of Light Foundation, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD, of which ARRL is also a member), National Volunteer Fire Council, National Fire Protection Association, Save A Life Foundation and The Jaycees as Citizen Corps affiliate programs.
The relationship between ARRL and FEMA goes back to 1984 when an MOU was inked that helped ARRL volunteers coordinate their services with emergency management at all levels of government. The 2003 SoA demonstrated the ARRL’s commitment to community emergency preparedness through the Citizens Corps programs.
ARRL ARES® Section News
Wisconsin Section — ARES Member Assists in Rescue of Fellow Ham
“It was Friday, September 2, 2022, which meant I worked from my home office. I have the VHF radios on low to monitor them in the background. Recently, I got into the AllStar node with a hotspot. I use it to monitor the FM38 systems (AllStar 2495) in the southern [part] of Wisconsin.
“At about 7:45 AM, I heard the AllStar node come up. An individual in distress was asking for assistance to get an ambulance to him. It was a ham in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. He had slipped on his bathroom floor and went down so hard he could not get up, but he happened to have his handheld with him (don’t we all). He did not have access to the phone, and he lived alone.
“I called the Brown Deer police call center. The dispatcher got the fire department rolling and then started asking me for more details. I had the dispatcher on speaker phone, and he could hear the hams’ responses to the questions. Being on a handheld and lying prone, the signal was, at times, noisy. At that time, both the other ham and I used ITU phonetics to get the exact info out. All those times practicing on the ARES® nets made it second nature. The dispatcher was also able to understand the info without my having to repeat it.
“It felt good to help out. I also realized it was due to my monitoring that I was able to hear his call. If you are not participating in the weekly local ARES net, I would encourage you to do so when you can.” — Scott Strecker, KG9IV. Thanks also to the Chippewa Valley Amateur Radio Club in Wisconsin, an ARRL Affiliated Club; ARRL Letter
Idaho Section — Rocky Mountain Rescue
On September 3, 2022, in the Rocky Mountains of northwest Idaho, newly licensed amateur radio operators Shannon Vore, KK7GVG, and CJ Bouchard, KK7GNG, were out for a weekend of four-wheeling in their Jeep. The area is an extremely mountainous region with no towns, very few people, no facilities, and no cell phone coverage. The nearest airfield is Horse Haven Trail, an unimproved dirt strip that’s severely eroded and covered with rocks and debris.
At about 4:30 PM, Vore and Bouchard were taking a break when an approaching truck notified them of an ATV accident involving two teenage girls. The accident scene was just a few miles away, and when they arrived it was clear the teenagers were critically injured. Bouchard was unable to contact several local repeaters, but was finally able to make contact using a simplex frequency (146.420 MHz) that’s popular with the hams in Coeur d’Alene, 20 miles from the accident site.
While Bouchard and an off-duty Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) were administrating medical aid to the teenagers, Vore took over radio operations. The call for emergency assistance was picked up by local amateur radio operator John Tappero, K7JNT, who immediately called 911 and asked that 146.420 MHz be used only for emergency traffic. For nearly 2 hours, Vore and Tappero provided relay between the 911 dispatcher, advising the condition of the injured and the approaching weather. Life Flight Network was unable to respond because of a severe thunderstorm immediately over the rescue site.
Two teams of EMTs were dispatched, but due to the mountains and the storm, they couldn’t communicate with dispatch. Tappero continued to provide relay information for all parties until 6:00 PM, when the EMTs arrived. The teenagers were in stable condition and immediately transported to the nearest hospital. Today, they’re in good condition and recovering.
“It took us about 2 days to wind down from the experience,” said Vore. “We are both glad we had our amateur radio licenses and were able to help.”
Bouchard said that they had been using radios on the General Mobile Radio System (GMRS), but have since upgraded their licenses for more operating privileges. “Because the area signals were not good, it was difficult to communicate,” he continued. “So, we studied, took our exams, and are now looking forward to much more amateur radio opportunities.”
Both Vore and Bouchard are now looking to join a local amateur radio club and become involved in ARES. —Thanks to ARRL Idaho Section Manager Dan Marler, K7REX, and Idaho Assistant Section Manager Ed Stuckey, AI7H, for their help with the Idaho rescue story; ARRL Letter
Western Pennsylvania Section SET Planning
Planning is underway for the October 1-2, 2022 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET). This year, Sections in the ARRL Atlantic Division will activate the Mid-Atlantic ARESMAT program to support SET operations, possibly exchanging teams of ARESMAT volunteers between neighboring Sections. Such mutual assistance protocols would be indicated during a hurricane, winter storm or other large-scale incident. — Joe Shupienis, W3BC, is the ARRL Western Pennsylvania (WPA) Section Manager (SM). — Blair ARES Alert!, September 2022
South Dakota Section — SOTA Operators Help Prevent Wildfire
Hams on SOTA Event Help Prevent Major Forest Fire — While participating in the Black Hills Amateur Radio Club’s (ARC) annual Summits on the Air (SOTA) event in South Dakota on July 16, 2022, two amateur radio operators helped spot a potential forest fire. Ryan Lindblom, KE0LXT, President of the Black Hills ARC, and Christopher Jaques, KD0RAS, had made their trek to Cicero Peak. Just before heading back down, they noticed what might be smoke or dust to the south near Hot Springs. Lindblom made a contact on their simplex frequency to ask a local amateur radio operator if there had been any reports of Forest Service activity in the area. An off-duty ranger was monitoring a local ham repeater from his home, heard traffic from Cicero Peak, and called in the alert. A fire crew and a helicopter were able to contain a small fire 2.5 miles south of Pringle, South Dakota.
Ward Hall, WC0Y, attending the Black Hills SOTA weekend for his second year, reported that a forest ranger on Bear Mountain stepped out of the ranger tower to greet him, but at the time, was busy monitoring firefighting traffic. “I could hear the radio activity while I was on the ground near the tower,” said Hall. “The ranger later told me that the Forest Service was alerted to a small fire when an off-duty ranger was monitoring a local ham repeater and heard the traffic from Cicero Peak.” Hall said the ranger credited the ham activity for an early alert that allowed them to address the fire while it was small. “He was very appreciative of how the ham activity helped them and asked that I pass it on,” Hall added.
ARRL Dakota Division Director Bill Lippert, AC0W, applauded the work of the amateur radio operators for early reporting of what could have been a major fire, as well as credited the Forest Service for their quick response.
The Black Hills Amateur Radio Club had 12 people participating in their Black Hills SOTA weekend. The club has 75 members and covers the Black Hills region of South Dakota, which is in the southwest corner of the state. They are headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota, and they are an ARRL Affiliated Club. – The ARRL Letter
North Florida Section — Recruitment Effort Pays Dividends
Jim Bledsoe, KI4KEA, the ARRL Public Information Coordinator for North Central Florida, and PIO for Alachua County ARES reports: “Years of attempting to establish a relationship with our local press has finally developed into a far-reaching program. The Alachua County Public Relations Manager sent our press release to hundreds of thousands of readers, and was also picked up by a local news electronic newspaper. This publicity resulted in over 29 people taking the Technician class and exam. Our local ABC affiliate put our story on the air for the second time since Field Day, reaching as many as 120,000 homes.”
Ohio Section — Nuclear Power Plant Exercise
The Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) just completed a dry-run exercise for the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County, Ohio. ARRL Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, said the drill was practice for the federally judged exercise scheduled for this month.
The Ohio state Emergency Operations Center (EOC) amateur station, W8SGT, was utilized and on the air to communicate with several counties in northeast Ohio. Amateur radio serves in the emergency planning as a backup communications resource. The actual exercise is focused more on the power plant and its operation, but the state EOC is involved for the process. “In real life, this was a low-key type of exercise for us. It does not involve a lot of hams or activity, just establishes the line of communication,” said Broadway. “It’s satisfying to know, through many conversations during the planning stage, that amateur radio is a key ingredient to assure communication with the state.”
Ohio ARES is also working on a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) drill for October 1, 2022.
National Preparedness Month: List of Disasters
Consistent with the goals and objectives of National Preparedness Month, here is a list of natural and man-made disaster scenarios we should all be familiar with.
K1CE for a Final: Send It In (Please)
This newsletter goes out to a subscriber list of almost 40,000 each and every month. There are a number of significant aspects of the newsletter, which has been in monthly production and circulation for almost 20 years. As with any newsletter of this nature, there is a regular group of contributors that provide the majority of articles, reports and other input. If you and/or your ARRL Section ARES program administrators are not one of them, please consider providing reports of your section’s activities: the ARES community at large will benefit and learn from them, and your hard-working ARES volunteers will receive national exposure and the recognition they deserve. Thank you.
President Harry Dannals, W2HD, Remembrance
On a personal note, I was saddened at learning of the passing of ARRL President Emeritus Harry Dannals, W2HD. In the early eighties, I was on the ARRL staff at Newington, and had the privilege of working with him on assignments and projects for the Board and membership. I’ll always remember him working behind the ARRL booth at Dayton and other large conventions, shaking hands with and completely engaging visitors to the booth. He always gave them his full attention and a big handshake. He’ll go on to join the pantheon of League greats. You can read the remarkable story of Mr. Dannals’ legendary service to ARRL and the amateur community at large.
Have a Great and Safe SET!
I’ll be participating with the ARRL Northern Florida Section (from Columbia County) for Florida’s statewide SET dubbed Service DENIED. On October 1, amateur radio operators from Florida’s emergency communications teams will conduct Service DENIED, based on a simulated statewide cyber-attack impacting communications infrastructure. A full outage is the scenario. The exercise will allow teams from various Florida counties to test their ability to communicate with the State Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee using only amateur radio equipment. Individual amateur radio operators will assist in gathering situation reports, providing them to local emergency management as well as the State EOC using various voice and data modes. Teams will test capability to provide health and welfare messaging for residents using a national traffic system. I’m really looking forward to it. Be safe out there.
73, Rick, K1CE, email@example.com
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES. Please inquire at the local level for specific information. Because ARES is an amateur radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
How to Get Involved in ARES: Fill out the ARES Registration form and submit it to your local Emergency Coordinator.
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