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Amateur Radio in Disaster Preparedness

Place Amateur Radio stations in all hospitals, police stations and fire departments, and emergency shelters. Katrina should have taught the value of Amateur Radio. President Bush needed to get a message to Mayor Nagin in New Orleans. Amateur Radio was the only means of communications to get the message through.

Everyone in the Preparedness field talks about doing this and doing that to be prepared, but no one pays a bit of attention to communications. It's like stepping on toes. "This is my territory, stay away!" "Oh, they're just EMS wannabes!", "Nah, we don't need them." Many Amateur Radio operators are former police and firemen. I've heard many comments that operators just want to be able to run red lights and speed. Not true. We obey all traffic laws going to and from an assignment.

Amateur Radio has been saving lives and aiding federal, state and local governments for almost 100 years.

Yes, I'm an Amateur Radio operator! I serve as a team leader in our county's RACES (now ACS) program at a local hospital.

Talk with the people at the National Registry for Certified EmComm Volunteers. Perhaps begin an affiliation with them. Perfect for setting up a national clearinghouse for EmComm operators.

Submitted by 2 years ago

Comments (41)

  1. Well said!

    More can be communicated by a group of experienced Amateur Radio operators who are disciplined and trained, than 500 people trying to talk at the same time over cellphones.

    Simply put...It is tried and tested, and it works.

    2 years ago
    1. Cellular communications infrastructure continues to become more robust, its capabilities surpass amateur radio in many respects. Disaster organizations are effectively harnessing its power (especially international). Welcome to the new Paradigm.

      2 years ago
  2. Good points. Some states truly value amateurs especially, I'm told, Florida where huricanes frequently disrupt normal communications. Fewer, though, seem to have programs to encourage their participation in emergency response or exercises.

    2 years ago
    1. In Broward County Florida the school shelters have Amateur Radio Antennas already in place. I was sent there just after Hurricane Wilma went through.

      2 years ago
  3. I train with our local ARES county representative and at our local level. Because of our Amateur Radio Operators dedication to Emergency Communications and our county, our Emergency Operations Center has a main room dedicated to Amateur Radio usage during activations. Our county Emergency Management Team works directly with them and they are given full reign and are relied upon heavily in our ICS plans.

    2 years ago
  4. Please keep in mind that amateur involvement doesn't have to be replacing regular emergency communications. Amateur radio can be very useful in relieving pressure on the main systems by handling non-emergency traffic, keeping necessary (but not life-critical)information flowing without cluttering other systems during an emergency. We often think of situations where the main means of communications are lost, and certainly that has happened and hams have been able to step in, but our (yes, I am a ham) involvement can be useful in other, less stressful, situations as well.

    Mike

    Franklin County (MO) Amateur Radio Emergency Service Emergency Coordinator

    2 years ago
  5. In most hopsitals ham radio is addressed in the Emergency Operations Plan. Under the Health Resources and Services Adminsitartion (HRSA, part of DHHS)) all hospitals must implement the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS). HRSA also requires that the hospital EOP demonstrates integration with first responders via trained individuals in FEMA NIMS 100, 200 and 700 awareness courses. Ham operators should complete these courses to understand the hospital's place in the NIMS ICS.

    2 years ago
  6. In Oregon, almost all hospitals, county Emengency Operations Center (EOC/ECC) and many city governmetns are equiped with Amateur stations. The real need is for radio operators who are trained in emergency communications and are available to operate the stations. We also need to train the EOC staff on the capabilty and limitations of our emcom operations. As an ARES member and a hospital adminstrator directing the facility's Emergency Management Program, I have experienced the best and worst of such collaboration. We must also remember that the advantage of Amateur Radio lies in the it's absence of infrastructure. A operator, a radio, a power supply and an antenna. The reason other communication systems fail is the complex infrastructure developed to support public service, etc., communication networks. Amateur radio is 100% intraoperative- we can use the same frequencies, the same modes, etc. To maintain our efficacy as emergency communicators we must continue to focus on training and the stand alone station (which can use digital modes).

    2 years ago
  7. Let's not forget that one of the first reports from the region hit by the 2004 Indonesian earthquake & tsunami was also from a ham. Additionally, after the 2001 Seattle earthquake, amateur radio was critical in coordinating response between Canadian & U.S. Coast Guard vessel traffic systems after their primary coordination circuits were knocked out.

    2 years ago
  8. I just presented a program for the Health and Human Services Conference this year on this same subject at the invitation of KDEM. I must state for the record that in my state there has been way too much emphasis on the infastructure dependent systems such as the 800 MHz "INTEROPERABILITY" system [which really isn't], the use of Blackberries, cell phones, etc. and simply betting the farm on the twisted pair. It turns out that at virtually every disaster, flood, tornado, wind storm, ice storm, etc., it turns out that these overly expensive systems fail outright while the amateur radio systems [in the hands of trained and disciplined operators] works everytime...as advertised. Thankfully I work with an Emergency Manager who recognises the need for and value of amateur radio. As a CERT Trainer I require all students to take the Technician level ham class which we provide and offer them the General upgrade....as a result our operational CERT team is fully amateur radio qualified as well as being trained above the normal CERT program requirements. We also train our CERT personnel to be able to work seamlessly with our RACES teams, fire departments, law enforcement and EMS sections as well.

    2 years ago
  9. As the amateur radio lead for NYC during 9/11, our involvement was limited by what NYC OEM wanted us to do. The ICS/NIMS training after 9/11 has evolved into a useful series. All hams involved in EmComm services (even local independent groups) will garner a benefit from these courses. Combined with local public service/charity events and training drills, they can put into practice what they learned while being in a non-stressful situation as opposed to just jumping into the deep end of the pool when an emergency arises. That is what helped our members to be ready when 9/11 and the 2003 Northeast Blackout hit. Ten years of public service events in the 1990's was not a waste of time. I can be contacted at n2nov@nyc-arecs.org

    2 years ago
  10. I agree with n2nov. I worked with him in NYC after 9/11. Public service taught me a lot of skills I needed in NYC.

    2 years ago
  11. One of the Hams passing messages was from right here in Nixa,Mo. n0sap Dave He relayed a message from Pres.Bush to the Mayor of New Orleans during the intitial stages of Katrina. All other methods were failing at that time and again Ham Radio worked when other means didn't. The message was sent in Emergency Message Format and was done very quickly. The message was recieved in short order. And directives accomplished. Altho I understand the need for trained operators ( Which in all my posts I stress the need for training)and agree with that aspect wholly. I fail to see the resentment of few towards Amateur Radio. And the posts of a few to degrade it or make Amateur Radio Operators to be incompetent. There are bad characters in all fields. But all shouldn't be judged by the few exceptions. Anything that actually has a proven record of working shouldn't meet with such negativity. As stated above almost all the operators have alot of training and are professional in there operations. Another note in the Haiti Earthquake one of the only means of communications was with ham operators. Countless other disasters as mentioned above demonstrate the need for Amateur Radio

    2 years ago
  12. I would like to suggest that we form an amateur radio working group to discuss amateur radio related topics with out impdeing on the other topics/ issues

    2 years ago
    1. This could be valuable if we could eliminate all the self serving groups, any vendor, ARRL, W5YI, etc. from the mix because for most of the problems we need to solve there will always be the MONEY issue and these types of folks are always more interested in getting their hands on the bucks and the control that ensures than in solving our problems. I have been involved with way too many of these situations not to know this to be true. I am not downing those who are memebers of the ARRL,W5YI, etc., I belong to ARRL and have for many, many years...most of the memebers are great and caring people, but the corporate "they" are more interested in the bucks than serving the needs of the nation. That might explain why during Greensburg we couldn't get the famed GOKITS shipped to the area; and that isn't the only situation I could name.

      2 years ago
  13. I agree a section dedicated to this topic seems to be appropriate. I agree also with the vendor suggestion too. Good Ideas men. And after all this is about volunteering and helping people and developing new ideas to benefit emergencies and not making money. I'm all for the group.

    2 years ago
  14. Ham Radio works.....

    June 17th 2010 5:07pm(cst) an EF-4 tornado rips thru town.

    5:10pm people are slowly making their way out to access the damages.They are trying to call loved ones, no landline phone, the antenna for Verizon is destroyed, other systems are overloaded.

    Emergency personal are being mobilized. How ever they are having dificult times comunicating, do to a damaged tower at dispatch.

    Yet thru it all, one persons call is heard some 200 miles away at the NWS and by others. It's a ham radio operator.

    The following week after the tornado ham's are called in to assist in communications, along side emergency personal from all over the state. Todd County, had brought in their trailor and EM (who is also a ham).

    He sends one guy out with a crew from the DNR, some 15 miles away. Countless times the DNR guys with radios that cost 5 times what this hams radio does asks him to relay a message back to EOC, cause they can't reach them with their equipment.

    Lesson learned.... Ham radio plays an important role in emergency communications. Just ask the Wadena County EM.

    2 years ago
  15. RADIO AMATEUR CIVIL EMERGENCY SERVICE

    Careful attention needs to be given to this aspect of interoperable communications systems.

    90 percent of all high-risk urban areas designated within the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) should be able to demonstrate response-level emergency communications3 within one hour for routine events involving multiple jurisdictions and agencies. 75 percent of non-UASI jurisdictions should be able to demonstrate response-level emergency communications within one hour for routine events involving multiple jurisdictions and agencies. By 2013, 75 percent of all jurisdictions are able to demonstrate response-level emergency communications within three hours, in the event of a significant incident as outlined in national planning scenarios. Communications operability is a critical building block for interoperability; emergency response officials must first establish reliable communications within their own agency before they can interoperate with neighboring jurisdictions and other agencies.

    Amateur Radio stations should be in all hospitals, police stations and fire departments, and emergency shelters. While DHS acknowledges that the Nation does not have unlimited resources to address deficiencies in emergency communications, some might question whether the AMATEUR RADIO community may be capable of demonstrating the ability to satisfy these goals today. Chances are a combination Of MARS, ARRL/ARES, RACES, SATERN, and the National Communications System Shared Resources High Frequency Radio Program (SHARES) could validate this in a National Level Exercise.

    2 years ago
  16. Agreed: In most hopsitals ham radio is addressed in the Emergency Operations Plan. Under the Health Resources and Services Adminsitartion (HRSA, part of DHHS)) all hospitals must implement the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS). HRSA also requires that the hospital EOP demonstrates integration with first responders via trained individuals in FEMA NIMS 100, 200 and 700 awareness courses. Ham operators should complete these courses to understand the hospital's place in the NIMS ICS.In order for a common operating system to exist, equipment, communications and data interoperability must be standardized and understood by all.

    Hospitals and healthcare systems should be able to directly communicate with each other via phone, computer,and/or radio. An event may disable one or more communication methods, resulting in limited communication resources. The coordination and usage of common equipment and data sources allows for communications to still function when infrastructure (i.e.phone lines, computer lines) has been impacted.Information technology, phone, and radio communications allow for information to be relayed and coordinated in real-time.To the extent possible, hospital and healthcare systems should work to establish common equipment, communications, and data interoperability resources with other local hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), public health, and emergency management that will be used during incident response.Hospitals and healthcare systems should participate in local, regional, and/or state multidiscipline and multi-agency exercises twice per year to every 2 years (dependent on the type of drill or exercise to be held). Exercise activities should address internal and external communications, receiving, triage, treatment, and transfer of mass causalities, progression of causalities through the hospital system, resource management, security procedures, specialty lab testing, and/or site/facility safety. Exercises can be conducted through drills, tabletop, functional, and/or full-scale exercises.It is strongly encouraged that personnel conducting drills or helping to plan exercises should have the experience and documented training to facilitate these events. Such exercise design and evaluation training is available from federal and state emergency management agencies. Additionally, a system to provide a critical evaluation process for use in every exercise, drill and actual event in which the hospital or healthcare system would participate is strongly encouraged.

    2 years ago
  17. I agree with kd0jzi. One guy out with a crew from the DNR, some 15 miles away. Countless times the DNR guys with radios that cost 5 times what this hams radio does asks him to relay a message back to EOC, cause they can't reach them with their equipment.Lesson learned.... Ham radio plays an predominate role in disaster communications.

    2 years ago
    1. The DNR guy receives federal money for communications equipment(and overtime in federal disasters) Until functionality is placed over the bucks these practices will continue.

      2 years ago
  18. And yet, despite the fact that we are all volunteers, unpaid, uncompensated for our services, we are quite often ignored or demeaned by elected officials...until they need us. Then we are the greatest thing since sliced bread, until they are finished with us and then we are right back to being the 'red headed step child'.

    2 years ago
  19. kc0nyk makes a valid point as to what has or is happening in a number of volunteer venues out there. FEMA INDEPENDENT STUDY courses IS-244 and IS-288 cover the pros and cons on utilization of volunteer workforces in disaster management. Today it is not about elected vs. non-elected compensated in relation to the non-compensated volunteer but all about capabilities and resource management. To achieve our goal under Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management of Principles, Themes, and Pathways for Action others must consider that volunteers can be equally trained and qualified and may round-out the required strength level for an incident.Team-Building,

    respect and recognition are but a few of the formulas to create, maintain, and develope a robust organization. Ignoring, demeaning, and disrespecting volunteers will eventually result in the organization having the few personnel resources that were authorized by a financial appropriation by the elected few. Under Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management and EMPG the winds are shifting. Just be patient.

    2 years ago
  20. What we learn from history... we must rely on HAM radio operators. We must assume that all communications are down folks, as we have seen in past situations. Do we have to reeducate everyone here? Set up sectors/regions/zones and "certify" & "designate." Debating this issue is dumb, as HAM's are necessary. Give the volunteers a tax credit if you can't pay them, compensate them minimally and they will be there. Set up a buddy system, where 1 operator designates a buddy to teach during "certification." U double your personnel, which is necessary in disasters due to fatalities. Locations are just details as to where equip. should be. Just get it done, these things should already be done.

    Skytyper1@gmail.com

    2 years ago
    1. Haiti had cellular SMS in 24 hours, amateur comm was, well, non-existent to any recognizable extent until later. For the large majority of disasters (garden variety and even major incidents) there will be a working communications infrastructure. Your job may be to fill the gaps or relieve the strain. That sector/zone or region may be lonely with no one to talk to..... it is what it is.

      2 years ago
  21. What we do learn from history, practce, and 'Lessons-Learned' is that 'HAM RADIO; operators are not to be compensated/renumerated directly or indirectly. Tax-Credits are not the prudent order of business and should be discouraged. Do we now here that the motivation to act shouls be premised on an economic consideration ? Double the personnel ? At the least, the formula should be, at the least, three deep. A greater quanity of 'NIMS-Qualified' personnel is prudent. Locations are just details as to where equip. should be ? Please direct your attention to estabilished methods, procedures, standards and practices. Communications are to be estabilished at both primary and 'Alternate' facilities. Accordingly, training,equiping,certification,exercising,qualification,and credentialing is estabilished to assure personnel meet the core-competencies for personnel to be credentialed so they can serve in NIMS-defined positions on a complex multi-jurisdictional incident (incidents that require responders to hold credentials under the National Emergency Responder Credentialing System), a stakeholder’s credentialing system must meet the minimum personnel-qualification guidelines specified by the NIC.Be there because your dedicated to

    the preservation of life,protection of property and infrustructure,and protection of your community, not because your motivated by economic concerns. Training and exercises play a vital role in preparedness, readiness, and proficiency in accessing and using communications capabilities during emergency events. Preparedness is essential to ensuring that interoperable emergency communications equipment is well maintained, operational, and ready for deployment. Achieving appropriate levels of readiness and proficiency ensures that personnel can deploy, set up, and use equipment effectively, both on their own and in conjunction with other emergency responders. Many State and local agencies have adopted NIMS training requirements, which are measured by Federal standards (e.g.,2011 NIMS Training Plan). Some emergency response agencies have not yet received NIMS training or have not adopted NIMS policies.

    2 years ago
  22. In our group, CERT and RACES are intermingled by design. It is incumbent on our members who wish to be deployable that they not only complete the RACES and CERT training programs in classroom, but that they also must be fully qualified on IS 100, 200, 700, 800, 144, and on and on...about 42 classes in all including the COMET 271 2nd edition. We also require them to complete SKYWARN and STORMWATCH training every year as well. Our courses put our folks into a category somewhat above the normal CERT/RACES team and we like it that way. Rather than waste precious resources with those who will not commit to the full course, we offer short classes on first aid, community preparedness, etc., presented quite often by team members as a part of a larger exercise and during public awareness sessions which we hold in various places. It is interesting to see the way the community grasps the information until we have to deploy a team for real to serve the needs and then we see an upsurge in information requests.

    As for providing us with payment; that is a violation of federal statute. The State Adjutant General's KANG has told us that pure volunteers will be covered under the state work comp statutes should be we injured while in service to government. We are trying to get that codified on a local level and are meeting with some stiff resistance from the entrenched volunteer FIRST RESPONDERS who seem to feel that we are training to replace them [their paranoia knows no bounds] which is far from the case.

    It seems that it will take a HS or FEMA edict to clarify this situation, but to date the several hundred pages on the subject simply talk around the issue as it were.

    But, when needed, the teams are there...the untrained and uncertified hams are asked to stand down from the airways and things get done effectively.

    2 years ago
  23. Meeting with some stiff resistance from the entrenched volunteer FIRST RESPONDERS who seem to feel that we are training to replace them [their paranoia knows no bounds] which is far from the case ?

    THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THIS ITEM TO OUR ATTENTION. SPECIFICLY LET US DEBUNK THIS PARANOIA AND FALSE NOTION OF THEIRS NOW:

    The specifics for the reasons both paid and volunteer/s train, exercise, qualify, and credential under SEMS/NIMS/ICS are;

    1) Incident experience must supplement training for a candidate to meet minimum expectations to qualify for service in an all-hazards NIMS position during a complex multi-jurisdictional incident nationwide (incidents that require responders to hold credentials under the National Emergency Responder Credentialing System).,

    2) Under trained or untrained deployment may expose both the individual or aency to 'VICARIOUS-LIABILITY' .,

    3) It is a necessary requirement to train both paid and volunteer NIMS PERSONNEL RESOURCEs (individual/team/crew) to TIER-1 PERSONNEL RESOURCE STANDARD (COMMUNICATION) if that

    agency intends to provide personnel resources to the STATE for inclusion on the EMAC (EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT) RESOURCE INVENTORY LIST.

    4) A continuous flow of critical information is maintained as needed among multi-jurisdictional and multidisciplinary emergency responders, command posts, agencies, and the governmental officials for the

    duration of the emergency response operation in compliance with National Incident Management System (NIMS). In order to accomplish that, the jurisdiction has a continuity of operations plan for public safety communications including the consideration of critical components, networks, support systems, personnel, and an appropriate level of redundant communications systems in the event of an emergency. (SEE: Continuity Guidance Circular 1 (CGC 1), Continuity Guidance for Non-Federal Entities , ANNEX G and ANNEX-H)

    5) The quanity of Paid personnel is limited by a jurisdiction's authorization and budget. The potential Quanity of a volunteer work force is not constrained by a jurisdiction's authorization and budget. To that extent we can get what we need, where we need it, and when we need it.

    To ensure that stakeholders implement NIMS, the NIC evaluates implementation using NIMS Compliance Objectives (requirements). These compliance objectives are regulated at the organizational or jurisdictional level, and Federal policy requires jurisdictions and organizations to meet NIMS compliance requirements as a condition for receiving Federal preparedness assistance (through grants, contracts, and other activities)

    . The NIMS compliance objectives for training typically require that stakeholders are providing their personnel with appropriate NIMS training.

    2 years ago
  24. There are provisions under the rules for amateur radio operator to be compensated financially under limited specific circumstances. Look under RACES operations.

    I do not favor placing expensive equipment in locations without a permanent continuous operating cadre. ARES news letter has address this in past issues. Dual band antennas and quality cable provide the best bang for the buck and have no operating curve.

    Integrate your operational profile to include social media. Skywarn in southern NE uses Twitter and is vastly superior to phone call downs.

    Echolink and IRLP our own VoIP systems is a force multiplier with many underutilized resources.

    Public Safety, try Police first especially in small communities as situational reporting is part of there normal routine and may be most familiar with technologies.

    Do more than have an MOU, Understand supported agency Communication needs.

    Lastly, remember that the fate of the nation is not dependent upon amateur radio operators. On that note this nation can ill afford to lose a vital asset.

    2 years ago
  25. WC4RAV HAS MOVED: That we form an amateur radio working group to discuss amateur radio related topics with out impdeing on the other topics/ issues.

    I SECOND THE MOTION: I move that we form an amateur radio working group to discuss amateur radio related topics with out impdeing on the other topics/ issues.

    COMMENT: Focus should be to NRF/NIMS/ICS/COOP{ANNEX-H} convention,policies,practices,methods and proceadures based on LESSONS-LEARNED and BEST-PRACTICES relating to reduction or elimination of identified constraints and impediments of education, equipment, and exercise.

    OBJECTIVE-1: Agencies must be operable,meaning they must have sufficient wireless communications to meet their everyday internal and emergency communication requirements before they place value on being interoperable, i.e., able to work with other agencies.

    OBJECTIVE-2: Communications interoperability is the ability of public safety agencies (police, fire, EMS) and service agencies (public works, transportation, hospitals, etc.) to talk within and across agencies and jurisdictions via radio and associated communications systems, exchanging voice, data and/or video with one another on demand, in real time, when needed, and when authorized.Implement minimum communications requirements for its primary facilities and its alternate and other continuity facilities, as appropriate, which support the continuation of that organization’s essential business functions.

    Possess interoperable and available communications capabilities in sufficient quantity and mode/media, and that are commensurate with that organization’s responsibilities during conditions of an emergency / disaster.

    QUESTION: Should we dwell on topics of suggestions of equipment and methods that at best can only be applied to TYPE-4/5 incidents and have not been included on the authorized standards list or should our focus be on TYPE-1/2/3 applications and/or solutions ? It is doubtful that our subjects could be impdeing on the other topics/ issues since the COMMON TARGET CAPABILITIES are Planning, Communications ,Risk Management ,Community Preparedness And Participation, Intelligence and Information Sharing and Dissemination. A combination Of MARS, ARRL/ARES, RACES, SATERN, and the National Communications System Shared Resources High Frequency Radio Program (SHARES) could validate this in a National Level Exercise.

    2 years ago
  26. Yes, there was limited cell service in Hati within about 24 hours...but, I and other hams were talking with Hati in the first two hours afer the event. Nothing against the infastructure based communications, exept that it doesn't always work as it should. Proven time and time again...WHEN IT HAS TO WORK THE FIRST TIME EVERYTIME..HAM RADIO WORKS.

    2 years ago
    1. My comments are not that amateur radio doesn't work but how can it work best.

      2 years ago
  27. This is not a single issue, RACES should be in each public agency. It should be the alternative emergency interoperable communications. It should be on a compatable

    COMMUNICATIONS PLAN (FORM: ICS-205). Things work best when

    we are all on the same page (ICS-205) aside from differences between agencies on the PSRS licenses and agreements.

    2 years ago
  28. Yes, there are provisions under the rules for amateur radio operator to be compensated financially under limited specific circumstances. Look under RACES operations. However, we need to stay true to our history and stay away from accepting compensastion. Our very strength is being able to work without compensastion and the public can depend on us to be there consistantly.

    AGREED: do not favor placing expensive equipment in locations without a permanent continuous operating cadre. ARES news letter has address this in past issues. Dual band antennas and quality cable provide the best bang for the buck and have no operating curve.

    AGREED: Do more than have an MOU, Understand supported agency Communication needs.

    2 years ago
  29. My jurisdiction (~1M people) already has amateur radio in our hospitals, staffed by trained members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. Our local healthcare coalition participates and ARES members are actively involved in all full scale exercises. ARES members also report to the EOC when we are activated to man the amateur radios.

    Fire and Police stations are already equipped.

    1 year ago
  30. In West Virginia, there is no plans in place to include Amateur Radio since Gov. John Rockerfeller was in office. We had a snow disaster in 1977. During that event ham radio was used a lot but since then, in their SOP amateur radio was taken out! Their thinking is that "We have the trunked state wide system. We don't need Amateur Radio ever."

    The same attitude is in every county. Here, in Raleigh County, there has never been any training, SET, or any e-comm training involving Amateur Radio.

    We use to have ALERT (Affiliated League of Emergency Radio Teams)in the 60s and the 70s. That organization was forced to disban in 1980 when the new govenor took over.

    Here, in West Virginia, the State EOC/OES, NWS, each county EOC, and towns has adopted this system called CERT which is nothing more that the same lazy LEPC people.

    No training! No call up! Nothing.

    Now Obama has written and signed that ALL communications is under his jurisdiction! Like with my gun, the only way he'll get my ham radio is to kill me.

    1 year ago
    1. you are not going to like my reply, but here goes. 1. stop whinning and then get with your other ham operators and form a team. 2. Everyone take the CERT training course and if you need help with the correct sylabus contact me directly...I am in the database...kc0nyk.

      3. Once you have your teams trained, certified by FEMA/U [you have absolutely no requirement to get permission from the "lazy local LEPC people" as you call them, then make an appointment to get in front of your county commission and present them with a consice briefing on the capabily of your group. Make damned sure that you really want to be involved because becoming a part of the system will reguire a lot of training, great amounts of discipline on your part and a willingness to become a part of the whole. FEMA and HS have amateur radio listed in their protocols for communications. Forget about the 60's...those days took a hike just after 9/11. As for your last comment...hating Obama won't do a bit of good...btw, HS PD5& HSPD 8 were signed into law long before Obama came along. Also, you need to sit down and READ and UNDERSTAND the Communications Act of 1934 [US Title 18 as annoted] and you will find that the WAR POWERS ACT has always covered the control of all communications. Also, for your own good, take that damned chip off your shoulder it does no one any good.

      1 year ago
  31. NIMS represents a core set of doctrines, concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes that enables effective, efficient, and collaborative incident management. NIMS defines the preparedness cycle as “planning, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking action to correct and mitigate.” Exercises play an important role in this broad preparedness cycle. Plans, training, and equipment, and the capabilities they represent, are validated through exercises.

    1) Training recommendations are now based upon the level of an incident’s complexity (Complexity Guide found on pages 16-17 of the NIMS Training Program) that a person may become involved in, from Type 1 to Type 5.

    2)The implementation of NIMS consists of much more than just completing the training courses. It also includes the adoption and use of the Incident Command System (ICS), a plain language requirement, the inventorying and typing of resources, and more. Your organization should coordinate its NIMS implementation efforts with the local and state emergency management agencies.

    3) A capability is provided with proper planning, organization, training, equipment, and exercises. The

    capability elements define the resources needed to perform the critical tasks to the specified levels of

    performance, with the recognition that there is rarely a single combination of capability elements that

    must be used to achieve a capability.

    4) The Plan considers qualified personnel to be more than simply the sum of their training, and developing minimum expectations for functional qualification of personnel is an important part of the National Training Program for NIMS. Incident experience must supplement training for a candidate to meet minimum expectations to qualify for service in an all-hazards NIMS position during a complex multi-jurisdictional incident nationwide (incidents that require responders to hold credentials under the National Emergency Responder Credentialing System).

    5)Performance measures are quantitative or qualitative levels against which achievement of a task or capability outcome can be assessed. They describe how much, how well, or how quickly an action should be performed and are typically expressed in ways that can be observed during an exercise or real event.

    6)Organizations should consider the complexity of incidents that their jurisdictions are most likely to face and tailor the NIMS training for their personnel to meet those needs.

    7)Communications interoperability is the ability of public safety agencies (police, fire, EMS) and service

    agencies (public works, transportation, hospitals, etc.) to talk within and across agencies and jurisdictions via radio and associated communications systems, exchanging voice, data and/or video with one another on demand, in real time, when needed, and when authorized. It is essential that public safety has the intraagency operability it needs, and that it builds its systems toward interoperability.

    It is not just satisfactory to equip a facility but necessary to validate the interoperability with multi-jurisdictions/agencies and to insure 'agreements' are in place.

    SUGGESTION: The hospital organization should support the claim to 'CAPABILITY' with a 'HSEEP-COMPLIANT' AAR/IP that validates COMMON OPERATING PICTURE, INTEROPERABILITY, RESILIENCY AND REDUNDANCY, RELIABILITY, SCALABILITY, AND PORTABILITY utilizing local, regional, national, and international communications.

    1 year ago
  32. Volunteer emergency communications operators/groups, using Amateur Radio, have been providing backup communications to public safety for over 100 years. They are used by event planners, public safety officials, and emergency managers at all levels of government. Often, Amateur Radio services have been used reliably when other forms of communications have failed or have been disrupted. Today nearly all states/territories have incorporated some level of participation by Amateur Radio auxiliary communication operators into their SCIPs. Advance planning is required to ensure that an appropriate communications system is available to support incident operations requirements. This planning includes the development of frequency inventories, frequency-use agreements, and interagency radio caches. The Communications Unit is responsible for effective incident communications planning, especially in the context of a multiagency incident. All communications between organizational elements during an incident should be in plain language (clear text) to ensure that information dissemination is clear and understood by all intended recipients. Planning is critical for determining required radio nets, establishing interagency frequency assignments, and ensuring the interoperability and the optimal use of all assigned communications capabilities.

    1 year ago
  33. Walter Cronkite stated it best; "There nothing Amateur about Amateur Radio. They are true professionals. No one compares to them."

    I agree about Amateur Radio beining involved in Emergency/Disaster Communications but NOT as back up, but as fore front!!!

    We are setting up an emergency network in the sourthern West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky and southern Western Virginia to facilitate communications throughout the Coal Fields. This is not to take over ARES but to enhanse it by facilitating direct communications in/out the area.

    The Coal Fields are very prong to flooding because of strip mining and etc.

    Also, the VFDs are forced into using digital communications on 450-500 Mcs bands which plainly... don't work!

    With the plan being composed, all of this area will be covered via, ... yep,... you guessed it... Amateur Radio and all those professionals, called amateurs, are on the leading edge of emergency communications.

    Without Amateur Radio, all other forms of communications would have never been developed.

    Amateur Radio lead all communications technological upgrading from it's conception. Including cell phones!

    From my living room, I can communicate via satellite using my 5 watt hand held, or via the same radio, I can communicate via a stable repeater over 100 miles.

    From a 2.5 watt hand held, I communicated to the space shuttle in 1995.

    Can you do that on public service frequencies? ... Nope!

    Can you go from basically scratchbuild a radio and communicate? Hams can! They know how to do and get done and communicate where it will take an act of congress on public service services a month of Sundays. Which an on going disaster won't wait. Hams are tested and licensed way beyond any commercial testing could ever come close. I've taken both and amateur tests are harder by far.

    Again, We are not a back up, we are are the path makers!

    --... ...--

    1 year ago
  34. I would recommend that you guys form a RACES team to meet true emergency needs, thru the Emergency Communications Office at your State Division of Emergency Management. This type of unit, RACES, has a better reputation within the FEMA/HS community because of the extensive training that all volunteers must undergo to become a part of a unit as well as the ongoing training we must maintain each year. If I can be of any assistance, feel free to contact me directly at kc0nyk@gmail.com ...Jim Tuggle COM-L KS RACES Working Group

    1 year ago

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