I agree to Idea CERT needs its own radio frequency
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I disagree to Idea CERT needs its own radio frequency

Rank1524

Idea#942

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Communications »

CERT needs its own radio frequency

CERT teams all over the country use FRS, GMRS or whatever free radios they can find on the market. besides the limited range, everybody can use these kind of radios, so in a disaster every neighbor or even kids can play with these radios and make it impossible for a CERT team to use them and help saving lives. So CERT needs a nation frequency pair, so they can put up their own repeaters and can get radios that will not interfere with any free service. Something that is not use by other agencies as well, so they can't get pushed off when this agency has a new need.

Submitted by 2 years ago

Comments (35)

  1. as i do agree we need our own frequency's i believe it is up to each EOC to do that not FEMA it would be nice if they gave cert the radio waves for free as far as fmrs and grms they don't as said above so my vote is no

    2 years ago
  2. Community Member Idea Submitter

    John, we need it, but we don't need it? This is your answer?

    GMRS is actually not free, you need a license for it. As far as I know, every CERT Team that uses GMRS is doing this illegally. Every GMRS user has to get a license for $85, as you may know. Non individuals can't get a license so every CERT member needs it's own.

    CERT will never be as usable as for example Red Cross teams, as the interoperability between different CERT groups is not there.

    Two common used frequencies would fix this problem nationwide, so we could get one communication plan for all CERT teas for a few Dollars.

    Or we just see how many CERT teams use illegal radios without a license.

    2 years ago
    1. You must be talking about a different kind of CERT than I have been involved with training here. The concept of CERT is to have trained individuals in the community when a disaster occurs in order to begin rescue and damage control in the period before Fire & Rescue, regional disaster management resources, State Emergency Management, National Guard, Interstate Emergency Management Compact resources, and FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Teams can be mobilized and operating. There already are FCC assigned frequencies for Search & Rescue. It is up to localities and States to acquire the equipment needed for putting the assigned frequencies to work in the local area. It really does not matter what frequencies are available if the localities do not have the money to buy the radios to use the available frequencies.

      --

      Tom

      1 year ago
  3. First of all, CERT teams are trained as licensed amateur radio operators in our system. Just a matter of putting the requirement into your SOP and enforcing it. As ham operators the CERT member can operate a wide spectrum of frequencies. Our team is cross decked with our RACES team which allows us great flexibility. We have had little issue with anyone who comes to take our course objecting to taking the radio training which we offer as a part of the course. Those who do not complete the radio requirement are not certified as operational with our team and not badged. Our credentialing system mirrors the KS RACES system. Any questions, feel free to contact me directly.

    2 years ago
    1. CERT has so little need for radio communications that a universal requirement that all CERT members become licensed amateur radio operators is not well thought out.

      1 year ago
  4. in an emergency you want as many agencies to be able to communicate as possible. literally speacking the ship is sinking you need all hands on deck.

    2 years ago
    1. This is not an issue. I can put a competent operator, with equipment into any command center with minimal fuss.

      1 year ago
  5. Literally speacking the ship is sinking if your CERT-TEAMS are using FRS and GMRS or a sigle simplex frequency or single repeater pair of frequencies. This departs from the 'STANDARD' of COMMON OPERATING PICTURE, INTEROPERABILITY, RELIABILITY, SCALABILITY, AND PORTABILITY, RESILIENCY AND REDUNDANCY. Emergency communications are not viewed as a priority by many agencies; thus, resources are not allocated for participation in planning activities.Some emergency response agencies have not yet received NIMS training or have not adopted NIMS policies. Many jurisdictions still pursue a short-term, technology-centric approach to solving emergency communications problems, but without addressing comprehensive planning for the equally important governance mechanisms, SOPs, and regular training and exercises.

    SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS: Develop and implement national training programs and certification processes. Develop and inject standardized emergency communications performance objectives and evaluation criteria into operational exercises. Expand the use of public and private sector partnerships related to emergency communications.

    2 years ago
    1. The inherent concept of CERT denies the very notion of "common operating picture" -- because CERT teams are intended to function only in the first minutes/hours of a disaster while professional first responders are overwhelmed or unavailable.

      A CERT team's "operational picture" is literally what they physically see in front of their own eyes. They don't know (and should not care) what is happening on the next street, much less in the next jurisdiction.

      1 year ago
  6. I have to agree with kc0nyk. For complete comms, getting your amatuer Technicians license is the best way to go. 2m/70cm bands are the most widely used in our area, and many of our CERT member are also ARES members. We also use FRS for team work. We have designated frequencies by the county, and there are a lot of channels available if the specified channels are blocked by blockheads. We have enough problems with crowding in the airways today. I don't believe that the FCC would be willing to provide an additional proprietary set of frequencies.

    2 years ago
    1. keep in mind that you don't have to use FM repeaters with 2m/70cm and with the amateur's licensed power levels we are generally more able to communicate than most public service agencies. Simplex operations are always availble and effective. If range is an issue, then set up relay operators to extend the range during an emergency

      1 year ago
  7. Many CERT teams are setup and operating on Amateur Radio and they are not in compliance if they are intending this to be their primary communications means. Because CERT is a service of the Government they are only allowed Amateur Radio as backup links. Primary must be through public safety or business band licenses.

    2 years ago
    1. CERT members are volunteers not emplyees.

      2 years ago
    2. CERT members are considered non-paid employees of the govt agency they represent. This is how they have workmans comp coverage.

      2 years ago
    3. ryan.kelzenberg

      Would you mind sharing with the rest of us what language in part 97 of the FCC Rules and Regulations forbids a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) from using amateur radio as it's communications pathway during drills exercises or actual call outs.

      --

      Tom Horne

      1 year ago
    4. Ryan, I am still waiting for that legal quote! As long as the operators are licensed by the FCC, they are legal. Also, CERT is not a governmental agency....RACES is a governmental agency when they are activated.

      1 year ago
  8. "Many CERT teams are setup and operating on Amateur Radio and they are not in compliance if they are intending this to be their primary communications means. Because CERT is a service of the Government they are only allowed Amateur Radio as backup links. Primary must be through public safety or business band licenses."

    There are several CERT Team members that are Licensed HAM or Amateur Radio Operators, and are a valuable asset in Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery. They were used in NE and NYC during and after efforts at the WTC on 9/11. As far as having thier own frequency, i completely disagree. How would this benefit the FIOP (Federal Interagency Operability Plan)? When communications is coordinated through local/state/federal emergency management and local/regional IMT Teams, there is simply no need, and would add confusion on incidents.

    2 years ago
    1. Nick, the simple solution is to license, if not all, then a great percentage of your CERT members who can then operate the radio gear

      1 year ago
  9. ADDRESING confusion on incidents. Let there be no confusion on this coordination issue. There is to be a ICS 205 used to provide information on all radio frequency assignments down to the Division/Group level.The Communications Unit is responsible for planning the use of radio frequencies; establishing networks for command, tactical, support, and air units; setting up on-scene telephone and public address equipment; and providing any required off-incident communication links. The Communications Unit develops the Communications Plan (ICS 205), to make the most effective use of the communications equipment and facilities assigned to the incident. Incident communications are managed through the use of an incident Communications Plan and a communications center established solely for the use of tactical and support resources assigned to the incident. 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 Leader should attend all incident Planning Meetings to ensure that the communication systems available for the incident can support tactical operations planned for the next operational period.

    2 years ago
  10. AGREEMENT: CERT-TEAMS should be trained in AMATEUR RADIO operation. PSRS equipment is limited in cashes and should be available to law enforcement and fire personnel on priority allocation. Replacement units also need to be available to those personnel also. Having designated CERT,RACES,ARES,ARS frequencies is key to having all groups on board. However, this must be estabilished on a pre-existing ICS-205 (COMMUNICATIONS PLAN) as well as ICS-216 and ICS-217 documents along with expansion frequencies. Hence, jhillendahl is right on track.

    DISAGREEMENT: CERT does not needs it own radio frequency since this would tend to limit and overcrowd just one frequency and exclude the aspect of required interoperability with other groups, jurisdictions, and agencies utilizing combined CERT-TEAMS and groups. Additionally, while FRS/GMRS/2-METER operation is fine in common events it is not dependable/reliable during TYPE-1,2, or 3 conditions because of tower damage and loss of repeaters. Path-Loss and transmission obstruction do to terrain features become major obsticles in those 'SIMPLEX' applications. Accordingly,CERT,RACES,ARES,ARS groups should be trained and qualified to 'GENERAL-CLASS' operator licensing and/or above. EOC/ECC equipment should not be limited to 2-METER,70-CM, or FRS/GMRS.

    2 years ago
  11. ryan.kelzenberg how about giving Community Member a qualified response? I'm confident all of the participants are waithing for this profound response.

    1 year ago
  12. Ok all so how do we solve the problem? The think tank is a way to make suggestions on how to fix the problem. It’s been proven that Frs/gmrs don’t work and that is proven.

    If we can’t get the Fcc to give us bandwidth then we need to get a better plan. Here are the suggestions I’ve seen.

    mjcyranwd6alm

    SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS: Develop and implement national training programs and certification processes. Develop and inject standardized emergency communications performance objectives and evaluation criteria into operational exercises. Expand the use of public and private sector partnerships related to emergency communications.

    Using ics 205 216 and 217 is a great idea and bring ARES in to help develop a national plan. using 700 and 800 megahertz radios work as long as the trunk lines are not damaged

    Let use this form to develop a plan we all can work with.

    1 year ago
  13. johnsstchitch, I disagreed with you on your last post, but not completely. I think that everyone is missing the point here. CERT is not a governmental agency; nor does it need a gifted set of frequencies and caches of radios to operate effectively. The simple solution is that the CERT leadership needs to bite the bullet and put the requirement in that all operational CERT team members must be amateur radio licensed!

    When we began as the training coordinator for the Montgomery County, KS, CERT, we put in a much more rigid set of training requirements than that of the basic CERT sylabus. The first thing off the bat was the comment by the naysayers.."you'll never get any volunteers to take this much training". The previous coordinator had trained a total of 3 in two years; and had 6 more partially qualified people wandering around claiming to be CERT qualified. We invited all of them in for a meeting...5 showed up, three passed a basic test and then we offered them all the opportunity to retake the training. Two did...and are now fully qualified. Then we began to seriously train. We trained over 40 in the first 12 months of which 23 are currently fully qualified and 10 more are in the process of finishing up full qualification. We adopted a graded credentialing system which allows any EM to whom we might deploy a team to instantly know what and whom he is getting in terms of background and training.So, back to the issue at hand: SUGGESTED SOLUTION: Develop your teams along the lines of the ICS system...make sure that all are compentent and train them and yourself some more. FORGET about the wonderful 700 and 800 mHz systems which require a ton of infastructure to operate besides being prohibitively expensive; and forget about the ARES groups unless they are willing to meet all the training requirements. Keep in mind that ARES is a trademark of the ARRL which makes training sort of a "if you feel like it" type of thing in most cases. Stick to your RACES teams who are ham operators who have been fully vetted, trained and are highly experienced operators. By using ham radio you then are able to have true interoperability with any jurisdiction anywhere. Most state RACES teams are now reworking their requiements and standards to incorporate these reqirements. When you follow the lead we put out, cross qualifiying our CERT and RACES members you get teams who are able to communicate for you and require much less upkeep in the field.

    Now, let's get off the vendor driven systems and go to the simpler more effective methods which don't stress our diminishing budgets to the point of no return.

    1 year ago
  14. Works for me ! Possibly, another one of our participants should enroll in the DHS/OEC AUXILARY COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP.

    1 year ago
    1. where can I find it? kc0nyk@gmail.com

      1 year ago
  15. SECOND THE MOTION OF kc0nyk: The categories for each level of training have been simplified from those that were in the Five-Year NIMS Training Plan. 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. 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.

    TRAINERS TAKE NOTE: Personnel are defined as Paid and volunteer staff who meet required qualification and certification standards necessary to perform assigned missions and tasks. All-Hazard Position-specific Train-the-Trainer: The intent of All-Hazard Position-Specific Train-the-Trainer Training program is to develop a cadre of qualified trainers that can cultivate a competent pool of personnel to fill the eight Command and General Staff positions and select unit leader positions. The competencies in this train-the-trainer program (and future position-specific) training focus on the ability of the student to assume the position responsibilities, lead assigned personnel, communicate effectively, and to ensure the completion of assigned tasks to meet identified objectives for the position. Personnel Qualifications is a term used to denote incidents that require responders to hold credentials under the National Credentialing Program.

    COMMENT: The specific CERT organizational structure and protocols provide: A well-defined management structure (e.g., leadership, functional areas, reporting chain, working in teams),A manageable span of control that provides for a desirable rescuer-to-supervisor ratio of between three and seven rescuers per supervisor, Common terminology that contributes to effective communication and shared understanding, Effective communication among team members and with professional responders, including the use of radios. The Incident Command System (ICS) is the system used by emergency response agencies to manage emergency operations. When CERTs activate, they become part of that system. Although there are a number of detailed responsibilities under each ICS function, the system itself is straightforward. CERTs will typically require the Operations, Planning, and Logistics functions. The CERT Incident Commander/Team Leader (IC/TL) is responsible for handling or delegating each function. Effective CERT operations, like all aspects of emergency response, rely on effective communication.CERT organization is based on the Incident Command System (ICS), which is a proven management system used by emergency responders.

    NO EXEMTIONS: There are a number of detailed responsibilities under each ICS function and all are effected by the ‘COMMON CAPABILITIES’ of Planning, Communications, Risk Management, Community Preparedness And Participation, Intelligence and Information Sharing and Dissemination. 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. A capability is provided with proper planning, organization, training, equipment, and exercises. Unique ICS position title and organizational structures are used. There is no correlation with the administrative structure of any other agency or jurisdiction. This organization’s uniqueness helps to avoid confusion over different position titles and organizational structures. Rank may change. Someone who serves as a chief every day may not hold that title when deployed under an ICS structure. ICS positions depend on a combination of training and experience.

    SUGGESTION: One shoe does not fit all. Training, certification, qualifications, and credentialing requirements are different depending upon position or potential position and differ for each based upon incident type. Most qualified trainers require Instructor Techniques Courses, Adult Education Methodology Courses, and positional experience in addition to awareness, advanced, and “Practicum” training. Whether paid or volunteer these personnel should be utilized, in-house, to deliver ongoing continual train to leverage economic resources to obtain durable material resources. Stick to your RACES teams who are ham operators who have been fully vetted, trained and are highly experienced operators. By using ham radio you then are able to have true interoperability with any jurisdiction anywhere. Most state RACES teams are now reworking their requirements and standards to incorporate these requirements.

    INTEROPERABLE COMMUNICATIONS DEFINED: 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.

    1 year ago
  16. Just one other thought about these units who are using FRS and GMRS radios...when a HSPD 5 or 8 is declared they all go off the air..the only thing left on will be ham radio and then ONLY RACES teams! Hmmmmmmm?

    1 year ago
  17. ANSWER TO kc0nyk: DHS/OEC AUXILARY COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP.

    https://www.preparingnewmexico.org/ViewCourse.aspx?courseid=06ed6590-c8c8-4777-90a3-1b64cfe620de

    Course Description:SPCL-AUXCOMM:Auxiliary Communications Workshop This workshop is designed for the amateur radio/auxiliary communicator or group who provides emergency communications backup support for planned or unplanned events at a State/Territory, Tribal, regional, or local level. This offering is designed for amateur radio operators/organizations who work with public safety and cross-disiplinary emergency response profressionald and coordination/support personnel with an amateur radio background.The course focuses on educating attendees about auxiliary communications interoperability, emergency operations center etiquette, on-the-air etiquette, FCC rules and regulations, auxiliary communications training and planning, certifications and accreditation and emergency communications deployment. It is intended to supplement and standardized an operator's basic knowledge of emergency amateur radio communications in a public safety context. Prerequisites & Other Information:FEMA IS courses 100, 200, 700 and 800, Hold a General Class License (CHECK WITH YOUR STATE TRAINING OFFICER/STO)

    AGREED:(HSPD–5), “Management of Domestic Incidents,” HSPD–5 requires all Federal departments and agencies to adopt NIMS and to use it in their individual incident management programs and activities, as well as in support of all actions taken to assist State, tribal, and local governments. The directive requires Federal departments and agencies to make adoption of NIMS by State, tribal, and local organizations a condition for Federal preparedness assistance (through grants, contracts, and other activities).

    HSPD-8) and the National Preparedness Goal, HSEEP uses a capabilities-based approach to individual exercises and exercise program management. In the spirit of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), HSEEP promulgates standardized policies and terminology usable by officials and emergency responders at all levels of government.

    The only thing left on will be ham radio and then ONLY RACES teams! One view on this description is the GMRS/FRS/CB groups are resistant to training exercise and qualification to DHS/OEC AUXILARY COMMUNICATION, COMT, or COML requirements.

    1 year ago
  18. Look a GMRS license costs $85.00 for a family. A Ham license cost $15.00 per individual. In most cases, a Ham license is a lot cheaper for a volunteer than a GMRS license. Ham radios at 5 watts now are selling for $65.00 per radio. Many public agencies are having to update their equipment because of the FCC narrow banding requirement. Many of the public agency radios can be converted to Ham bands. I have trained all the CERT Leaders in our 70+ CERT operation to be Ham Radio Operators and they passed the exam and now have their licenses. My fire department has allocated 40 of their older handheld radios to have appropriate Ham frequencies added to them for the CERT Leaders use. All Leaders are being issued these radios so that they can contact the fire department sponsor when necessary. Teams will continue to use Family Radios (no license required) for their neighborhood efforts.

    1 year ago
  19. bill raises the issue to economics vs. practicality and capability. GMRS/FRS (400MHZ) either operates on few channels without a repeater or on additional channels with a repeater. Whatever the GMRS/FRS formula the result is still high 'PATH-LOSS'. What is not disclosed is that the 'Law of Averages' suggests that bill's CERT-TEAM members maybe only qualified as TECHNICIAN-CLASS and are restricted to VHF/UHF operation (high 'PATH-LOSS'). Applying COOP ANNEX-H the objective is to always maintain contact with not only the primary facilities but also the alternate facilities. The VHF/UHF scenario raises the aspect of should the primary EOC become disfunctional and operations continue at the alternate EOC as to whether reliable contact can be maintained without a 'repeater'.

    Cost per unit should be assumed by CERT-TEAM members rather than the organization [National preparedness is the shared responsibility of our whole community. Every member contributes, including individuals, communities, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and Federal, State, and local governments.]

    Contributes means physical as well as economical.

    Suggestion: When CERT is 'ACTIVATED' that CERT organization becomes part of the ICS organizational structure (G-317, UNIT-6). As part of that ICS organizational structure members are expected to conform to NIMS/ICS protocols, methods,and procedures. Accordingly, NIMS/ICS Specific Position Qualification to incident type, COOP, and HSEEP (planning,equipping,training,exercises,and evaluation).

    Any resource (material/personnel) must be validated through evaluation prior to being deployed.

    1 year ago
  20. The comment that "Any resource (material/personnel) must be validated through evaluation prior to being deployed." is carried out by amateur radio in exercises and field day. In addition, VHF/UHF in local communications are in no way "high Pass Loss" operations. Our radios have the same FM mode of operation with the same power (5 watts) as public service handhelds. Public service radios can only switch to channels you have preprogrammed into you unit. Not so for amateur radio. You make us sound like we do not know what we are doing in this arena. Validation, while it is not called that, is a normal part of amateur radio preparations for public service. We probably and from what I have seen practice and exercise with our radios more that any other volunteer service. we volunteer and have for years provided many times the only communications resources available to public service agencies when disasters strike. You need to quit trying to dictate processes and procedures in an area you appear to know little about. You have validated all your public service and commercial telecommunications systems and they usually are not available at the start of a major disaster. We have 443 amateurs already in this county standing by to relay messages and we have 20 repeaters in this county that CERT members may use. The next county over has 4,000 amateur radio operators and more than 30 VHF and UHF repeatters. If one EOC goes down or does not come up, the CERT team will be able to use these resources to contact another EOC or use another repeater to get through to their sponsoring agency. We know how to do that and have been doing it for years.

    1 year ago
  21. Excuse me ! That kind of thing. I missed the part where with all these great AUXCOM personnel and equipment what happens when that menue of repeaters in both counties go out-of-service. Could we hear about the 'REGIONAL-SOLUTION' ?

    1 year ago
  22. I have to agree...the Technician using the FM repeaters are fine UNTIL we lose the repeaters. I would surely like to see this REGIONAL SOLUTION wd6alm is asking for!

    1 year ago
  23. What happens is since our amateur radios can go radio to radio without repeaters, we simple ask someone to manually relay our messages for us. We do this daily coast to coast on our National Traffic System which does not use either the internet or repeaters. Amateurs just either find another amateur that lives or is willing to go to a location that can hear each side of the sending and receiving radios and manually pass that traffic back and forth. If we cannot do it in one jump, we find a second or third relay station to get the message through.

    Commercial radio and many public service systems do not have a capability to go radio to radio and neither does a cell phone so they are stuck when their technology goes down. Not Amateurs.

    During Katrina, let me recap one or two of many incidents for everyone;

    "On Monday, Aug. 29, a call for help involving a combination of cell telephone calls and amateur radio led to the rescue of 15 people stranded by floodwaters on the roof of a house in New Orleans. Unable to get through an overloaded 911 system, one of those stranded called a relative in Baton Rouge. That person called another relative, who called the local American Red Cross.

    Using that Red Cross chapter’s amateur radio station, Ben Joplin, WB5VST, was able to relay a request for help on the SATERN network via Russ Fillinger, W7LXR, in Oregon, and Rick Cain, W7KB, in Utah back to Louisiana, where emergency personnel were alerted. They rescued the 15 people and got them to a shelter.

    Such rescues were repeated over and over again. Another ham was part of the mix that same Monday when he heard over the same Salvation Army emergency network of a family of five trapped in an attic in Diamond Head, La. The family used a cell phone to call out. Bob Rathbone, AG4ZG, in Tampa, says he checked the address on a map and determined it was in an area struck by a storm surge.

    He called the Coast Guard search-and-rescue station in Clearwater, explained the situation and relayed the information. At this point, the Coast Guard office in New Orleans was out of commission. An hour later he received a return call from the South Haven Sheriff’s Department in Louisiana, which informed him a rescue operation was under way... And, for the first time, the federal government will help hams help others. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will provide a $100,000 grant supplement to ARRL to support its emergency communication operators in states affected by Hurricane Katrina. The grant will help to fund what is being termed “Ham Aid,” a new program to support amateur radio volunteers deployed in the field in disaster-stricken areas."

    Quoted from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9228945/ns/technology_and_science-wireless/t/ham-radio-operators-rescue-after-katrina/

    On Sunday night May 22, while a young amateur was finishing with post Skywarn Net Control duties, a voice was heard calling for help over the 146.91 w0ebe repeater located in Fordland, MO. Kd0bwt, Caleb Burns, responded to that call that was made from Freeman Hospital in Joplin Missouri after a devastating EF5 tornado had destroyed much of their community and their local regional medical facility. Crucial medical supplies were ordered and medical teams were called to duty as a result of that call. Initially, the call was made by an IT person at that location who was asked to begin the transmissions. He was relieved by n0ekp Thomas J Ellicott who deployed to assist his own stricken community.

    As that transmission was taking place, ka0spm, Steve Palmer and his wife Patti kd0ael , Andrew Brashers kd0hun and new ham Jonathan Rinty kd0osf, all who had been deployed as Skywarn spotters, responded by driving to Cox South Hospital in Springfield, MO; wx0scl Tom Hargis and kd0guu Jamas Justice, who also had been deployed with Skywarn, drove to St. John’s Regional Medical Center also located in Springfield. Both of these hospitals are regional Medical Centers for Southwest Missouri.

    Upon arriving and finding that the radio rooms near the Incident Command Centers were empty, void of any amateur equipment, operators at both locations began relaying information from doctors and nurses from their vehicles to begin the crucial process of moving injured from the overwhelmed Freeman Hospital to Springfield trauma centers.

    With immediate needs met, the hospitals worked with the amateurs to provide locations for the operators to set up mobile radios where communications could continue. One was located in an incident command at St. John’s with a location near a window for an antenna and the other in the ambulance bay of Cox South with access to a door where the coax could reach outside. As this was occurring, kd0bwt grabbed a handie talkie and headed for a smaller local hospital Ozarks Community hospital where he established mobile command with that hospital.

    A short time later, Pat Conway wa6jgm and Clifton Smith kc0squ responded by taking a mobile base unit to Ozarks Community Hospital and setting up a temporarily permanent station at that location.

    The amazing band opening that had allowed the initial communications began to fade and ka0spm, Steve, deployed to the National Weather Service in Springfield where they graciously allowed him to operate and relay messages via the 145.21 repeater that survived in the Joplin area.

    Before the night was over, there was a tremendous outpouring of offers from amateurs in the entire area who offered any assistance they could provide to keep communications flowing. Acknowledging the following operators who either relieved the initial operators or offered assistance: kb9yze, kd0euu, kd0gur, kd0knl, kd0jxi, ac0sr, kb0tpz, kd0kpx, kd0gus, kd0lpr, kd0lam, kd0mme, k9jls, ke5med, kd0cnp, kb0oyd, kd0jei, n0zgg, and kc0vgc. During the week that followed, a number of amateurs continued to call to offer assistance and they were directed to the coordinators of the CERT search and rescue efforts.

    Of personal note: the operator who received the first transmission was on his honeymoon and had been acting as net control for the Greene County Skywarn! Congratulations and thank you for your devoted service to community kd0bwt!

    I wish to thank each and every amateur operator who offered their assistance. All the hospitals offered their thanks personally to the operators present.

    When all else fails, Amateur Radio!

    73

    Patti kd0ael

    1 year ago
  24. kc0nyk got the idea! Aside from the PM a participant was sent the responses are not indicative of the 'NATIONAL PROTOCOL' (NIMS) pertaining to COMMON OPERATING PICTURE, INTEROPERABILITY, RELIABILITY, SCALABILITY, AND PORTABILITY, RESILIENCY AND REDUNDANCY. A further observation would be a lack of application, or information relating thereto, to COOP (FEMA publication CGC-1/CGC-2) ANNEX-H and 'CAPABILITY' that indicates support of the National Emergency Communications Plan. Aside from the differences in our jurisdiction's 'HAZARD-ANAYLSIS' and 'RISK-ASSESMENTS' and jurisdictions' geography the HAMs (RACES,ARES,SATERN,MARS,NTIA/NCS(SHARES)) all have a common denominator, common capability, and a common mission [Capabilities (Communications is the fundamental capability within disciplines and jurisdictions that practitioners need to perform the most routine and basic elements of their job functions. 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. 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). The success of continuity programs is dependent on the availability of robust and effective communications to provide internal and external connectivity. An organization’s ability to execute its essential business functions at its primary facility and at its alternate or other continuity facilities, as well as the ability of the organization’s senior leadership to collaborate, develop policy and recommendations, and act under all-hazards conditions, depend upon the availability of effective communications systems. These systems should support full connectivity, under all conditions, among key leadership, internal elements, other organizations, critical customers, and the public. Primary: ESF#2: Communications: Communications supports all ESFs at the Federal, State, local, and tribal levels.]. USE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB: Do not rely solely on 2-METERS. Take note there are 2 BANDS with a single frequency apiece (AMATEUR RADIO EXCLUSIVE) that is reserved for emergency contact with the military. While not casually discussed in conversation HAM RADIO is licensed as a ‘secondary user’ on a primary NTIA/FEMA frequency. There is one HF frequency for each entity (military and FEMA) that has a simplex coverage of 400 circular miles or greater. Operation on these bands is not dependent on towers and aluminum tubular antennas (a wire will do). The frequencies and band are deliberately not mentioned here to prevent nefarious types from jamming future operations. HAMs are generally aware of the military contact frequencies, COMLs and COMTs are aware of both military and FEMA frequencies. Whether you are a member of CERT, RACES, ARES, SATERN, MARS, or NTIA/NCS(SHARES never dismiss that once activated that NRF, NIMS, COOP ANNEX-H, ICS, Planning, Communications, Risk Management, Community Preparedness And Participation, Intelligence and Information Sharing and Dissemination applies to you if your integrated into a communications unit. The training for individuals and teams is set forth in the 2011 NIMS TRAINING PLAN and personnel (Paid and volunteer staff who meet required qualification and certification standards necessary to perform assigned missions and tasks.) are required to be qualified to the TYPE of Incident Event. The categories for each level of training have been simplified from those that were in the Five-Year NIMS Training Plan. 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. 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. SUGGESTION: NIMS is the National Uniform protocol. As previously mentioned by another participant PTBs (Position Task Books) are a part of this qualification procedure. We didn’t dictate it, order it, nor invent it. It is a National protocol/convention. As kconyk comments, “Develop your teams along the lines of the ICS system...make sure that all are competent and train them and yourself some more. FORGET about the wonderful 700 and 800 mHz systems which require a ton of infrastructure to operate besides being prohibitively expensive; and forget about the ARES groups unless they are willing to meet all the training requirements”. Kc0nyk and my prior comments lend to ‘It’s not what you have or how much you have and what result you can produce when you apply all the elements under a dynamic condition (worst-scenario)’. This is a system of development, improvement, and correction, not upstaging the other individual or jurisdiction. The validation platform is known as HSEEP (Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program). Yes, validation of plans, equipment, training, and exercises does determine gaps, shortfalls, areas for revision, improvement, and correction.The results determine the level of performance to objectives, tasks and of capabilities. Of interest to the participant that received that PM should be the definition, under NIMS, of an evaluator (SEE: IS-20.a & IS-130): A person who is certified in the position the trainee is being evaluated in and who is assigned to evaluate a trainee’s performance against tasks listed in a PTB. The position qualified evaluator makes a determination as to whether the individual successfully performs a task; signs off on the task in the PTB, if the task is performed correctly; or determines what remedial actions are necessary if the task is not performed correctly. When all tasks in the PTB are successfully completed, (including successful position performance if required), the position qualified evaluator may recommend that the trainee receive certification from their designated agency official.Kc0nyk’s comment has merit (training, certification, exercising, qualification, credentialing). After Joplin, MO. can you or the SOUTHWEST MISSOURI AMATEUR RADIO CLUB provide information on the regional coverage requested ?

    1 year ago

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