Emergency Coordination

                                                      Emergency Coordinator's Page                                                                     
(Previous articles can be found on the sub-pages at the bottom of this page)
Direct all questions about this page to kb5hpt@arrl.net

++++++ARES® Membership++++++

Qualifications for membership in El Paso County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (EPCARES) are as follows:

  1. Have the following credentials:

a.       ICS-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System

b.      ICS-200 ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

c.       IS-700 NIMS, an Introduction

d.      IS-800 National Response Framework (NRF), an Introduction

e.       Intro to Emergency Communication (EC-001) http://www.arrl.org/online-course-catalog

Candidates should submit an ARES® Registration Form (fsd98) along with copies of the above certificates of completion. Send them to kb5hpt@arrl.net.

By submitting your application for membership in ARES® you have indicated the following:

  1. You have registered your qualifications and communications equipment for use in public service during a communications emergency.
  2. You can work in a controlled environment.
  3. You have a desire to make a contribution to your community.

++++++EPCARES Data Operators++++++

ARES® Digital Operators: Positions are available for ARES® Digital Operators within the El Paso County ARES® (EPCARES). Required stations are as follows:
                        a. Winlink 2000; VHF Packet Station capable of Winlink Express and Paclink
                        b. Winlink 2000; HF Station capable of WINMOR
                        c. Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS); VHF/HF Station

++++++ Amateur Radio Communications Teams (ARCT) ++++++

ARCT Type 2 (2 each for American Red Cross & 2 each for Salvation Army)

4 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Team leader (General class or higher). Capable of VHF/UHF & HF digital/voice communications for tactical, logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 3 (Multiple)

4 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Team Leader (Technician class or higher). Capable of VHF/UHF digital/voice communications for tactical, logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 4 (Multiple)

For assignment to agency or supplemental/relieve an existing multi-agency ARCT. 2 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Technician class or higher. Capable of VHF FM (minimum) equipped. HF desired (General class or higher required).

ARCT Type 5 (Multiple)

For assignment to agency or supplemental/relieve an existing multi-agency ARCT. 1 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operator with a vehicle. Rarely ordered singly. 1 VHF FM (Minimum) with vehicle (Technician class or higher).

December 2017

EC’s Bulletin

National Preparedness Month is over, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to be “Ready”. In Case of Emergency (I.C.E) assists first responders if a victim is unable to provide emergency information by utilizing the common cell phone. There are no requirements that anyone subscribe or become a member of any group or submit a fee to benefit from using I.C.E. like other commercial products on the market. The ICE program was originally developed in 2004 in the United Kingdom by first responder Bob Brotchie and quickly spread into other countries.

To program I.C.E. into your cell phone:

  1. Access the address book feature of your cell phone
  2. Enter the name ICE followed by the persons complete name to call
  3. Enter the phone number of your husband, wife, parent or whoever needs to know about you in case of an emergency (no nicknames or position names)

For example: “ICE Joe Smith 214-555-xxxx.”  (Out-of-area is probably a good idea just like your family disaster planning.)  Then, make sure Joe knows about being listed and has current information such as your allergy list, doctor’s name, what ever you think is important. Alternately, a person can list multiple emergency contacts as "ICE1", "ICE2", etc. First responders or doctors will be able to look for this listing if a cell phone is found with an unresponsive victim.  The I.C.E. phone entry(s) should be supplemented or complimented by written (wallet card/bracelet/necklace) information or indicators.

Other News

Amateur radio operators have a reputation for providing emergency communications when disaster strikes.

  • Can you work in a controlled environment?
  • Will you volunteer your qualifications and communications equipment for use in public service when a disaster strikes?
  •  Do you have a sincere desire to serve your community as an emergency communications volunteer?

Go to www.hamradioelpaso.com/emergencycoordination. See “ARES® Membership” to find how you can become an ARES® member.

Why do we need to do the FEMA training? It’s because the federal government requires that any Emergency Management Agency or Disaster Relief Agency have this training. This also includes any Part 97 volunteers. Let me refer you to the article in the ARRL ARES® E-Letter posted October 20, 2011 titled “Why the FEMA Courses”




The http://hamradio.noaa.gov  website wrote. “SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League. It celebrates the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN radio operators make to the National Weather Service. During the day SKYWARN operators visit NWS offices and contact other National Weather Service offices around the world.”  Information regarding SRD is updated at http://hamradio.noaa.gov. Check out the operating rules and how to get your certificate for participation. You are invited to come out and visit the El Paso Weather Forecasting Office, 7955 Airport Rd, Santa Teresa, NM 88008. Bring the family work a few contacts and talk to the meteorologists that are on duty. This year SKYWARN Recognition Day begins at 0000 UTC on December 2, 2017. It will last 24 hours.

Happy Holidays to all. Drive safe and hope to see you all in 2018. Questions and/or comments are welcome and encouraged regarding the content of this article. Send an email to the address shown below.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
ARRL Emergency Coordinator, El Paso County
Assist. DEC Culberson and Hudspeth Counties
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net

November 2017

EC Bulletin

There is a critical and delicate relationship that needs to be understood between the agencies we serve and emergency communicators.  The relationship between emcomm operators and served agencies can be summed up in four words. You work for them. You are an unpaid employee of the agency. There is no difference between paid employees and unpaid employees. The same qualifications must be met. The success of the agency should be first and foremost in your mind. There are only two decisions you can make on your own.

  1. Will I volunteer?
  2. Is my life or station in danger?

All other decisions will be made for you by someone else in your chain-of-authority.

Emcomm operators do not make policy they follow policy. These policies are established by the served agency. It is our responsibility to comply with their policy if we expect to be part of their agency. The other paid employees and volunteers are required to meet the agencies qualifications. We are no different than they are.

You have been assigned to an agency because their communications system has become ineffective or has failed. Your job is to do what is necessary to meet their communications needs. They have been on the job for many hours before you showed up. They most likely have had little rest and their patients are wearing thin. If you go in making demands or issuing orders your tenure as an employee will be cut short. The relationship between the served agency and the emcomm group could also be put in danger. Your attitude is more important than your radio skills.

As has been demonstrated with the latest hurricanes that devastated the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico the only communications out of these areas has been amateur radio. At the time of this writing 70% of the cell sites are still offline. Radio amateurs have been used to assist the American Red Cross (ARC) Safe and Well program. Amateurs were used to gather information from islanders and report that information to the ARC, so it could be posted on the website. No inbound inquiries are permitted. Times are changing and we, the radio amateurs, must conform to the changes if we expect to remain a viable organization.

If you are being asked to do something that is beyond the scope of your FCC license privileges, it’s your responsibility to inform the supervisor or person in charge. Other arrangements must be made. Otherwise you should comply with the orders even if it does not mean using the radio. Emcomm is not all about amateur radio. Amateur radio is only a tool that can be used. It does not necessarily mean that it will be used.

We are called Amateurs only because we cannot receive money for our services. It does not mean that we should deliver anything less than a professional service. To be an efficient and effective emcomm operator our training must be certifiable and kept current as specified by the served agency. Additional served agency specific training will be provided by the served agency.

Emcomm operators have a reputation for providing necessary communications in times of disaster. Sometimes it may be the only communication out of the affected area. This is a new century and we face new threats. Training requirements have changed. If you would like to be part of the solution, then consider updating your training and consider serving with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service®. Go to http://www.hamradioelpaso/emergencycoordination to find out the qualifications for becoming an ARES® member.

Other News

On November 16-18 EPCARES will be conducting our annual SET (Simulated Emergency Test). The SET is our premiere EMCOMM event of the year. This year we will be using D-RATS as the base mode of communications. We will be testing the Map functions as well as newly created ICS forms. We will be testing with other West Texas Counties.  

The terms Amateur Radio Emergency Service® and ARES® are both registered trademarks of the American Radio Relay League and are used by permission.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
ARRL Emergency Coordinator-El Paso County 
Assist. DEC Culberson and Hudspeth Counties 
e-mail: kb5hpt@arrl.netSeptember 2017

 Previous articles can be found on the subpages links towards the bottom of this page.

The terms Amateur Radio Emergency Service and ARES are both registered trademarks of the 
American Radio Relay League Inc. and are used by permission.  

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT  
ARRL Emergency Coordinator, El Paso County
Assist. DEC Culberson and Hudspeth Counties  
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net  
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