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). See EC-001 course catalog at http://www.arrl.org/online-course-catalog. Click on the Registration Page to get started.


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 Mission Statement Is:++++++

WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF BUILDING A VIABLE ARES ORGANIZATION THAT IS PROPERLY TRAINED AND ADEQUATELY STAFFED WITH THE END GOAL OF FUNCTIONING PROFESSIONALLY IN ANY EMERGENCY THAT MAY COME OUR WAY.

Our Core Values Are: 

 Confidence             Commitment         Excellence

Respect                   Integrity

++++++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, ARDOP HF, VARA HF and VARA FM.
                        c. Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS); VHF/HF Station

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

ARCT Type 1 

Full field station and 4 mobile/portable units. For single or multiple agency support. Is not dependant on any outside power source or infrastructure. Team consists of 12 licensed and registered AROs with ten (minimum) vehicles. Team Leader (General class or higher). Liaison to the incident Communications Coordinator (COMC). Assistant Team Leader (General class or higher) Capable of VHF/UHF digital/voice, HF digital communications for tactical and voice communications for logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 2

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 w/digital capabilities. HF desired w/digital capabilities (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).

++++++SKYWARN® Coordinator Wanted++++++

Person/s interested in the SKYWARN® Coordinator position must have the following qualifications:

  • Active in the  SKYWARN® spotting program.
  • Two years active SKYWARN® field spotting.
  • Must travel to the National Weather Service in Santa Teresa, NM when activated and for bimonthly SKYWARN® nets.
  • Must be General class or above.
  • Must be D-Star/D-RATS qualified.

Interested person/s must contact Lew, KB5HPT at kb5hpt@arrl.net 



July 2019

DEC Bulletin

FIRST NET IS COMING! and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is going to be no more. DON’T BELIEVE IT! Some in public safety and disaster relief agencies have made some comments to me that El Paso is going to switch over to First Net and amateur radio may not be needed anymore.

So, what is First Net? It’s the First Responder Network Authority (https://firstnet.gov/).  It’s a nationwide broadband network dedicated to first responders. Amateur radio will not have access to this network. This is okay with me. Why would we want to be limited to channels of frequencies when we already have bands of frequencies to choose from to do our communicating on. The nice part about First Net is that it will allow many different agencies to be compatible with each other and will link many like agencies so they can be in the same room to collaborate with each other in real time. This network will reside in hardened facilities. Could still be exposed to cyberterrorism though. The slogan “When all else fails, then amateur radio” may be a thing of the past. The system may not fail.

Even after First Net is in place much of the services that ARES® provides are still going to be valid. We can still be eyes and ears on the ground by implementing our KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD program and call in damage reports to the EOC, the American Red Cross or the National Weather Service. We can pass critical information to the neighboring communities. We can pass information back to the EOC from places such as gaps or shadows where First Net cannot cover. Such as along the base of the Franklin mountain. We can get information into and out of neighborhoods and back to the EOC. We can adapt on the fly to changing situations such as scaling up our communications teams when needed and scaling down when demobilization occurs. We still don’t need infrastructure to operate. Amateur radio systems have stood tall in the past during disasters and emergencies making us a reliable source of communications until help can arrive.

However, we need to be thinking outside of the box. Think beyond analog voice. This is something that El Paso County ARES® (EPCARES) has been doing for the last decade and a half. We have two Winlink 2000 (WL2K) Packet RMS stations (email via amateur radio) on the air 24/7 here in El Paso. If the recipient has a valid email address, we can deliver an email message to their inbox. We have WL2K HF stations to work through the WL2K Radio Mail Servers (RMS), or work Winlink Peer-to-Peer if needed. We can send messages using Amateur Radio Digital Open Protocol (ARDOP) or VARA HF using the WL2K RMS or VARA FM Peer-to Peer. Our Broadband Hamnet Network (BBHN) is an asset that needs to be expanded throughout the city. Anyone that would like to sponsor a node on their tower would be appreciated and should contact me as shown below. Anything that can be done on the Internet can be done on the BBHN. Being able to pass videos or pictures is critical to our services. Expanding the local D-Star capabilities is another asset. Adding the 1.2 GHz capabilities will allow us to do Fast Scan TV back to the EOC. Pictures speak a thousand words. Using the RS-MS1A Android App allows us to send picture and real time text messages back to the EOC.

For us to continue to provide emergency communications for our community we need more ARES® members. Go to http://www.hamradioelpaso.com/emergency-coordination and see what needs to be done to become an ARES® member. Being vetted and having the proper credentials are more important than your operating skills. That’s just a fact of life in today’s EMCOMM world.

I am still looking for a few good amateur radio operators to man amateur radio stations in our hospitals.

  • Amateur radio operators are needed to perform hospital communications. Will work in teams of two people (ARCT Type 4).
  • Must complete FEMA courses IS-100c and IS-700b. Additional training will be provided locally.
  • Hospitals will provide additional credentialing.
  • VHF/UHF radios capable of transmitting 25 watts will be needed.
  • Will be required to man stations in the hospitals for all exercises and nets.

Get a friend and form a team. Contact me as shown below to get started.

Questions and comments are welcome and encouraged regarding the content of this article. Send an email to the address shown below.

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

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
Amateur Radio Emergency Service®
DEC, District 6 – Far West Texas 

June 2019

DEC’s Bulletin

The ARRL Field Day provides valuable training for EMCOMM (EMergency COMMunitations) operators in assembling a portable station. The objective of field day is to teach operators to set up and operate a radio station under emergency conditions. After setting up the station you must sustain operations for twenty-four hours. You get to sharpen your operating skills by pulling out those weak signal contacts. While under real emergency conditions you will not want to contact just anybody. You will have specific stations to contact in specific locations. There is more to EMCOMM operations than making as many contacts as possible and only giving signal reports. Field day is contesting.

Why do I need to have a portable station? Portable stations are part of your “Go-Bag”. Our clients do not provide amateur radio stations for us to operate when we deploy to their locations. While class A, B, and C are of value to EMCOMM operators Class E (battery power) is probably where we would be operating for awhile at first.  Make sure you have enough emergency power to sustain your operation. We train under worst-case scenario and hope for better conditions in an actual disaster. The El Paso Amateur Radio Club, and the Sun City Amateur Radio Club both operate their stations from there club locations during field day. Drop by the club(s) and operate a station for a while. Look around and get ideas for how you can set up an emergency station of your own. When field day has ended tally up your points and submit them to ARRL or donate your points to your favorite club to help boost their aggregate score.

The ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is a nationwide exercise for EMCOMM groups to determine our strengths and weaknesses in providing emergency communications for our community.  The SET window is September 1 thru November 30. This is where the real meat is for EMCOMM operators. We take the knowledge gained from our training during the year and set up our portable station at the agency or shelter. We test our traffic-handling abilities during the SET. We work in a controlled environment. We work with a variety of modes under simulated-emergency conditions. The SET is not just for ARES® or NTS. The SET is open to all individuals and groups that wish to participate. We will announce the SET through the Ham Radio El Paso.com/DEC Bulletin, and then by a RESOURCE NET on the 146.70 repeater the day of the SET. Those responding to the resource net will deploy to a location with a portable station. Boots-on-the-ground is important with ARES® and EMCOMM operators. NTS is the only group that has all the comforts of home while providing a service to the community.

Get out of the house and support your club(s) on field day weekend this year (June 22 and 23). If you are interested in volunteering your qualifications and equipment for duty in emergency communications, can operate in a controlled environment, and have a sincere desire to serve your community then consider an ARES® membership. Please contact me as shown below.

----------------

ON ANOTHER NOTE:

I’m sure that everyone has heard that the “Marines are looking for a few good men”. I am looking for a few good amateur radio operators. I have been approached to establish amateur radio stations in all the area hospitals.

  • Amateur radio operators are needed to perform hospital communications. Will work in teams of two people (ARCT Type 4).
  • Must complete FEMA courses IS-100c and IS-700b. Additional training will be provided locally.
  • Hospitals will provide additional credentialing.
  • VHF/UHF radios capable of transmitting 25 watts will be needed. Antennas will be provided by hospitals.
  • Will be required to man stations in the hospitals for all exercises and nets.

Get a friend and form a team. Contact me as shown below to get started.

----------------

RS-MS1A ANDROID APP NET

What is it: The Android App is an application you can download from the Google Play store to your Android devise (phone or tablet). For iOS users download RS-MS1l app from iTunes store onto your iOS devise (phone or tablet). The iOS app will ONLY work with the ID-4100 radio. The app allows us to do instant messaging, send photographs, and even has a map included so we can see exactly where each other is physically located.

When is it: June 26, 2019.

Where is it: Reflector 055D.

What will be needed: An ICOM ID-31A, ID-51A PLUS, ID-51A PLUS2, ID-4100, ID-5100 or an IC-7100 radio. Some of the stations also use the DVAP or DV MEGA, and Raspberry Pi. The radio is connected to the app via the OPC-2350LU data cable. If the ID-4100 or the ID-5100 has the Bluetooth module installed, then the data cable is not needed. Connect the device via the Bluetooth.

What time: 7:30 PM MDT.

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

Questions and comments are always welcome and encouraged. Send an email to the address shown below.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
DEC, District 6 – Far West Texas
e-mail: kb5hpt@arrl.net


 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  
DEC District 6 - Far West Texas
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net  
 
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Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:16 PM
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Lewis Maxwell,
Jan 30, 2017, 10:09 AM
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Ham Radio El Paso,
Jun 8, 2013, 7:34 AM
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Lewis Maxwell,
Oct 18, 2016, 11:36 AM
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Lewis Maxwell,
Jul 27, 2017, 1:04 PM
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Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:18 PM
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Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:12 PM
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Lewis Maxwell,
Apr 18, 2011, 5:51 PM
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Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:34 PM
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Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 9:25 AM
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