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:++++++


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 

September 2019

DEC Bulletin

The first topic I would like to briefly touch on is Spectrum Efficiency. Spectrum pressures are going to grow especially in metropolitan areas where spectrum space is at capacity. As a result, there are waiting lists for repeater owners to get their repeaters on the air. At some point the FCC will probably have to put limits on repeater owners and limit the amount of bandwidth their repeaters can use. This is already happening in the Public Safety community. At the present time they are still around 12.5 KHz. They are required to get their bandwidth down to 6.25 KHz to accommodate additional users.

D-Star offers improved spectrum utilization. It took the lead in the amateur radio community and reduced its bandwidth to 6.25 KHz. By better utilizing the spectrum we get more functionality from the system. With 6.25 KHz bandwidth and 10 KHz channel spacing we can sandwich a D-Star repeater between two analog repeaters. If a repeater owner would replace an analog repeater with a D-Star repeater we could put three D-Star repeaters on the air in that same space.

Analog repeaters are not going to go away just yet. People are looking for ways to integrate newer digital technology and blend it with existing digital technologies such as APRS, IRLP, WL2K, RTTY and other modes.

The second item is…in the September 2007 issue of QST the ARRL CEO K1ZZ’s editorial on pg 9 said in part:

“…the traditional role of the Amateur Radio Communicator no longer matches what the Emergency Management Officials is looking for. Replacing their missing telephone is no longer enough…”

If there was ever a reason to give you cause is that the standard analog FM capabilities, we have today served us well. But if somebody can pick up a Smartphone and do something, we must ask ourselves a question. How is amateur radio better than what somebody can buy off the shelf? In many ways our competition for the future is going to be in people who can run out and buy an FRS/GMRS radio and provide the same voice only communication that we are currently able to provide in amateur radio. So if amateur radio is going to stay vital and participate in emergency communications we are going to have to be willing to step up to the plate, and be able to start providing capabilities that are above and beyond what somebody else is going to provide using standard FM radio. If we don’t start embracing other technologies in amateur radio, we’re going to end up at the bottom of the pile with all the others. Amateur radio should be setting the standards for all the other EMCOMM followers.


RS-MS1A ANDROID APP NET on Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30 PM

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.

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.

BBHN in the Park

There will be a Broadband Hamnet (BBHN) meeting held in Nations Tobin, Skyline Optimist Youth, Sue Young and Veterans Parks simultaneously via the Broadband MESH equipment on Saturday, September 28, from 10 to 11:30 AM.  We will use the video from the cameras and a conference call with the telephones as well as live chat with D-RATS for the meeting.  All are welcome to attend.  After the meeting we will all meet in Sue Young Park for a Hot Wash.  Come early and claim your tree. After the BBHN meeting there will be an ARES Orientation for those who are interested in becoming an ARES member.

Pico-balloon Launch

On September 28 (weather permitting) the West Texas Digital ARC (W5ELP) will launch a pico-balloon from Sue Young Park in NE El Paso. The balloon is a 36-inch Mylar party balloon and the payload are a 12.9-gram Skytracker. The payload has a GPS and an APRS transmitter (W5ELP-11) on board. It transmits its position every 2 minutes on 144.39 MHz APRS frequency and 10 seconds later 144.34 MHz APRS. The flight can be followed on aprs.fi. The payload is solar powered so will only transmit during daylight hours.

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

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
Amateur Radio Emergency Servise
DEC, District 6, WTX Section
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net

August 2019

DEC Bulletin

Health and Welfare Messaging:

For years’ Amateur radio has handled health and welfare messaging using the ARRL radiogram for disaster victims. When ARES® switched over to the Winlink2000 Global Messaging System (WL2K) the specific health and welfare category was dropped. Our role with WL2K is tailored more to the city/county and disaster relief agencies. Individuals can take care of their own health and welfare messaging themselves now days without the use of amateur radio. The first two methods will be broadcast by FEMA and emergency management officials.

Preferred Methods of sending health and welfare messages.

Safe and Well

The American Red Cross Safe and Well Website is the first preferred method, and can be found at https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms it is self-registering. When registering a series of canned health and welfare messages are given. Select one of them and when family and friends check this website, they will see the message.

Text First, Talk Later

Text First, Talk Later is a second preferred method. During a disaster the cell voice circuits may be intentionally turned off to protect the equipment. The data circuits most likely will be left up. It takes less bandwidth to send a short text message than it does for a voice call so more people can contact family and friends. Send a short text message and when the voice circuits are turned back on make the phone call then.

PiGate Emergency Email Gateway

Now the PiGate can be used to deliver Health and Welfare messages in the form of a regular email amateur radio operators. So, I had pretty much deleted all references to health and welfare messaging out of my ARES® SOP. However, after seeing this PiGate and owning one I am putting the references back in the SOP.

The PiGate (http://www.pigate.net) is a small piece of hardware consisting of a Raspberry Pi and a Raspberry Pi TNC. It can be setup in the vicinity of a shelter area and be used to send e-mail through the Winlink2000 global messaging system Radio Message Server (RMS) station. Users connect to the PiGate thru a WiFi port either using a web browser, or an e-mail application, on their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The heart of the PiGate system is the web-based e-mail client.  Individual e-mail users can have a username and password created by the system administrator on the PiGate. The user can then login via the web-based e-mail application where they will have a full e-mail system that looks and functions much like any e-mail application that they have used.  The WL2K global e-mail system then routes the e-mail to any address in the world.

Questions and comments about this article are welcome and encouraged. Contact me as shown below.

NOTE: 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
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  
Lewis Maxwell,
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