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 

March 2020

DEC Bulletin

Would you like to serve your community during an emergency/disaster without attending any meetings, or doing any additional training, or spending any additional money for expensive equipment? Would you like to serve your community during an emergency/disaster without leaving your home or neighborhood? Are you the leader of an organized amateur radio group that can rally your membership during an emergency/disaster?

There is a need for public service volunteers that meet these requirements. Eyes and ears are sorely needed during emergencies/disasters to report situations in the red zone zip codes.

There is a method set up so that reporting will be simplified. The method utilizes networking and the Internet as a primary method of reporting. It is a method that allows transmitting pictures or videos. Remember pictures speak a thousand words. Amateur radio or citizens band radio frequencies could be used as an alternate method of reporting. 

Know Your Neighborhood is a program that gives amateur radio operators a defined mission. It is a program that depends on volunteers reporting the situations in their zip codes. The objective of Know Your Neighborhood is to cover each zip code in the county with many volunteers so that the public safety personnel can be re-directed to only doing their primary jobs. This program does not replace SKYWARN or other public service programs provided by Amateur Radio - it supplements them.

Volunteers should not spontaneously relocate or roam unless specifically told to do so or do so for immediate personal safety. Inefficient duplication of efforts and unanticipated gaps are created if volunteers do not function within the concept of areas and border-based plans. Mitigation, response/relief, and recovery efforts require utilization of co-operative expectations.

Requested information will be fed to each registered volunteer or group leader via the Internet unless otherwise specified. Each member of an organized amateur radio group should register as an individual but indicate which group they are affiliated with. Double counting of individuals will be reduced. Group leaders will disseminate the information in their routine manner. This way networking can be accomplished and hopefully covering a wider area. The reports received from the volunteers will be directed to its intended recipient where it can be combined with any other inputs received from other public safety personnel in the field.

Geographic dispersal and personal knowledge of community realities form a foundation for trustworthy and meaningful understanding of emergency/disaster conditions.

Questions and comments about this article are welcomed and encouraged. Click on the email address shown below.

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

February 2020

DEC Bulletin

Is our Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) still relevant today? When amateur radio operators are asked to define the amateur radio service most of the time, people will respond not by telling what the amateur radio service is today or what it can be. They respond with what the amateur radio service was back in the “good ole days.” Through experimentation and development breakthroughs by amateur radio operators the amateur radio service has been on the cutting edge of technology for years. But, yet for some reason we are putting so much emphasis on outdated technology and as a result technology is passing us by.

Don’t misunderstand me. The outdated technology has an important place in the history of the amateur radio service. But technology has come a long way since those “good ole days.” This generation of the working class knows and understands computers and email. That is what they are most comfortable with. The amateur radio service must keep progressing with time. Otherwise amateur radio services will die. It will die from lack of interest.

I remember the first command and control system computer I worked on when I joined the Army. The computer room was larger than both W5ES and K5WPH buildings combined. It housed rows and rows of chassis with vacuum tubes. As time progressed, we advanced to the solid-state technology and then integrated circuits. Today that computer room would fit inside of a laptop. I would not expect today’s soldier to have to learn vacuum tube theory when we are in the microprocessor age. Likewise, we should not expect the new amateur radio operators to endure those “good ole days” either.

In the September 2007 issue of QST the ARRL CEO K1ZZ’s editorial on page 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…”

So, asking ourselves if our services are relevant is a question we have been asking for years. 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 the something, we can we have to 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.

I would also like to briefly touch on 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 away just yet. People are looking for ways to integrate newer digital technology and blend it with existing digital technologies.

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
DEC, District 6, WTX Section
Email: 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,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:16 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Jan 30, 2017, 10:09 AM
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Jun 8, 2013, 7:34 AM
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Oct 18, 2016, 11:36 AM
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Jul 27, 2017, 1:04 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:18 PM
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Sep 28, 2016, 6:12 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Apr 18, 2011, 5:51 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:34 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 9:25 AM