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Driving an Increase in Amateur Radio Operators
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Emergency
(Apr 15, 2017) - - More Americans than ever have been licensed by the
Federal Communications Commission as amateur radio operators, and those in the
know say that emergency communications is driving their passion to be “hams.”
“There has been a tremendous amount of interest in emergency preparedness
since 9/11 and Katrina, and this is true for the amateur radio community as
well,” said Mike Corey, the emergency preparedness manager for the American
Radio Relay League (ARRL). “Emergency communications is a gateway into amateur
radio, and many join our ranks through an interest in being better prepared
themselves and as a way to serve their community.”
“This is the third year in a row that the total number of new licenses has
exceeded 30,000,” said ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator Manager Maria Somma
last year. She said 32,552 were granted in 2016, 32,077 in 2015, and 33,241 in
2014. Total active FCC-issued ham radio licenses hit an all-time high of 743,003
in November 2016.
The public’s growing interest in amateur radio for emergency communications
is a legacy of 9/11, when Americans saw their cellular telephone networks become
overwhelmed by excess traffic and system outages. When regular phone service
fails, amateur radio operators fill the communications gap with their
independent transceivers and battery power backups.
“I think we have experienced an uptick in new licenses due to the emergency
capabilities of ham radio,” said Jack Ciaccia, ARRL Colorado section manager.
“Interest really peaks after a large-scale event where ham radio has been
Amateur radio operators played a substantial role in restoring vital
communications links in the wake of 9/11, hurricanes, tornadoes and other major
disasters that have affected the United States. They assist in directing first
responders to victims, providing real-time situational updates from the disaster
scene to emergency management agencies, and offering victims a way to contact
their families and friends when normal communications channels have failed.
“Generally, amateur radio operators assist other organizations and agencies
by adding communications capacity when normal means of communications are down
or overloaded,” Corey said. “Amateurs work with local emergency management,
first responders, hospitals, National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center
and VOADs [Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters] and the Red Cross and
Salvation Army. Many also use amateur radio as part of their own family
communications plan and use the skills they learn as amateurs to assist
neighbors during emergencies and disasters.”
Walt Palmer is a licensed ham radio operator, and also director of broadcast
operations, engineering and programming at NewsRadio WGMD 92.7 FM in Rehoboth
Beach, Del. “Through an arrangement with our local EOC, I have a 2-meter ham
radio set and antenna at my desk, which can be patched into our FM transmitter
during emergencies,” he said. “If regular communications fail, the EOC can put
the mayor or one of their officials on the 2-meter band, and I can rebroadcast
it via our FM channel to our entire coverage area.”
Emergency managers have taken note the usefulness of amateur radio operators
during manmade and natural disasters — and many have ongoing relationships with
their local ham communities. This includes assigning amateur radio operators
specific roles within each agency’s emergency response plan, and even setting
space aside for hams in their EOCs.
For many years, ARRL has created special Amateur Radio Emergency Service
(ARES) units to assist during times of crisis. Each ARES unit “consists of
licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and
equipment with their local ARES leadership for communications duty in the public
service when disaster strikes,” according to the ARRL website. ARES members are
trained to work with local emergency management; to have their own food,
sleeping equipment and other supplies to survive during emergency situations
away from home; and to have pre-planned for their families’ well-being during
the ARES team member’s absence.
“In most cases, the amateur radio response to an emergency or disaster is
handled by local ARES teams,” said Corey. “However, in the case of large-scale
disasters such as a large hurricane or earthquake, ARRL headquarters will assist
local and state ARES teams with equipment, media support, regulatory guidance
and coordination with national partners.”
“Most of our ARES teams around the country partner with local and state
emergency management,” he added. “In most cases this relationship also allows
for closer work with other local response groups such as public safety,
hospitals and local VOADs.”
This is certainly the case in Colorado. In 2016, the state Legislature
officially designated qualified hams as members of Colorado’s new Auxiliary
Emergency Communications Unit, under the authority of the state’s Division of
Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in the Department of Public Safety.
As a result of this new law, Colorado ARES teams are now part of their
state’s emergency management team, with their own roles with their state’s
emergency management plans and facilities.
“In many EOCs, including the Colorado EOC, ARES has its own space with its
own permanently installed radio gear and antenna installations,” Ciaccia said.
“In Boulder, they also maintain a cache of portable equipment that can be
deployed as soon as manpower is available. This way, they never have to worry
about obtaining anyone's personal gear for use in an emergency.”
It is worth noting that hams also aid emergency managers in less dire
situations. For instance, “throughout the United States, amateurs assist the
National Weather Service’s SKYWARN program in providing ground truth reports
during severe weather events,” Corey said. All told, the growing number of
amateur radio operators in the U.S. are self-funding, fully equipped
communicators, many of whom want to support local emergency managers and first
responders any way they can.
“We have worked extremely hard over the years to become useful and
professional with our assistance to our community OEMs and EOCs,” Ciaccia said.
“The major capability that hams bring to emergency management is our varied
modes and frequencies: We can usually make a communications path when others do
not exist. Because of those two important and valuable commodities that are
usually not available to public service entities, we are an important asset to
local authorities in times of need.”
Ohio ARES Conference
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Emergency
(Apr 8, 2017) The Ohio ARES Conference for 2017 was held on Saturday,
April 1st at Marion State Technology College with over 100 ARES members in
attendance. Stark County was represented by EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ and Assistant
EC's Don Wade - W8DEA and David Beltz - WD8AYE.
After a short business meeting from Ohio Section EC Stan Broadway, N8BHL the
remainder of the day was devoted to training including the following topics; 1)
The Changing Face of Traffic, from Matt Curtin- KD8TTE, Assistant Section
EC; 2.) Winlink for Ohio, presented by Bryan Hoffman - KC8EGV, Hamilton
County EC; 3.) MARCS Statewide Radio System, by Dick Miller, Field
Operations Manager and lastly EMA and Amateur Radio, by Sean Miller,
KD8RBM, Director, Delaware County EMA.
The presentations were both interesting and informative covering a lot of
topics relevant to today's public service communications needs. All of the
presentations were video taped thanks to Ohio Section Manager Scott Yonally,
N8SY and we encourage you to take some time to watch them.
Click on this link to replay the training. My thanks to
both Don and David for attending the conference with me !
Updated ARES Manual Now
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Stark Co EC
(May 25, 2015) - -
(March 2015) of the Amateur
Radio Emergency Service® (ARES)
now is online.
This edition includes
various Incident Command System (ICS) forms for ARES
use, clarifies the role of the Radio Amateur Civil
Emergency Service (RACES), contains an improved
chapter on ARES training, and includes all current
ARRL memoranda of understanding/agreement.
ARES consists of Amateur Radio licensees who have
voluntarily registered their qualifications and
equipment for communication duty in the public
service, when disaster strikes. Every licensed
amateur, regardless of ARRL membership, is eligible
to apply for ARES membership.
ARES Safety Vests
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Stark Co EC
(Nov 25, 2014) - -
Many times during public service drills and exercises, amateurs may find
themselves shadowing event organizers or exposed to highway traffic hazards.
This is especially true during bike-a-thons and marathons.
The safety of our communications volunteers is always important
while we provide our service. One way to help increase our visibility is to wear
a safety vest. These vests come in a variety of styles and price ranges. While
there is no specific ARES Standard here in Stark County a good basic standard is
a yellow class 2 safety vest.
The ARRL style comes in yellow and is Class 2 compliant. The
cost is $24.95 and ranges in size from Medium to 3X-Large. A nice feature is
that it is imprinted with the words "Amateur Radio Emergency Communications"
on the back side. It has several pockets and uses a velco strip along the front.
During the Massillon Hamfest ARES member Ted Armstrong showed us
a very nice heavy duty Class 2 vest from M. L. Kishigo, a company known for
producing superior quality hi-visibility garments. This design, also in safety
yellow, is a zippered closure with webbing reinforcement. It comes with 2 lower
outside cargo pockets with adjustable flaps. It also has one right chest 2-Tier
pencil pocket, one left chest heavy duty gusseted radio pocket perfect to hold
your hand held. The price is only $19.95 plus shipping. This model does not come
with any lettering but there are several local vendors where you can have this
The manufacturer also offers additional items including Arm Band
ID Holders and multiple styles of reflective safety hats.
Their website is
While it is not necessary to have a safety vest to participate
in Stark Co ARES, they can be a nice addition to your equipment too kit !
The M. L. Kishigo style Safety Vest.
Stark ARES Display
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant
29, 2012) -- Stark ARES hosted an information table at the October 28th
Massillon Hamfest. The table was staffed by ARES Net Manager Mike Lackney -
KB8MIB and Assistant Net Manager Mike Palmer - KD8ENV.
Our display included a PowerPoint presentation covering basic ARES & Skywarn
operations, a display of several versions of Emergency Response or (Go-Boxes)
and informational literature.
Many visitors stopped by with questions and comments covering our ARES & Skywarn
programs here in Stark County. My thanks to both Mike's for staffing the booth
during the hamfest !
Mike Lackney, KB8MIB at the ARES Display
ARES Digital Workshop
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant
UPDATED (Feb 29, 2012) --
Members of the Stark County ARES including Assistant EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ and
Digital Coordinator Ralph Bugg, K8HSQ attended a FLDigi Workshop in Mansfield on
Saturday, February 25th.
The workshop was sponsored by the Richland County Amateur Radio
Emergency Service and EC Danny Bailey, KB8STK.
FLdigi is a computer program for Amateur Radio Digital Modes
operation and is one of a new slate of multi-mode programs that support multiple
operating protocols that are quickly finding their way into emergency
communications on both HF and VHF. Another plus is that the program is available
for either Microsoft of Linux operating systems.
The latest version of this free open source program was
distributed to workshop attendees and included installation and setup on
One unique aspect of this software program is it's ability to
automatically generate standardized message forms currently in use by both the
amateur service and public safety forces that comply with the new FEMA Incident
Participants then practiced on-air demonstrations of several
modes that would most likely be used for emergency communications.
A special thanks to Richland County ARES for sponsoring this
workshop. Stark ARES may consider sponsoring a similar mini workshop for our own
members interested in learning more about this messaging program.
Richland County ARES FLDigi Workshop Attendees
Stark Co ARES Meeting
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant
UPDATED (Mar 12, 2011) -- The first
quarter Stark Co ARES meeting was held on March 10th at the County Emergency
Operations Center with 11 members and guests attending.
The meeting reviewed last years public service report in which
Stark Co ARES provided communications support for eleven (11) scheduled
community events and one county-wide emergency drill. This was an increase of
30% over 2009. These events totaled over 600 hours of community service.
Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to the following
individuals for their exceptional public service spirit during 2010; Mike
Palmer - KD8ENV; Igor Nikishin - K8INN; Tom Gill - KC8QOD; Dale Storey - KB8LWP;
Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU; Tom Steele - KD8JRK; Ben Davis - KD8KMQ and John Myers
Updates were reported on our Winlink Operations and our recently
renewed affiliations with both Affinity Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center
and the Jackson Township Fire Department.
A reminder of the Stark County Skywarn Training to be held on
Thursday, March 17th beginning at 6:00 PM and the State Wide Tornado Drill the
following Wednesday, March 23rd at 9:50 AM.
Activity reports from our Tuesday Night ARES net noted we had
nearly 2,300 check-ins during 2010, a 7% increase over 2009. We updated our ARES
Roster, currently standing at 30. As part of our normal 3 years cycle, the
roster is being updated during this year.
A short report on this years Hall of Fame Festival planning
currently underway with amateur radio representation again on both the Community
Parade and Timken Grand Parade Committee's.
The meeting concluded at 9:00 PM.
ARES Celebrates 75th
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant
(Aug 19, 2010) -- At the ARRL Board
of Directors meeting in July the Board unanimously approved a motion to
celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the ARES. It was in September of
1935 that then ARRL Communications Manager F. E. Handy, W1BDI announced the
creation of the ARRL Emergency Corps (AEC). It’s goal was “An Amateur Radio
Emergency Station in Every Community!” To enlist, the amateur had to have (1)
transmitting and receiving equipment suitable for emergency operation and (2)
the capability to operate from auxiliary power. Quite a daunting request in
those day’s of spark gap and mostly home built equipment. But the for runner
of today’s modern ARES was born.
The League is currently working on a campaign to
celebrate this historic amateur radio achievement and the September Issue of QST
covers the beginning of the celebration in a special Emergency Communications
Issue in concert with National Preparedness Month.
This issue covers numerous topics on public service
including some great technical projects designed to enhance your ability to
respond to emergencies. It also has a great story on the formation of ARES, from
it’s humble beginnings to today’s modern service organization.
Mike Corey, W5MPC - New
ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager
Courtesy of the ARRL
(Apr 19, 2010) -- The
ARRL is pleased to welcome Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Mike
Corey, W5MPC, to the Headquarters staff in Newington. Corey’s major
responsibilities include addressing the development and implementation of an
organizational disaster response plan as well as an operational continuity
plan, complete with supporting procedures and training. Corey also will play
an integral part in the management of ARES®,
and in future negotiations with served agencies with whom ARRL shares or...Read
2009 SET Results
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant
(Jun 28, 2010) -- The July issue of QST includes the results of the 2009
Simulated Emergency Test (SET).
Nine Ohio Counties submitted activity reports this year and we
are pleased to report that for the first time in many years Stark County ARES
was included in the listings scoring 7th in Ohio with 104 points. Point values
are used to rate the level of activity of the reporting county.
Thanks to Stark County ARES for participation in the 2009 SET
and we hope to repeat this effort again in 2010 !.
Branding of ARES
Jack Sovik, KB8WPZ - Ohio Section
A Reprint From The Summer Ohio Section Journal
(July, 6, 2010) -- If you did not go to
Hamvention, or you missed the ARES forum, you missed a Great Hamvention
and an equally good ARES Forum.
The theme of the forum was “The Branding of
ARES” The Speakers were Section Manager, Frank Piper KI8GW; Mike Corey W5MPC
the new Manager, Emergency Communications for the ARRL: Keith Robertory KG4UIR
from the American Red Cross; and Allen Pitts W1AGP. Allen talked about how the
image of ARES, and how we as ARES members need to be concerned and aware of how
we are portrayed in the public eye.
Allen said that we also need to be prepared to
get our message to the media when we are asked or instructed to by the Incident
Commander, or the designated spokesperson. More sections are appointing ARES
specific PIOs ,these PIOs arespecialists in covering PR when ARES units are
deployed in an emergency or community service operation.
While general PIOs may also do this work, the
entire emergency field is becoming more complex and special training is not only
advisable, but also strongly encouraged. The goal of the PIO in an emergency is
providing the right information, to the right people at the right time.. This
person should be ready to respond when asked to by the designated PIO or
incident commander telling what the job is of Ham radio is at this activity and
what the operators are doing to help in the exercise or emergency. This person
should send info to the ARRL as to the who, what, when, where and how. This
should include pictures (if available) showing amateur radio operators in
action. This info should be sent in a timely manner to the League at email@example.com,
Please remember that we, as ARES members need to
be portrayed in a professional manner and that should be reflected in your
dress. That does not mean that you need to be dressed in a suit, but remember
that the messages you have on your hat or shirts will reflect on you, and
ultimately on Amateur Radio. For further information you can get it on the ARRL
website, www.arrl.org keyword PIO or call me.
Finally, this is the report for May, but I must
mention the GREAT and professional job during the Severe weather and tornados
that ripped through Northwestern Ohio on Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6.
The ARES and Skywarn groups in Erie, Huron, and Wood Counties worked
professionally together and did a real service to Amateur Radio, ARES and their
Thank you all for your professionalism.
Jack Sovik, KB8WPZ
Co ARES Spring Meeting Recap
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant
(Mar 6, 2010) -- The Stark County ARES held their first quarter Spring
meeting last Thursday, March 4th with 17 members and guests attending. Our
program for the meeting was a presentation by Ohio's Section Emergency
Coordinator Jack Sovik, KB8WPZ with District 5 EC Dave Kaltenborn, N8KBC and Art
Burnett, KB8UNJ representing Mahoning County ARES. Representative from the
Alliance, Canton and Massillon Radio Clubs also attended.
Jack's program covered several topics including the importance
of ARES and was very appreciative of Stark County's dedication to public
service. He also covered the ARRL's current proposal to enhance ARES volunteers
by requesting that they go to a standardized vest to be worn during public
service activities. This caused some concern by those attending. You can read
the League's full comments by clicking
Assistant EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ then covered several business
items including a short review of last years public service activities, a recap
of the ARES District 10 training meeting in Lake County, and the status of our
Winlink program. The group was reminded of the upcoming Skywarn Spotter Training
and the Statewide Tornado Test being held this month.
A report was given on last years Tuesday night ARES Net, plus
some news on the revised MOU with the American Red Cross. Planning meetings are
already underway for this years Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival
with Amateur Radio and ARES expected to play a large role in this years parades.
The meeting concluded at 9:00 PM with our special thanks to Jack
Sovik for attending our meeting. Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for
Thursday, June 3rd also at the Stark County Emergency Operations Center.
Commercialism of Amateur Radio
Courtesy of the ARRL
(Oct 3, 2009) -- On Friday,
September 25th the ARRL released their statement of the Commercialization of
Amateur Radio. I suggest each of you visit the ARRL website, and read this
important document. In short, there is no change in FCC part 97 covering the use
of Amateur Radio and pecuniary interest. This document describes the topic in
In the past few weeks, I and Section Emergency Coordinator Jack Sovik, KB8WPZ
have been approached regarding Amateur Radio Groups and donations made by
organizations. Jack took this matter to the league, and Dan Henderson, N1ND,
ARRL Regulatory Information Manger, gave us permission to post his reply via
"This type of question generally comes up in conjunction of
organizations wanting to make a donation to the ham group for providing public
service communications - such as the Walk-a-Thon organizers making a $100
donation to the club for providing communications for their Walk-a-Thon.
This is a very grey and dangerous area... There can not be a quid pro quo
- that is any kind of arrangement/agreement/understanding between the two groups
that amounts to a "if the hams do this we will make a donation to the ham
club." Ham clubs should not be trying to raise money by doing public
service communications. If the group they help wants to make a donation after
the fact, well and good, but it can not be part of the discussions in arranging
for the hams to participate and it can not be an expectation of the club to
receive an honorarium of any kind.
The second time this gets asked is generally when a group offers things like
T-shirts, etc to the ham volunteers. Again, this is an area that needs to
be carefully considered. If everyone who is volunteering to help is
getting a volunteer t-shirt, that is incidental and the FCC is not going to be
too concerned about it. But it can't be an arrangement where the ham group
asks the organization to provide t-shirts for its volunteers as part of their
agreement to work with them. Again, the hams need to be doing their
communications function with no strings or expectations attached. The same
things with food for example - if they are feeding all volunteers, then the hams
are ok, but the club can't request/expect meals as part of their agreement to
The third time this often arises is when an organization wants to compensate the
amateur for out-of-pocket expenses. It is permissible to accept real
out-of-pocket reimbursements. For example, gas money if you are driving a
Walk-a-Thon route as the "sag wagon" is ok, but only reasonable
amounts to cover the costs. A $50 "gas payment" if you only
drove 10-miles would not be ok. During Katrina we had a problem with this
in particular. We had funds to reimburse amateurs for travel expenses to
and from the scene, which was permissible - but we had many who would not accept
it because they perceived it as "payment" for services in stead of
reimbursement for expenses.
The amateurs need to be mindful not only of the letter of the rule here, but the
intent of it as well, along with the public perception.
Hope this helps...
Dan Henderson, N1ND
Regulatory Information Manager
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio(tm)"
Frank Piper, KI8GW
Ohio Section Manager
Radio: An Emergency Communications Service ?
Jim Weaver, K8JE ARRL Great Lakes Director
(Nov 29, 2009) -- FCC's statement that Amateur Radio is not an emergency
communication service created furor among a number of amateurs. They
heatedly insist Amateur Radio is an emergency communication service. I
understand what they are saying, but I disagree with them. To call the
great service we love and enjoy an EmComm service short changes it. Ham
radio is much more than an EmComm service.
The basis and purpose of Amateur Radio as the FCC lists them in Part 97 are:
"97.1 Basis and purpose . . . fundamental purpose as expressed in the
"(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the
public as a voluntary, non-commercial communications service particularly with
respect in providing emergency communications.
"(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to
contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
"(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur rules which provide for
advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.
"(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio
service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
"(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to
enhance international goodwill."
Section 97.1 identifies four purposes for Amateur Radio. Only one of these
relates to EmComm. By definition, Amateur Radio is more than an EmComm
service. Realizing this fact does not detract from ham radio as an
important provider of emergency communication support to the public. It
merely allows us to realize the broader value FCC places on our service.
ARES Report From Dayton
Jack Sovik, KB8WPZ - Section Emergency Coordinator
(Jul 3, 2009) -- Hamvention® is over, the flea market is empty, the
vendors are gone, and the forum rooms are empty until next year. If you
attended, I hope it went well for you. If not, try to make it next year.
Speaking of forums, I was honored to moderate the ARES forum
at this year’s Hamvention. The topic was "The Maturing of ARES since 911
The planning of this forum started back in January. Thanks to
Section Manager, Joe Phillips, K8QOE, three of the best-qualified speakers were
recruited to help make this a dynamite forum. They were Rob Macedo, KD1CY,
Eastern Massachusetts SEC, NWS Skywarn Coordinator, and Director of Operations
for the VoIP Hurricane Net; Charlie Miller, AE4UX, South Carolina SEC, and South
Carolina State RACES Officer; and Greg Sarratt, N4QZK, Director for the
Southeastern Division, and Alabama Section Manager. Greg served as field manager
for the ARRL Hurricane Katrina/Rita relief effort. NOW IS THAT A PANEL OR WHAT?
We knew there would be a lot of questions and answers. So to
do this the three speakers spoke on the subject for 10 minutes, and the
remainder of the time was for questions from the forum attendees.
Each speaker told the attendees, in their own way, how
emergency communications have changed during their times of crisis weather it be
ice storms in Massachusetts, hurricanes in Alabama, or the recent fires in South
Carolina. One thing remained, THINGS CHANGED!
Modes have changed; logistics have changed. The one thing
that remained was the professionalism of the amateur radio operator—the fine
jobs they did when needed, and the fine jobs they will do when the next test is
The forum was then opened up to questions, and they came.
Questions were asked on liability, procedures, MOU’s, logistics, and the need
for assistance from other sections during an emergency.
I am sure all the attendees came away with some ideas of what
was done during some very trying times and how they can apply these ideas to
their own counties, districts, or sections.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Hamvention Forum
Committee Chairman, Todd Collins N2TUN, and his staff for giving us a great time
slot for the forum. Special thanks go to our speakers Rob, Charlie, and Greg and
to SM, Joe Phillips, for his good judgment.
Finally, I want to thank all of the attendees for filling up the room and
making this forum a great one. See you next year!
Section Emergency Conference
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency
(Apr 19, 2008) -- The Ohio Section ARES Conference was held on
Saturday, March 29th with over 100 ARES representatives attending
from 33 of
’s counties. Representing Stark County ARES was Assistant EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ
and our Winlink Technical Director Ralph Bugg, K8HSQ.
The conference featured reports from Ohio Section
Emergency Coordinator Frank Piper, KI8GW and included reports from all nine of
’s ARES Districts as well as reports from Ohio Section Manager
, K8QOE and State Government Liaison Nick Pittner, WB8TMF who updated the
conference attendees on the progress on an
type PRB-1 legislation.
is very active in public service as reported by Frank. During 2007 ARES
volunteers provided over 13,000 hours of public service work including 2,706
hours of actual emergency activation time, and 28,777 hours of Nets, Drills and
Training for a total of 44,592 hours spent by ARES volunteers across the Ohio
Section. These are impressive statistics that put
in the top ten ARES active states in the nation.
The state of Ohio's Digital Communications was covered
by Ohio's Section Traffic Manager John Tipka, W8UL who reported on the
progress made in Ohio's
Winlink Initiative as well as the National Traffic System. Additional programs
were given by Karl Erbland, K8ARL that covered working with Regional Medical
Response Systems (RMRS) and how we can increase our effectiveness as Emergency
Complete details on the conference are currently posted
on the Ohio ARES website at www.ohioares.org.
Stark ARES Meeting Notes
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency
(Mar 8, 2008) -- The Stark County ARES held their first quarter meeting
last Thursday, March 6th at the Stark Co Emergency Operations Center with 16
members and guests attending.
The meeting opened with a round of introductions followed by a
presentation by EMA Director Tim Warstler and Assistant Director Rick Webber.
Tim welcomed the group to the EOC expressing his appreciation for our continued
assistance to his office. Tim also discussed Stark ARES assisting his office in
providing additional communications support. This would involve additional
training in the operation of the county commercial radio center. Our extensive
background and communications training would be of great value to his office
during emergency operations. We have agreed to review this request and County EC
Dave Beltz is currently reviewing the ARES roster and seeking qualified
candidates to assist with this new initiative.
The remainder of the meeting covered several topics including
background of the ARES structure in Ohio, an update of Winlink operation
in Stark County and additional details of the March Skywarn Spotter training on
ARES Registration was also covered during the meeting. Existing
ARES registrations is over 5 years old and we are looking for volunteers to
serve on a committee to update our registration database. Contact Assistant EC
Terry Russ, N8ATZ to volunteer with this effort.
The operation of the ARES Tuesday night net was discussed
covering some changes to its operation. We would also like to begin early
planning on participating in this years ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET)
which will be held the weekend of October 4 & 5.
Certificates of Merit were issued to the following individuals
for their continued support of Stark County ARES. They were, Igor Nikishin -
K8INN, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Jason Stroll - KC8LIN,
Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Don Finley -
W8DEF and Linda Finley - K8MOO. A special Certificate of Merit was issued to Net
Manager Mike Lackney - KB8MIB for his tireless efforts in running our Tuesday
The meeting concluded setting a date of Thursday, June 12th for
our next meeting at a location to be determined at a later date.
ARES Teams Activated for
Northwest Ohio Near-Record Flooding
Courtesy of the ARRL
(Aug 24, 2007) -- Heavy rains over
the past week began taking their toll on Northwest Ohio communities, as near
record flood levels peaked on Wednesday. Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Service
District 1 was especially hard-hit in the Hancock and Seneca County areas, and a
command post at the Seneca County Emergency Operations Center was activated.
Revised District Layout For
Frank Piper, KI8GW - Section Emergency
(Nov 24, 2006) -- After almost six months of review, SEC Frank Piper,
KI8GW, along with all the District EC's in the Ohio Section have agreed on a new
district layout for the Section. This new district layout (listed below) allows
the Ohio ARES to better serve the Ohio Citizen Corps and the Regional Medical
Response System, along with all of their served agencies. This new plan also
preserves Skywarn reporting plans, as well as being in agreement with the
National Incident Management System (NIMS), maintaining 8 to 11 counties per
District Emergency Coordinator.
This plan is being posted for general review. Unless there any major
problems, this plan will be announced as final and effective. beginning January
Stark County will remain in District 5 under DEC Jack Sovik - KB8WPZ which
under the revised redistricting structure moved Cuyahoga & Medina Counties
to other Districts and added Columbiana, Carroll & Tuscarawas Counties for a
total of eleven Counties now in District 5.
The entire proposed new District structure is currently posed on the Ohio SEC
website at http://www.iarc.ws/ohio/SEC/default.htm.
ARES Adapting After 911
Joe Phillips, K8QOE - Ohio Section Manager
(Dec 7, 2006) -- Some vintage words of wisdom do not always work out. For
example - the more things change; the more they stay the same. But these wise
words are not working in America's post 9/11-post Katrina era. Our ARES program
is living proof.
The role of amateur radio in disaster relief has changed
substantially the past five years, and every indication is that these changes
are permanent. Yet Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Frank Piper, KI8GW, keeps
running into hams who refuse to accept this. Two areas of concern, Frank finds,
seem to be increased emphasis on specific training (the ICS courses for example)
and served agencies requests for background checks on volunteers (most notable
the American Red Cross). Now SEC Frank tells me in a year or two we will look
back at this resistance by some and "chuckle about how insignificant these
concerns were". Sure hope he is right.
But for now these anxieties about training and background checks
are at the epicenter of two major but competing dilemmas - the one about served
agencies worried about the trust of volunteers working sensitive positions
against real concerns of those volunteers about identity theft.
The Red Cross request for background checks is simply a response
to reports that during Katrina relief their investigations found suspected sex
offenders in charge of shelters and convicted felons handling money. Asking for
a background check of proposed volunteers (actually far less information than a
credit card application) does seem reasonable.
But when identity theft victims make the evening news, the
concern of some becomes a reality ARES leadership must deal with. The SEC is
asking for everyone to take a deep breath and read the fine print. "When
you have a problem about served agencies like the Red Cross seeking information,
call yourself and ask agency officials what exactly do they want," he
suggested. "What you will often find is that the information request is not
as intrusive as you may have imagined."
Everyone is waiting until we return to the good old days; no
terrorists; no airport screening; no background checks; no need to be on guard
against the unknown. The simple times. The 9/11 attacks on America changed that.
The above was reprinted from the Winter Edition of the Ohio
Section Journal by permission.
Ohio SEC Appoints New
District 5 DEC
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency
(July 4, 2006) -- Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator, Frank Piper - KI8GW
has appointed a new District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for the Fifth Emergency
District that includes Stark County.
Jack Sovik - KB8WPZ of Youngstown (Mahoning County) currently an
AEC for Mahoning County was appointed DEC for District 5 that includes;
Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and
Jack succeeds the late Jim Miller - K8EIO (SK). Jim also serves
the ARRL as a Public Information Officer (PIO), Official Observer (OO),
Volunteer Examiner (VE), and Official Emergency Station (OES). He is also the
Vice-President of the Mahoning ARC. He is a graduate of the ARRL EmComm Level 3
as well as FEMA's IS Courses 100, 200, 700 and 800.
Frank Piper - KI8GW New
Courtesy of the ARRL Section Manager Joe
UPDATED June 2, 2006, (May 16, 2006) -- He has been known for running ham radio communications
for the Columbus Marathon and TOSRV - Tour of Scioto River Valley, a
multi-county bicycle event. Now Frank Piper, KI8GW, former District Emergency
Coordinator for District Seven, on June 1 will officially become Ohio Section
Emergency Coordinator (SEC).
Ohio Section Manager Joe Phillips, K8QOE, today made the announcement.
The Section Manager is making good on a promise to appoint a new SEC before the
2006 Dayton Hamvention. "Those participating in SEC search process gave
me numerous suggestions on expanding Ohio ARES," said Section Manager
Phillips, "these suggestions will go to Frank for his
Frank, who resides in Fairfield County east of Columbus, will succeed SEC
John Chapman, WB8INY, who announced his resignation at the April 22 ARES Ohio
Section Conference. John, who is starting a new business, said the time required
for this venture just was taking too much time away from his ability to run the
"The Ohio ARES program has a solid foundation formed by great people
within the Section," said Frank on accepting the challenge, "I
wish to continue John's vision of ARES in the Ohio." He pledged to
expand the growing the ARES program and continue the model program that our
served agencies will continue to rely on during times of need.
John and Frank will meet with Ohio ARES officials, beginning with The Dayton
Hamvention, on the transfer of command. "I have worked with Frank for a
number of years," said Mr. Chapman, "the Ohio Section is lucky
to have him as SEC, and everyone should look forward to him moving the ARES
program to new heights."
Mr. Piper has been running emergency programs for the ARRL for the past ten
years. He was named assistant EC for Central Ohio in 1997, serving as bulletin
editor, pubic service events manager and net manager. Frank became Franklin
County EC in 2002 and DEC for District Seven in November 2003. While EC, Frank
developed the Franklin County EMA Volunteer Coordinating Committee. He is a
graduate of all three EMCOMM courses and is a certified instructor and certified
examiner for the program.
The new SEC is professionally a systems programmer for Diamond Power
International of Lancaster. His and his wife, Jackie, KC8ESO, have a daughter,
Hanna, and reside in Pickerington. Beside ham radio, Frank enjoys computers,
automobiles and is a First Degree Black Belt on Okinawan Karate.
Section Manager Phillips, on the announcement of Mr. Chapman's resignation,
began a three week search process. The original list of SEC candidates that
developed started with 22 Ohio hams. Four finalist were given individual
interviews. Mr. Piper and the other three finalists were informed of the
Frank's introduction letter
to all Ohio ARES members can be read by clicking here.
Is The ARES ?
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists
of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily
registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the
public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of
membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for
membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than possession of an
Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur
service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of
emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for
1.1 ARES Organization
There are four levels of ARES organization--national, section, district and
local. National emergency coordination at ARRL Headquarters is under the
supervision of the ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager, who is
responsible for advising all ARES officials regarding their problems,
maintaining contact with federal government and other national officials
concerned with amateur emergency communications potential, and in general with
carrying out the League's policies regarding emergency communications.
1.2 Section Level
At the section level, the Section Emergency Coordinator is appointed by the
Section Manager (who is elected by the ARRL members in his or her section) and
works under his/her supervision. In most sections, the SM delegates to the SEC
the administration of the section emergency plan and the authority to appoint
District and local ECs. Some of the ARRL sections with capable SECs are
well-organized. A few have scarcely any organization at all. It depends almost
entirely on who the section members have put into office as SM and whom he/she
has appointed as SEC.
1.3 Local Level
It is at the local level where most of the real emergency organizing gets
accomplished, because this is the level at which most emergencies occur and the
level at which ARES leaders make direct contact with the ARES member-volunteers
and with officials of the agencies to be served. The local EC is therefore the
key contact in the ARES. The EC is appointed by the SEC, usually on the
recommendation of the DEC. Depending on how the SEC has set up the section for
administrative purposes, the EC may have jurisdiction over a small community or
a large city, an entire county or even a group of counties. Whatever
jurisdiction is assigned, the EC is in charge of all ARES activities in his
area, not just one interest group, one agency, one club or one band.
1.4 District Level
In the large sections, the local groups could proliferate to the point where
simply keeping track of them would be more than a full-time chore, not to
mention the idea of trying to coordinate them in an actual emergency. To this
end, SECs have the option of grouping their EC jurisdictions into logical units
or "districts" and appointing a District EC to coordinate the
activities of the local ECs in the district. In some cases, the districts may
conform to the boundaries of governmental planning or emergency-operations
districts, while in others they are simply based on repeater coverage or
1.5 Assistant ECs
Special-interest groups are headed up by Assistant Emergency Coordinators,
designated by the EC to supervise activities of groups operating in certain
bands, especially those groups which play an important role at the local level,
but they may be designated in any manner the EC deems appropriate.
The ARRL has an emergency communications web page containing a wealth of
information that you may find useful. You can find it at http://www.arrl.com/field/emergency
Be sure to check it out.
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Level Organizational Structure
Ohio falls under the coordination of Section Emergency
Coordinator Frank Piper, KI8GW who is directly responsible for all ARES
operations in all 88 counties. The state is further broken down into nine
districts and each district is overseen by a District Emergency Coordinator
(DEC). Stark County is located in district 5, who
also has responsibility over Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Portage,
Mahoning, Medina, Summit and Trumbull Counties. Individual counties also have
Emergency Coordinators (EC's) who are in charge of all ARES activities within
their county. David Beltz, WD8AYE is our local EC and is assisted by Terry Russ,
N8ATZ our Assistant Emergency Coordinator.
Local level coordinators are responsible to maintain close
alliance with local public service agencies as well as provide a contingent of
qualified amateur radio operators to participate in various local ARES
activities, including any public service events occurring within the county, Red
Cross activation and Skywarn Spotter operations.
No facet of the Amateur Radio Service plays so important a
roll in community service as does the ARES. If you are a licensed Amateur Radio
operator in Ohio, we encourage you to become an active member of your local ARES
organization. We would also encourage you to participate in the new Emergency
Communications Courses being offered by the ARRL. For the first time ever,
regardless of geographic location or education level, hams can attain a standard
level of basic emergency communications training from this course. Students who
complete the ARRL's course, Level 1: Introduction to Emergency Communications,
will earn a certification and ID card for each of its 3 parts.
Amateur involvement in emergency communications is
constantly evolving. Professional Public Servants are constantly in training,
learning new skills and refreshing existing ones. Amateur Radio ARES volunteers
must do the same if we are to remain an integral part of community disaster
plans. This is even more important as newly licensed hams enter the realm of
emergency communications. Community officials are expecting ham operators to
remain qualified, trained and professional if we are to continue to provide ARES
communications to our local communities. The ARRL Emergency Communications
Courses are one way to achieve this goal. It is hoped that during 2002 the
courses will be available in person, perhaps sponsored by local ARES
Coordinators. In the mean time additional details are available from the ARRL
The subject of training is an important issue. The events of September
11th demonstrated the need for experienced operators in the event of an actual
emergency. Interaction between amateur operators and local public safety forces
requires experienced, professionally trained individuals who have both the
training and discipline to represent the ARES with a strong, positive presence.
The day may come when we are organized with a multi-tier ARES structure. Those
Front Line Responders would be responsible for direct interaction with community
leaders and public safety forces while others would have support roles during
training exercises or real emergency situations. These amateurs would be
selected from those who have obtained additional training and experience.
There are several good training programs available to amateur operators
involved in the ARES.
(A) The new ARRL Emergency Communications On-Line
courses. While registration fees are high ($70.00 for non ARRL members and
$40.00 for members), these are excellent entry level training programs. Each
course - Level I, II, and III offer training from basic emergency communications
to more advanced emergency communications concepts. An outline of each course is
detailed below. Perhaps area radio clubs would be willing to underwrite part of
the cost of these courses in order to generate interest in these programs. We
hope at some time in the near future to be able to offer these courses locally
in conjunction with our quarterly VEC testing sessions.
(B) The American Red Cross. Basic First Aid, Life
Support and Disaster Assessment are but a few of the many fine training programs
available through the Red Cross.
(C) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA's Emergency Management Institute provides self paced courses designed for
both the general public and people who have emergency management
responsibilities. Don Finley - W8DEF has taken several of these courses and can
provide information on courses available. You can also apply on-line and get
additional information at EMI's website at http://www.fema.gov/emi/index.htm
Of course obtaining training is one thing. It is also very important that
you notify you local ARES coordinators of any training you receive so that we
are aware of your current skill level. We hope to develop an extensive database
of all amateurs in Stark County who receive some type of training so that if an
emergency does occur, we will have the necessary information available to us
when requesting volunteers.
Here for a selection of excellent ARRL Training Manuals as well as an outline of
the ARRL Emergency Communications Online Courses.
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and Anderson Power Pole Connectors
The Anderson PowerPole Connector is quickly becoming the defacto standard dc
power connector for use by ARES groups around the country and the reason is
simple. Using this standard, highly reliable connector allows for quick and easy
installation and substitution of radio equipment, power supplies, batteries, and
Why is this an advantage ? The biggest reason is that it allows us to
standardize the power connectors on our equipment, both HF and VHF. In a time
critical situation such as during an ARES drill, public service exercise or a
real emergency, amateurs are called upon to quickly setup and establish
communications in all sorts of places. This often requires using a portable or
mobile radio that must be tied into a 12 volt source. Many times we are asked to
supply our own equipment for an event which further complicates the task,
different radio manufacturers utilize different power connectors. If your shack
is like mine, the removal of one of my radios is a major undertaking, involving
separating the supply wire from the mass of wires twisted to the terminals of my
power supply. How much simpler it would be if all we had to do was unplug the
radio, not having to disturb lots of other wiring. Running an efficient local
ARES operation requires us to be able to respond quickly to a given situation,
being able to setup our equipment and get down to business.
The Anderson PowerPole connectors can virtually eliminate these types of
problems. They have long been used in commercial service for just that reason.
Their highly conductive silver-plated copper contacts allow minimal contact
resistance at high currents. Self-wiping action on make and break keeps
conducting surfaces clean. Contact detents keep connectors mated in
high-vibration applications and provide quick-break, snap action upon
disconnect. Noncorrosive stainless-steel leaf springs maintain constant contact
pressure - ideal for frequent connection/disconnections and intermittent
overloading. Durable, high impact-resistant polycarbonate housings that are UL
Flame rated are genderless, making assembly quick and easy. All important
considerations for ARES work.
Amateurs are being encouraged to utilize these connectors on all their
equipment, both for home use and on portable equipment. Price is only about
$1.00 per radio to connect. A great way to use these connectors at home is by a
new connector block from West Mountain Radio called the Rigrunner. This multiple
outlet box is equipped with powerpole connectors providing the ultimate in
convenience and safety for your shack. There are several models to choose from,
each with more connection points. More expensive models also have LED's to give
you a visual indication of power. All come with standard type ATC/ATO automotive
style fuses available in numerous current ratings.
Additional information is available from a number of websites, some of which are
shown below. The manufacturer is Anderson
Power Products although they are generally available at nearly all hamfests.
Reference material is provided on West
Mountain Radio's website which is also the source for the Rigrunner. Other
information is shown on the RACES
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ARECC Level III Achievers
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency
(Mar 13, 2006) -- The March edition of the ARRL's Magazine QST
currently lists the ARRL Emergency Communications Course Honor Roll. In it they
honor those Amateurs from around the country that have passed all three ARRL
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications courses (Levels I, II, and III) through
the end of 2005.
Several local amateurs are listed from here in Stark County and
we offer our thanks and congratulations to the following amateurs for achieving
Level III status and hope more will follow in 2006.
They are: N8ATZ-Terry Russ, W8DEF-Don Finley, WA8GXM-James
Farriss, KD8JN-Randy Phelps, K8MOO-Linda Finley and K8RLS-Robert Steele.
All are members of the Massillon Amateur Radio Club except Bob -
K8RLS who is a member of the Alliance ARC.
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From The Annual Ohio Section ARES Conference
(Apr 24, 2006) -- Assistant Emergency Coordinator Terry Russ -
N8ATZ and Winlink Technical Director Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ attended the annual Ohio
Section ARES Conference last Saturday, April 22nd at the Ohio Emergency
Management Agency in Columbus.
The meeting was hosted by ARRL Ohio Section Manager Joe Phillips
- K8QOE with Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator John Chapman - WB8INY moderating
this years meeting. Nearly 60 ARES Coordinators attended the conference
representing over 22 counties throughout Ohio.
The opening report was also the most unexpected as SEC John
Chapman - WB8INY announced his resignation effective June 1, 2006. John cited
business concerns as his major reason for stepping down though he will still
maintain his liaison with local governmental groups in emergency matters, most
notably the Ohio Citizen Corps. Section Manager Joe Phillips expressed his
understanding and hopes to have a new SEC appointed by the Dayton Hamvention.
Other business covered at the meeting included a report from the
ARRL National Response Planning Committee (NRPC). The committee is currently
reviewing the current ARES program for a possible update to the current ARES
structure. This may include the creation of Assistant District Emergency
Coordinator as well as Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator. They are also
working on the creation of the National Response Database, a detailed listing of
seasoned ARES volunteers that could be called upon during a National Emergency.
They are also exploring the possibility of establishing the ARRL as an
Non-Government Organization (NGO), a structure similar to the American Red
Another topic covered was a possible restructuring of Ohio's
nine ARES Districts down to eight. This proposed plan will more closely follow
the Ohio Homeland Security plan as well as the Ohio Citizen Corps. This would
make for a more uniform response to area emergencies as we would all be working
from the same geographic districting concept.
With Public Service the theme for this years Dayton Hamvention
it was announced that the traditional ARES Forum would be expanded to include
two, 2 hour meetings. Several other meetings would cover several aspects in
public service over the entire weekend. The full agenda is currently posted on
the Dayton Hamvention website.
The next topic covered the Ohio Citizen Corps and the new State
& Local programs. One such program, "the Volunteer Reception
Center", a planned process to integrate unaffiliated/spontaneous volunteers
in disaster response & recovery operations. It is expected that amateur
radio operators would play a strong role in the operation of these centers.
SEC John Chapman again noted that due to heightened security
concerns, local ARES volunteers may one day soon be required to maintain a basic
background security check to provide communications assistance to county
installations like Emergency Operations Centers, etc. They may also be required
to have certification to FEMA Disaster Courses. This may include IS-100, IS-200
and IS-700 covering introduction to disaster communications and standard NIMS
There were group discussions on several topics including how
ARES & Emcomm need to evolve for future response to community emergencies.
The Winlink 2000 Emergency Communications program is progressing
albeit slowly in many areas throughout Ohio. County ARES groups are still being
encouraged to pursue this communications initiative.
The last discussion item for the conference involved the future
of the ARRL ARES program itself. If we are to gain acceptance among commercial
public safety departments can we continue to call ourselves the "Amateur"
Radio Emergency Service ? Is it time to consider a name change to remove the
stigma we continue to operate by or is it that difference that properly defines
our role in emergency communications ?
The conference concluded at about 4:00 PM.
- A Valuable Tool ?
following is a short commentary from Joe Puett, N5QYC, ARES District Emergency
Coordinator; Harrison, Arkansas.
Many times over the last several years I
have heard others say that contests have no place or value in Amateur Radio.
Where else can you evaluate your station effectiveness and your personal
operating skills in a stressful situation that best simulates the duration and
complexity of an emergency ?
Where other than during a contest are you put into a situation
where your Effectiveness, Accuracy and Stamina are tested ?
Where and in what way can you effectively test your antenna
selection and equipment effectiveness with varied band conditions and
propagation variations within a limited time ?
Where can you get a numeric value (Score) of your effectiveness,
and then compare previous efforts and future effectiveness ?
The only place within Amateur Radio where these questions can be
answered is during a radio contest, where your skills and operating setup can be
field tested under live action conditions. I would rather contest in my chosen
mode of operation, where I can learn what I need to know, than be put into the
fire untrained and untested in an Emergency situation.
2004 Simulated Emergency
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency
(Jul 4, 2005) -- The July issue of QST Magazine has posted the results of
the 2004 Simulated Emergency Test (SET) and once again the Ohio Section has made
the top ten list placing 5th overall with 2,157 points and 4th in Section/Local
Nets with 907 points.
The SET is a nationwide exercise in emergency communications.
Both the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the National Traffic System
(NTS) are involved. SET gives amateur radio operators the chance to focus on
their emergency communications capability and it's interaction with served
agencies while testing operator skills and emergency equipment.
October 1 and 2, 2005 is the main weekend for this years SET
exercise and your local coordinators are reviewing ideas for this years
2003 ARES Registration Update
Terry Russ, N8ATZ, Assistant Emergency
(Jan 8, 2003) -- During 2002 we made a strong effort to update
Stark County's ARES Registration information. Long overdue, the last time this
information was gathered many of you were not even licensed yet. In an effort to
collect more accurate information, a newly designed registration form was
developed that incorporated the type of information that would prove useful in
today's ARES program. Especially important to us was to keep track of additional
training/education that is especially important today. This new form was
officially introduced at last years Multi-Club meeting and again during Skywarn
training in March.
Since then the results have been reviewed, sorted and studied and have been
incorporated into a Microsoft Access database program. This has allowed us to
review and easily update the records when necessary. We are happy to announce
that as of January 1st, there are 45 registered ARES volunteers in the database.
During 2003 we hope to add more names to that list. But just as important, is
keeping the existing records up-to-date. Amateurs move, upgrade, change
callsigns, etc. One way to maintain accurate records is to periodically complete
a new ARES registration form. Another way could be to have all the registration
records available on this website. Ideally, you could call up your own record
and make any updates necessary, submit the changes and the record would update
itself. This is possible and we are looking into this sometime later this year.
For now, the current condensed ARES registration listing is available on our registration
In the mean time, please use the link to the right under the ARES News
section to download a registration form anytime you would like to update your
record. Send it to me upon completion and we will update you record. This way we
can continue to keep our information current. This is the only we to keep a
strong ARES program, something we are dedicated to providing. I want to thank
you all in advance for your continued support of Stark County ARES, your
community benefits from our services everyday !
Plan To Enhance Emergency Communications
Terry Russ, N8ATZ, Assistant Emergency
(Jul 20, 2004) -- The Board adopted a resolution encouraging
further development and expansion of an inaugural network to enhance the
emergency communications capability of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service
(ARES). The Board had designated an ad hoc committee, dubbed "ARESCOM,"
to develop an augmented ARES telecommunications system that would include rapid
and accurate handling of long-range emergency communications between states,
nationally and internationally. ARESCOM recommended deployment of a digital
e-mail system based on Winlink 2000 software.
The Board's motion encouraged the deployment of e-mail via Amateur Radio--as
exemplified by Winlink 2000--"as an additional emergency capability
provided to agencies served by ARES."
In its report, the committee said situations arise when ARES must "pass
message traffic across the nation quickly and accurately," and it said the
need for such a nationwide capability within ARES is likely to increase in light
of the ARRL's Citizen Corps partnership with the Department of Homeland
A two-part series appearing in the August and September 2004 issues of QST,
"Winlink for ARES," by ARRL South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator
Jerry Reimer, KK5CA, outlines an enhanced ARES network that would include e-mail
capability over HF links. Winlink 2000--a worldwide Amateur Radio digital
radio e-mail system--already is widely used by the blue water boating and
recreational vehicle communities to pass e-mail around the world.
"The momentum is moving strongly in favor of our recommended digital
message source," said the report of the committee, chaired by Great Lakes
Division Vice Director Dick Mondro, W8FQT.
Members of the ARRL Programs and Services Committee witnessed a Winlink 2000
demonstration at ARRL Headquarters the day before the board meeting. ARESCOM
said it wants to adapt the already-proven communications network to meet the
needs of served agencies and other organizations involved in providing disaster
"The digital network will provide a value-added service for ARES and
will continue to be viewed very positively by our served agencies," the
committee said in its report. "This allows ARES to be viewed as modern and
necessary instead of antiquated and invasive."
The ARRL Board extended the committee's charter until its January 2005
meeting so ARESCOM can complete an implementation plan that ensures that ARES
has "the prominent role" in managing the national network and that
ARES officials at all levels as well as appropriate ARRL Headquarters staffers
have an opportunity to formally critique the network's operation to ensure it
meets the requirements of ARES and its served agencies.
In addition, Winlink 2000 technical experts are to "positively
address the results and findings of this critique," ARESCOM will develop a
plan "to assure timely upgrading of the network as new technologies emerge
and future ARES requirements evolve" and it will complete necessary
negotiations and agreements to assure ARRL access to the Winlink 2000
The Board praised ARESCOM for exceeding its expectations by demonstrating a
working network that implements the basic capabilities of the comprehensive
program it had requested. It also commended the committee's members for their
"efforts and expertise" in inaugurating the system.
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