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(Dec 3, 2013) - - WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, will be on the air for SKYWARN Recognition Day, Saturday, December 7, 1400 until 2300 UTC. Hurricane season officially ends today.
“This will be our 15th year of participation in the SRD, and our 33rd year of public service at NHC,” said Julio Ripoll, WD4R, the WX4NHC Amateur Radio assistant coordinator. “The purpose of this event is to test the Amateur Radio Station operations and equipment between NWS Office nationwide and is sponsored by NOAA. This event is excellent practice for ham radio operators as well as NWS staff to become familiar with the unique communication skills available during times of severe weather. It is also a fun event.”
WX4NHC will take advantage of the occasion to conduct operator training. The station will make contacts on various frequencies and modes, to exchange signal reports and basic weather data, such as “sunny” or “rainy” between WX4NHC, ham stations at other NWS offices, and stations throughout the US.
WX4NHC will be on HF, VHF, UHF, APRS (2 meters and 30 meters), and WinLink (subject should contain //WL2K). “We will try to stay on the recognized Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) frequency 14.325 MHz most of the time and announce when we QSY,” Ripoll said.
Ripoll said that due to space and equipment limitations at the NHC, plans call for having two to three operators on duty per shift. “We cannot be everywhere and on every mode at the same time,” he explained. “You may be able to find us on HF by using one of the DX spotting networks, such as the DX Summit website."
WX4NHC operators also will be active on the VoIP Hurricane Net, from 2100 until 2300 UTC (IRLP node 9219 / EchoLink WX-TALK Conference node 7203). South Florida area VHF and UHF repeaters will be part of the mix as well.
QSL cards are available via WD4R, with an SASE. Do not send QSLs directly to the National Hurricane Center.
Due to security measures, no visitors will be allowed in the NHC without prior clearance from the NHC PIO and Security. Only WX4NHC operators on the approved operating schedule will be allowed entry.
(Dec 1, 2013) - - The MARC just finished assisting with the 59th Annual Massillon Holiday Parade sponsored by Massillon Main Street and the Downtown Massillon Association. This continues to remain the oldest public service event that is handled by the club and our responsibilities have grown over recent years to include many aspects of parade operation. The parade was rebroadcast over Massillon Cable TV and I hope some of you had a chance to view it. The club trailer looked great on the route with our new decorations and special thanks to Jim Farriss - WA8GXM for pulling the trailer in the parade.
In the early years of the parade, we provided only communications support to the Massillon JC’s organization who handled the staging of all the parade units. When they disbanded, the city struggled to find volunteers willing to take on this task. Since the MARC handled communications support, somehow we got nominated to take on this responsibility as well.
A few years later, Massillon Cable began filming the parade in conjunction with the Massillon High School Communications Department and again the club was called upon to assist with this part of the parade also. Last minute omissions or changes to the parade line up are passed on to the production crew so that the announcers can follow along with the parade units. We had experience with this as well as amateurs routinely handle staging activities including TV production control relay duties at the Hall of Fame Festival Community Parade. The Holiday Parade has depended on this ever since.
Over the past several years the parade has been sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association with President Donald Harwig serving as Parade Chairman. During this time and before the club has always been there to make sure the parade is properly staged and starts on time down the parade route. We have become an integral part of the parade and I wonder if they could pull it off without us.
I’m glad to report another successful public service event with very few problems thanks to our communications and parade skills. Over 46 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC.
Parade Chairman Don Harwig and Communications Coordinator Perry Ballinger, W8AU express their appreciation to the MARC for their continued support of this annual holiday parade. The following club members assisted with this years event.
Perry Ballinger - W8AU, Bud Harvey - WA8KWD, Steve Hall - KD8ACF, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Bill Maurer - KD8LCS, Don Wade - W8DEA, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Bill Treacle - KD8TKX, Gary Kline - WC8W, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Dale Storey - KB8LWP, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Anne Ballinger - N8GAF, Joe Herrick - WD8BGW, Robin Markland - N8EBS, Russ McMahen - N8PII and Terry Russ - N8ATZ. This event provided 72 hours of community service.
(Nov 12, 2013) - - Members of the Stark County ARES and the Massillon Amateur Radio Club attended the annual All Ohio ARES Conference held this year on November 9th at the Ohio Fire Academy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
This years conference was attended by nearly 150 radio operators involved in public service and included a full day of special presentations, training classes, demonstrations and a review of the current state of the ARES program here in Ohio.
Moderated by Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Matt Welch - W8DEC, the meeting also included as Keynote Speaker Steve Ewald - WV1X, Supervisor of the ARRL Field Organization Team as well as a presentation from Great Lakes Division Vice-Director Dale Williams - WA8EFK and Staff Lieutenant David Church, Columbus District of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
As in previous conferences, this one also included an impressive display of Radio Equipment (Go-Boxes); and a display of several EmComm Vehicles and Trailers including the new Dayton Amateur Radio Association Communications Truck. A special thank you to the Massillon Amateur Radio Club who provided their EmComm Trailer for display at the conference.
Many thanks to the following amateurs for giving up a Saturday to attend this important meeting with me. They were Jim Farriss - WA8GXM; Don Wade - W8DEA; Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ; and Bud Harvey - WA8KWD.
Assistant Ohio Section Manager Scott Yonally - N8SY covered the event with some great pictures, click here to have a look !
(Sep 16, 2013) - - As you know, a hazardous material release and fire has occurred at 1811 20th St NE in Canton, Ohio. The following is a summary of summary of current activities.
The fire at the facility was permitted to burn overnight with the Canton Fire Department protecting exposures to the facility. Air monitoring has been on-going since approximately 1600 hrs yesterday. The Stark County Hazardous Materials Team along with the Marathon (Refinery) Fire Department are assisting Canton Fire Department with this effort.
The current evacuation area is a polygon outlined by 25th St to 17th St to the north and south. The east/west borders are Harrisburg and Gross. The public information officer is conveying the evacuation to the media. At it's peak the evacuation area was 22nd st in the north to 4th st in the south. The peak east/west evacuation area was Rowland to Grace.
A shelter was opened and managed by the American Red Cross. The overnight population was 135 with a peak registration of nearly 300 during the late evening. 40 evacuees remain at the shelter currently. Stark Area Rapid Transit Agency (SARTA) is working to help the Red Cross move evacuated persons back to their homes as quickly and safely as the incident command recommends.
The Stark County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was staffed yesterday afternoon and overnight by the following agencies: American Red Cross, Aultman Hospital, Beach City PD, Canton City FD, Canton City Health, Massillon FD, Mercy Hospital, North Canton FD, Perry PD, SARTA, Stark EMA, Stark County GIS, Stark County IT Center, Stark County LEPC, and Stark County Sheriff. The EOC remains open to support the on-scene personnel and shelter activities.
In light of this event, we ask you please tell any and all citizens to ensure their awareness of similar situations by signing up for the Stark County Emergency Notification System at: http://entry.inspironlogistics.com/stark_co_oh/wens.cfm
Follow-up messages will be based on the situation. Please feel free to contact the emergency operations center through the 330-451-3900.
The emergency was cancelled on Tuesday afternoon, Sept 17th and the shelter was closed. Stark County ARES was in contact with the EOC throughout the event in case amateur response was needed.
Company Grand Parade starts long before the seats along
Among the thousands of parade volunteers, Amateur Radio operators help
to organize this vast ensemble of parade participants. These volunteers are
members of the Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Services and several other
area radio clubs. For over 36 years,
amateurs have provided communications services for this event that will total
over 200 volunteer hours of service on this day alone. The parade has grown
steadily in size over the years and now is the single largest public service
event handled by amateur radio operators here in
Again this year over 500,000 spectators watched the parade and behind the scenes lies a core of amateur volunteers many of which have over 16 years of experience assisting with the parade. This dedication is one reason that parade organizers have long realized the importance of effective communications that are necessary in organizing a parade of this magnitude. Also over the years, they have come to understand and appreciate the fact that it takes more than a radio to make an effective communicator. Parade General Chairman John Fehrenbach also a licensed radio operator under the callsign of KD8IGB, realized the limited range of their commercial radio's and he was grateful to learn that our communications was solid throughout the parade route thanks to our wide area coverage ARES Repeater on 147.12 Mhz. The Canton ARC's club repeater on 146.79 Mhz was also ready to use as our backup if needed.
The last several years, parade officials have used loaned commercial radio's to maintain communications with their committee members.. While this has worked for routine short range communications, parade organizers have relied on the discipline and experience of amateur operators to handle urgent communications needs and especially medical traffic that occurs throughout the over two mile parade route.
Again this year, in a reorganization of parade communications, our responsibilities covered four separate areas, each with it's own control point. These were Staging, Route Communications and Dispersal and Medical Support.
Staging is where it all begins. Event organizers and radio operators setup and
arrange the over 130
units that make up this years parade. Beginning at about 2:00 A.M., this job is
like taking a 5,000 piece puzzle and assembling all the pieces to create the
final picture in a little over five hours. This doesn't include the setting up
of the Television Broadcast area,
Route Communications then kicks in to help maintain the pace of the parade units. The pace of the parade is set by Canton Police Department motorcycle units. Each successive unit is to follow maintaining a certain spacing set by football helmets painted along the entire 2.5 mile parade route. Expected slowdowns occur during the parade in the TV area, where all units slow to perform for the crowd then speed back up to maintain proper spacing.
Parade spacing and movement is a top priority for event coordinators, a role headed up again this year by Drew Felberg who was in charge of all parade marshals positioned throughout the parade route. Shadowed by a ham liaison Bill Maurer, KD8LCS, he monitors the condition of the entire route thanks to our network of radio operators. As spacing became an issue, Dave relayed instructions to all marshals to get everything back in sync. A task that would not be possible without the support of ham radio. This continued to be a daunting task and thanks to amateurs disciplined communications experience, we were effective in minimizing unit gaps throughout the parade.
In addition, amateurs watched for trouble spots, assisted with broken down floats, crowd control, seating assistance, media relations, and medical support, these being only a few of the responsibilities handled by amateur radio operators. Net Control, under the direction of Ron Hendershot, KA8FTP, helps to ensure orderly parade radio traffic and maintains overall communications with all parade operations. Ron also monitored weather radar, another benefit provided by radio operators. Thirty radio operators were positioned along the entire parade route to handle this facet of parade operations.
Medical Support has continued to remain one of our most important parade
responsibilities as thousands of participants and spectators crowd the route
each year and brave a myriad of changeable weather to watch the grand parade. In
recent years, county medical squads have updated their communications equipment
to provide for better interoperability between the many emergency medical
service units called in to assist with the parade. Due to these advances,
amateurs' role in this area was decreased although operators along the route were
prepared to assist should emergencies arise. Again this year several
emergencies did occur and radio operators again were called upon to
As in previous years Emergency Coordinator Terry Russ - N8ATZ maintained communications
with the Parade Chairman in the
Parade Dispersal has become an increasingly complex segment of the Grand Parade in recent years. This years responsibility for as Dispersal Communications Coordinator was Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB .
An important part of the parade, dispersal has had to handle numerous
situations and problems including reuniting participants and parents and general
disassembly of the entire parade. For the ninth year in a row, additional
volunteers were assigned to this area. With local amateurs running in
short supply, volunteers were obtained from the
The 2013 Timken Grand Parade was another great success thanks to the many
volunteers including the amateur radio operators who assisted us again this
year. Parade General Chairman John Fehrenbach and
Communications Coordinator Wade Huthmacher – WD8MIU want to thank all the volunteers for their help and
assistance during this years parade. Their tireless efforts, although largely
unnoticed by the general public, have proven their worth time and time again
over the years.
Parade Chairman John Fehrenbach was very appreciative of the ham operators assistance in the parade each year, "I really don't think we could pull this thing off every year without ham radio assistance." County Assistant EC Terry Russ agreed: For over thirty years, ham radio operators have been the backbone of the parade, providing the bond that keeps it all running smoothly for the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Committee."
Volunteers for this year’s parade include the following operators:
STAGING/COMMUNICATIONS Center: Terry Russ - N8ATZ and Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.
DEMARSHALLING COORDINATOR: Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB.
PARADE COMMITTEE & TV SUPPORT: Team Leader Terry Russ - N8ATZ and Bill Maurer - KD8LCS.
ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS: John Wagner - W8JJW, Dave Selby - KC8WVH, Bill Treacle - KD8TKX, Dan Anastis.
Team Leader: Dottie Moriarity - KD8DQU, James Andrews - KD8VT, Karen Andrews - N8HUC, Jennifer Andrews - KB3QXB, Kristen Andrews - KB3QQV, Brian Nichols - KD8IKZ, Justin Corner - W8JKC, Steve Simon - KD8SPF, Danny Newport - KG8RV, Pat Quinlan - KD8DAL, Dale Storey - KB8LWP, Ted Forex - N8EIG.
Team Leader: Robert Keller - AC8GE, Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ, Tom Steele - KD8JRK, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Don Wade - W8DEA, Dennis Conklin - AI8P, Deb Conklin - KD8DEB.
DISPERSAL Team Leader: Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill, Leonard Johnson - N8XPI, Tim France - WB8HHP, James France - WA8HHO, Frank Koby - N8SGS, Jeff Gortney - KC8CFM and Bruce Brown - KC8RKS.
Congratulations to everyone on another great Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival !
(Jul 31, 2013) - - Under a rare cool July afternoon, members of the Stark Co ARES, Canton & Massillon ARC's once again assisted in the opening events of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival by providing communications support for the Community Parade held this year on Sunday, July 28th.
Again this year amateurs provided both logistical support communications for
parade staging as well as medical support covering the
Digital packet communications were utilized to synchronize the nearly 125 parade units making up this years parade. Using a voice relay from Bill Maurer, KD8LCS who relayed the exact line up to Tom, KC8QOD and Ralph, K8HSQ who then sent this down to Jason, KC8LIN inside the Television Production truck. This system allowed parade officials to make any last minute lineup changes and accurately convey this to the TV producer.
Packet is used for this function and has proven to be the perfect choice as it allows van personnel to continuously monitor the status of all units in the parade. This marks the 13th year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance. With summer popup thunderstorms an ever present possibility, we also monitored Cleveland NWS Weather Radar in case of severe weather.
Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, is our role in medical support. Amateurs were stationed with Canton EMS units and provided a common communications link to the medical command center in demarshaling area. Fortunately due to cooler weather this year, there were no medical issues. Mike Palmer, KD8ENV acted as Medical Liaison in the staging area. Captain Ray Friedman of the Canton Fire Department appreciated our efforts in support of the medical units.
Community Parade General Chairman Bernie Bresson expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Bernie, "your continued support year after year makes all the difference".
A special thank you to the following volunteers who assisted with this years event. The staging and logistical support crew included Bill Maurer - KD8LCS. TV production support included Tom Gill – KC8QOD, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ and Jason Stroll - KC8LIN in the TV Production Van. Net Control was handled by Terry Russ - N8ATZ. Medical Unit support included Mike Palmer – KD8ENV in staging with Dale Storey - KD8LWP with the Red Cross in demarshaling, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Dottie Moriarty - KD8DQU, Juanita Roush - KC8CQC, Diana Oneacre - AD8E, John Fehrenbach - KD8IGB and Tim France - WB8HHP along the route.
A terrific job from a great crew, thanks again for your support of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival !
Ralph Bugg, K8HSQ relayed lineup changes to TV Production
Tom Gill, KC8QOD (Net Control) and Ralph staff the Comm Trailer
Our Comm Trailer provides a perfect Net Control Center
(Jun 30, 2013) -- On Saturday, June 29th, members of the Stark Co ARES & Massillon Amateur Radio Club provided communications assistance to the Summit Co ARES with the annual Tour de Cure Bike Ride.
Sponsored by the American Diabetes association, the Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held nationwide to benefit the ADA. Amateur Radio is a strong supporter of this event held in Summit County by providing safety, support & logistics communications for the over 1,000 riders that participated in this years event.
Stark County provided four volunteers to assist with this ride. They included EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ SAG Vehicle support; Wade Huthmacher, WD8MIU and Ron Hendershot, KA8FTP Motorcycle Route patrol, and Rick Fligor, KD8NYZ, Bicycle patrol along the Bike & Hike Trail.
We are glad to report only a few minor medical issues were experienced along with the normal bike breakdowns for this years ride.
Summit Co EC Dennis Conklin, AI8P along with Tour Ride Logistics Coordinator Walt Heeney expressed their deepest appreciation for amateur radio's support of this important fundraiser. The American Diabetes Association's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all persons affected by diabetes.
(Jun 5, 2013) - - - On Saturday, June 1st, members of Stark County ARES which included amateurs from both Massillon and Alliance Amateur Radio Clubs provided communications support for this years COOL Event.
COOL stands for Community Outreach Of Love and is a collaboration of many area churches all sharing a common goal: to facilitate physical and spiritual impact to the community. On Saturday, nearly 1,800 volunteers and 15 amateur radio operators completed their goal in the Southwest section of Massillon.
Radio operators were located at strategic blocks to provide support communications as resources and materials were transported to the over 250 individual homes in the neighborhood. Net Control was handled using our ARES Trailer located at 7th Street and Walnut Road, the staging area for this years event. My thanks to Mike, KD8ENV for the use of the trailer and acting Net Control for the event and to the Massillon ARC for the use of their generator.
Event Director Cindy Mandrell and Communications Coordinator Cathy Storey, KC8EUC both expressed their deepest appreciation for the long day's support to this community project. Throughout the day, radio operators provided communications to help move manpower and materials to complete the project tasks at the many homes on this years list.
We also recognize and appreciate the service of the following amateur radio operators:
Tom Steele - KD8JRK, John Myers - KD8MQ (both from the Alliance ARC), Bill Treacle - KD8TKX, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Russ McMahen - N8PII, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Bill Maurer - KD8LCS, Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ, Don Wade - W8DEA, Danny Newport - KG8RV, Ron Kuhn - KC8LAB, Bruce Brown - KC8RKS, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, and Cathy Storey - KC8EUC.
Wade, WD8MIU (L) and Mike, KD8ENV as Net Control in the ECOMM Trailer
Comm Coordinator Cathy, KC8EUC and Danny, KG8RV review assignments
The Salvation Army Provided water and support during the day.
(May 24, 2013) - - The Wednesday, May 22, 2013 edition of both the Canton Repository and the Massillon Independent covered in detail the damage caused by the recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma that left 24 people dead, injuring more than 200, and destroyed schools, neighborhoods and vehicles.
It also covered a history of severe weather that Stark County has experienced in the last 10 years as reported on by Stark County EMA Director Tim Warstler. This included several F-2 tornadoes that struck in 2002 and again in 2006.
Stark County Skywarn was a part of the advanced warning system in each of these weather events and we continue to provide a strong program of severe weather spotters today. Even before severe weather strikes Stark County, our storm spotter system will be activated by our Skywarn Coordinator Mike Lackney, KB8MIB who will establish a severe weather net on our 147.12 Mhz ARES Repeater. Our core team of trained weather spotters will begin relaying visual observations of cloud patterns, wind speed and direction into Net Control.
We will then forward this information to the Cleveland National Weather Service using the six meter backbone system. We also provide weather situation reports to our area hospitals and to the EMA Office.
We pray that a tornado such as the EF-4 that struck Moore, Oklahoma never hits our homes here in Stark County, but one thing you can be certain of, when any severe weather threatens ---- our Spotters Are READY !
(Apr 28, 2013) -- Saturday, April 27th marked the official opening of the 2013 public service season as members of the MARC again assisted with the annual Spring MS Walk in Massillon at the Massillon Recreation Center.
Sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, communications volunteers staffed rest stops and provided safety and support communications for this years event. Communications was also maintained between the transfer busses and the Recreation Center.
EComm 1, the clubs Emergency Communications Trailer was stationed at the Rec Center and provided Net Control operations for the Walk. The weather was a beautiful spring day with warm temperatures that brought out record walkers for this years event. Nearly 400 participants supported this years walk. Local MS Walk Coordinator Dick Kulick expressed his sincere appreciation to all of the amateur volunteers for their continued assistance year after year. The overall event went very well with only a few needing transport back to the Recreation Center.
The following volunteers assisted with this years MS Walk. Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Bill Treacle - KD8TKX with wife Shirley, Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ, Igor Nikishin - K8INN and Carl Cunert. This event provided 40 Community Service Hours.
Part of the 2013 MS Walk Crew. Left to right Jim- WA8GXM, Don - W8DEF, Tom - KC8QOD, Wade - WD8MIU and Rick - KD8NYZ Bike Rover
(Apr 5, 2013) - - An equipment or "Go-Box" is quickly becoming an essential part of every radio amateur involved in public service communications. More and more, amateurs are being tasked to quick deploy to everything from local public service drills to disaster scenes.
There are many types of Go-Boxes currently being assembled by amateurs. Mostly they are based on individual needs and available equipment. After I acquired an Icom 706, I decided it was time to assembly my own version.
The final product is shown below. The HF Rig is the versatile Icom 706 M2G. I included the matching LDG IT-100 Automatic Antenna Tuner. An external speaker was added for improved audio. The HF antenna connection can either be a standard 3/8 inch stud mount for a vertical stick or through the SO-239 connector.
The VHF portion is my 2 meter Icom V-8000 mobile radio. A separate antenna mount is provided on the side of the case for this rig. Digital Communications capability is provided by using the Tigertronics SignaLink unit which can be used with either rig. An external laptop is added to run digital modes.
Power is provided by a 12 volt, 30 amp rated switching power supply from Ten-Tec Corp. The case is a modified Utility Dry-Box from MTM Case Gard Products and was purchased at the Dayton Hamvention for $40.00. A simple plywood shelf was added to support the equipment.
As with most Go-Boxes, mine is a work in progress and will be modified as new ideas come along. I am already thinking of a revised version to correct some problem areas with this design but this configuration has proven to be both useful and efficient !
The finished Go-Box case opened. The lid also provides a small storage area for connectors, cables, etc.
The equipment fits nicely in the case and is anchored using original brackets and angle brackets. The finished case is a bit heavy and a small wheeled cart is used to transport it from place to place.
(Mar 12, 2013) -- The Stark County ARES is currently looking for volunteer Net Control Operators to assist with the weekly Tuesday Night ARES / Saturn Public Service Net.
Being a Net Control operator is a great way to enhance your public service communications skills. Training will be provided by our net managers who will assist you and provide our current net roster. You need only commit to handling the net one Tuesday net session each month.
Anyone interested should contact our Net Managers Mike Lackney, KB8MIB - Michele Gill, KC8ZEJ or Mike Palmer, KD8ENV. Their email and phone information is available under the ARES Coordinator section.
We appreciate your assistance with our ARES Net !
(Mar 2, 2013) --- The American Red Cross has made the decision to phase out and decommission its Emergency Communication Response Vehicles (ECRVs), due to changes in technology, as well as a new satellite system and other factors regarding the vehicle fleet. “Retrofitting the decade-old vehicles with new equipment is not a good use of donated funds, as the long-term strategy is to move to more portable systems,” American Red Cross Disaster Services Technology Manager Keith Robertory, KG4UIR, told the ARRL. “This is consistent with the trends in the telecom and technology industries.”
The American Red Cross will be removing the Amateur Radios from the ECRVs as part of the decommissioning process. These radios will either become part of the deployable inventory or provided to the local American Red Cross chapter to build local capacity. Equipment that can be used by the American Red Cross will not be phased out with the vehicle. According to Robertory, every communication capability of the ECRV already exists -- or will soon exist -- as a rapidly deployable kit that can be loaded on any vehicle that is owned or rented by the American Red Cross, providing more flexibility in shaping its response to match the disaster. Read More...
EXTRA ITEM .....Many Stark County ARES Team members will remember that we hosted one of these impressive response vehicles during our severe flooding and tornado outbreak in 2005. Our members staffed and operated this equipment during relief operations for over a week during this time. You can read the complete story with pictures of the vehicle on our current news page.
(Nov 14, 2012) --- The following story recently appeared in the Columbus Dispatch newspaper and is reprinted by permission.
During the March 1913 flood in Columbus — a catastrophe that killed nearly 100 people — Akerberg was a 15-year-old Hilltop resident. He used his home radio transmitter — the second established in Columbus — to send SOS calls.
“SOS Hilltop Business Men’s Association wants city to send boats,” Akerberg, a West High School student, tapped out in Morse code the afternoon of March 26, 1913. “Supplies will last until about tomorrow. Men are hanging on trees. Send supplies. Water is receding. Try and get us water and gas. People are suffering. Send this to Mayor (George J.) Karb at once. SOS.”
During the flood, the Scioto River raged through Downtown, taking out bridges, inundating Franklinton and isolating the Hilltop by sweeping away telephone and telegraph lines.
In his 1925 History of Ohio, C. B. Galbreath wrote: “For about three days and nights, practically continuously for seventy-two hours, young Akerberg remained on duty at his radio set, in communication with the radio station on top of the Huntington Bank Building, sending messages to the mayor and keeping the public advised as to the conditions on the devastated West Side. “Many messages were sent to the friends and relatives of those in the devastated district.
He kept this constant vigil during heavy downpours of rain and at intervals waded in water up to his knees to the doorsteps of adjoining houses to get information to communicate to the city. His services were highly commended by the city authorities, and his achievement widely heralded over the country as a new contribution to the comparatively new science of radio.”
As an adult, Akerberg served with the Army Signal Corps in World War I and directed the building of Avery & Loeb Electric Co.’s WPAL Columbus radio station in 1923. In 1929, he joined the fledgling Columbia Broadcasting System and helped build out its radio and television networks.
Times have changed, but amateur radio thrives in Columbus. The city is home to more than 1,500 licensed ham radio operators.
(Oct 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 Supports Airport
(May 5, 2012) --- Stark County ARES participated in a full-scale airport disaster drill at the Akron-Canton Airport last Wednesday that involved more than 50 area emergency responders.
The scenario involved a cargo plane colliding with a passenger plane over Stark County. Debris from the make-believe crash was scattered in multiple locations throughout the area. The participants in the drill included FBI agents, airport security, multiple area police & fire departments and Stark Co ARES.
ARES responded to the Stark Co EMA office to activate our emergency response plan that included operators at the EOC and establish an emergency net in case additional operators would be needed.
Three members of the Stark ARES including Assistant EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ; Wade Huthmacher, WD8MIU and Don Wade, W8DEA activated our 2 meter station and established an emergency net on the 147.12 Repeater. Check-ins were taken on the repeater to solicit volunteers in case we were needed to support response and relief operations including establishing evacuation centers.
We were also requested to monitor county drill communications for any traffic to the EOC for Director Tim Warstler. ARES members have the responsibility to use county communications equipment to support all drill operations.
During the drill approximately 20 operators responded to our request for assistance. This was done via the county emergency repeater on 147.12 and the Massillon ARC 147.18 Repeater. The Alliance ARC also stood by with several operators.
The drill concluded at approximately 1:00 PM. Director Tim Warstler appreciated our assistance during this annual drill. Participation in these area drills provides us with important experience and the interaction with area support agencies that would be necessary in the event of an actual emergency.
The EOC Operations Room converted to manage the Airport Drill. Multiple agency representatives coordinate drill operations.
Firefighters practice response operations at the Akron-Canton Airport drill.
ARRL ARES E-Letter Posted
(July 15, 2013) -- The July 15, 2013 edition of The ARES E-Letter is currently posted and includes the following highlights; New Mexico ARES Units Support Wildfire Response With Assistance From Colorado ARES; Emergency Managers Recognize Minnesota Ham; Preppinf For Brownouts and Blackouts; ARES Supports Search For 64 Year Old; plus additional news. You can read the entire newsletter on the ARRL website. Click Here for a direct link.
Philippine Amateur Radio
Volunteers Provide Communications Support
(Nov 12, 2013) - - -In the devastating aftermath of what some weather experts are calling the most severe typhoon ever, Philippine Amateur Radio volunteers are providing communication support for governmental and relief agencies. In many cases, ham radio is the only communication available, as Typhoon Haiyan — called “Yolanda” in the Philippines — took out the telecommunication infrastructure as well as electrical power over a wide area. Hardest hit was the city of Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province. Officials now anticipate the death toll could rise as high as 10,000. Another 500,000 or more have been left homeless — some largely without food and water — awaiting the arrival of outside assistance. Ramon Anquilan, DU1UGZ, of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA), reports that amid the chaos, Ham Radio Emergency Operations (HERO) stations are helping authorities and residents. He said RADNET (an emergency network) members Nathan Eamiguel, DU5AOK, Vilma Eamiguel, DU5VIE, and the members of their local club are working hard. Read More...
Radio Amateurs Provide
Comm Support In Boston Marathon Bombings
(Apr 17, 2013) - - As has happened many times in years past, over 200 Amateur Radio operators participated in communications for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013. Unlike prior challenging situations such as very warm weather for the runners or other weather-related challenges, this year’s marathon will be remembered for the bombings that took place at the finish line. Despite this heinous act, professional first responders, medical volunteers from the American Red Cross that staffed the route, and Amateur Radio operators performed magnificently in the face of adversity.
“Within minutes, cell phone systems became overloaded and making phone calls and text messages was difficult. Amateur Radio operators performed communication duties under duress and performed admirably. No Amateur Radio volunteers were injured on the course in this terrible act,” said Steve Schwarm, W3EVE, who is the Amateur Radio Course Communication Coordinator and associated with a consortium of clubs and groups known as Marathon Amateur Radio Communications (MARC).
“At the finish line net control, which was only 400 feet from the initial blast, we heard the explosion. I poked my head outside to confirm what I thought it was and saw the white smoke. We immediately knew what had happened and commenced a roll call of all ham operators and medical tents. State Police authorities initially ordered us to lock down and post a ham for security watch outside the net control trailer. Thankfully none of our people were hurt,” said Paul Topolski, W1SEX, Amateur Radio Finish Line Coordinator. Read More...
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|last reviewed/updated on 12/01/13|
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