Frank Murphy, N1DHW writes:
“The Salvation Army, our host for [Boston Amateur Radio Club] meetings, has requested the help of BARC members to support a communications intensive exercise for the Salvation Army Emergency Response. It is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, 2004. This exercise will be conducted, rain or shine, at their 120 acre youth camp, Camp Wonderland, in Sharon, MA, from 0900 through mid-afternoon.
Hams will support the Sharon EOC, the Communications Vehicle, a message center, the staging area, and Disaster Canteens. Shadow supports for key staff will also be provided. Partial day commitment is acceptable since this will afford us practice in relief operations.
Lunch, drinks, and snacks will be provided during the day. An evening meal, prepared on-site from the 50 ft. Salvation Army Regional Disaster Kitchen, will be offered to all volunteers. This same mobile unit served thousands at the WTC.
This all radio exercise is designed to test the teamwork and performance of new members of the local Salvation Army Disaster Services Organization (DSO). All of the DSO team members have completed Basic ICS training courses, and many were at WTC. However, this is the first time for all Massachusetts DSO teams to respond and work together at a local disaster event
under the Incident Command structure. Their further limitation is that they will have to rely on only radio communications. No cell phones will be permitted!
This will be a great test of both our SATERN and BERT members to provide the communications support we promise to our hosts, and advertise to the community in general. Our plans are for BERT to manage all field radio operations, including the new mobile Communications Van. Most radio communications will use simplex frequencies, with some local repeater backup.
In addition to the hams, the Salvation Army is calling for many general Disaster Volunteers. Hands-on field training will be conducted in non-ham response support activities. These will include canteen operation, mass feeding, shelter setup and operation, and other related tasks needed in supporting any major disaster response agency.
While this exercise is not an ARES scheduled event, ARES Leadership participation and the use of ARES resources have been requested. Members from the ARES EC staff, and local and state emergency management have been invited as official observers to critique the drill.”
—Boston ARC The SPARC, April 2004