The Town of Whitman’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and amateurs from the Whitman Amateur Radio Club assisted at the recent Winterfest festival in the Town of Whitman on December 7, 2008. According to Bill Hayden, N1FRE, fifteen CERT and ham volunteers assisted in the activities. Seven of the 15 were Whitman ARC members. Bob Schmitt, KB1MTY, Whitman Emergency Management Agency (WEMA) Director, and Chief Grenno coordinated activities from ground level at the hot chocolate factory and distribution center.
The WEMA Emergency Operations Center (EOC) radio communication center was activated and manned by Bill Hayden, N1FRE and Frank Hayes, N1OGP during the event. WEMA Motorola public safety radios were assigned to each volunteer team. The WEMA frequency of 484.250 PL 203.5, was used through out the event for two-way communication.
Members assisted the public at the hayride, a trolley ride, a Moonwalk attraction, face painting, pie eating, and rock climbing events. They also operated the CERT mobile re-hab unit. Others provided additional eyes and ears for security personnel.
During the event the Whitman police and fire personnel were tied into the WEMA radio frequency via their radio systems as part of the “interoperability test” and thus were able to communicate directly with the EOC and WEMA volunteers during the event. This big step forward for the town’s “interoperability test” was coordinated by Bob Schmitt, KB1MTY, WEMA Director and Whitman ARC member. The EOC, located on the 2nd level of the Fire Rescue station, monitored the Whitman police and fire frequencies as well, so as to be aware of any of their normal activities that may affect the volunteer’s mission as “helpers”.
The Whitman ARC two-meter repeater was also monitored by hams on the scene as well as at the EOC. All of these modes of communication were available at the EOC on a priority basis.
–Thanks, Whitman ARC Spectrum, December, 2008