On Sunday March the 20th a short exercise was conducted involving the newly established South Coast Hospital Emergency Amateur Radio Network (South Coast H.E.A.R. Network).
The South Coast H.E.A.R. Network consists of three Hospitals, The Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford and the Tobey Hospital in Wareham,. These three hospitals merged some years back to form the South Coast Hospital group.
The purpose of this Drill was to test the newly installed and programmed radio gear, establish communications between all three hospitals including other hospitals out of our area along with other ARES/ RACES Stations. There were three modes of communications tested, two meter simplex voice among the three hospitals, two meter duplex voice and HF on seventy five and forty meters. After testing on simplex the three hospitals switched to the REGION 2a RACES repeater, in addition to our three sites we were also joined by the Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro Ma. (K1SMH) our REGION 2a RACES repeater 147.000 is owned and operated by the South Eastern Ma. Amatuer Radio Association (SEMARA) located in Dartmouth. We were also joined by individual ARES home stations the WA1AEC SEMARA Club and Cape Cod ARES.
Operating these positions were approximately six Amatuer Radio Operators representing various organizations i.e. The Town of Acushnet Emergency Management Agency, The Town of Somerset Emergency Management Agency, the K1ZZN Amatuer Radio Club in Fall River, SEMARA Club in Dartmouth and SCMARG (South Coastal Ma. Amatuer Radio Group) from Acushnet. All operators are members of the South Coast ARES group.
Although the drill was of short duration the South Coast HEAR Network was able to test their system and recognize some of our weak and strong points. Future plans are to recruit more operators, especially for St. Luke’s and the Tobey Hospitals, establish digital communications via packet and winlink and participate in other exercises involving othe hospitals in Southeastern Massachusetts.
Edward A. Caron(ka1rsy)
South Coastal Massachusetts
ARES/SKYWARN Emergency Coordinator
Asst. Operations Officer
Town of Acushnet
Office of Emergency Management
(508)998-0295 ext 232