RACES Update – 6/28/12 from Acting State RACES Radio Officer – Mike Neilsen-W1MPN

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**  FOR RELEASE TO AMATEUR RADIO ONLY  **
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Hello all stations. 

In this message:

…  Update on RACES to ACS transition program.  Bottom line, no changes.
…  Continuation of present RACES organization
…  RACES net training schedule.  NO changes to schedule to the end of this year.
…  Exercise training with Operation “What do I do next?”

Update on RACES to ACS transition program.

As you know, we have been working with MEMA to affect changes to the RACES program since last fall.  Their main premise is for us to reduce the local government use of AR resources providing gap communications in an emergency.  They were concerned that Amateur Radio (AR) is still married to the old Civil Defense model, and that AR needed to fit better in the 21st century modern communication and response doctrine environment.

MEMA’s main goal is that AR should rather focus on situational/incident reporting as part of our response activities under the ESF-2 umbrella, based on what is done in the highly successful SKYWARN model.  They also liked the potential of folding AR personnel with other volunteers into an Auxiliary Communication Service (ACS).  We formed a stakeholder committee that met several times with MEMA personnel we were told were authorized to negotiate with us, and we were led to believe that progress was being made.

Then, inexplicably, the rapid progress to implement the program came to abrupt halt.  MEMA claimed that the AR leadership was telling its membership that “the state was terminating AR” and that “MEMA was going to close their regional offices”.  Both claims were manifestly untrue.  The implementation date slipped from the 1 April date they requested to late April/mid-May.  When it became obvious to me that even a 1 July date would not be met, I requested a meeting to clarify status.  Not only was my request not honored, I received no response for nearly three weeks.  Frankly, I would have been satisfied with MEMA to use 19th century protocols that encourage notes to be responded to.  In my judgment, no one is too busy to show good manners.

After all this effort, I was finally told that MEMA desired to “… continue to use MRAS assets as we have in the past, until the Fall.”  So we will do that with some caveats I will explain in the next section.

Continuation of present RACES organization.  We will continue our organization and manner of “doing business” with the following notatioins:

State RACES:  I will continue as the State RACES Officer until sometime into the Fall.  I will need to be relieved as I have other commitments to attend to on the first of the year.  I also believe that MEMA wants a very cursory presence in the SEOC.  As we also desire more of a local/regional emphasis for this program, I welcome this development.  I am also eager to convert the SEOC to client status, requiring them to request specific services on an as needed basis (excepting Level 4 activations).

Regional RACES:  For years, regional RACES Officers have been serving at the pleasure of the MEMA Regional Directors, coordinating AR communications from resident towns and cities.  As of this writing, many communities insist that AR is the only way they can communicate with the state to receive needed services during a disaster.

Towns and Cities: Communities that cannot avail themselves (for any number of reasons) to more robust state systems, will use AR communications and RACES operators.  We will continue this practice, but also encouraging the following practices:

Attempting to use state resources first, utilizing the plan published in the Massachusetts Interoperable Field Operating Guide (MIFOG).  Please contact me if your EMD has not received this document.

Utilizing communications with neighboring towns and cities for informational exchange and mutual support.  Please discuss this with your EMD, and set it up well before the next disaster.

Utilizing digital communications software for non-tactical communications supporting #2 above.  Please contact any RACES Leader for information

Go ahead with your own ACS conversion.  Design and implement a program to integrate other communication volunteers such as ARES, REACT, MARS, CAP, and other skilled or retired communication professionals interested in volunteer work.  Please contact any RACES Leader for information.

RACES net training schedule.  NO changes to schedule to the end of this year.

We will drill our tactical frequencies as we have since last Fall.  The dates are the first Monday of each month (the next is 7/2), except in September when it is pushed to the second Monday due to the Labor Day Holiday.

Please exercise your resource frequencies at the same time and consider staying on a little longer and play with the ARES folks!

Exercise training with Operation “What do I do next?”.  I would like you to participate in some specific communication exercises for the next three months to be prepared for a possible hurricane strike in September.  This will be detailed in a separate memo I will issue tomorrow or Saturday.

Please have a fun July 4th holiday and safe travels!

Regards and 73,

Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
State RACES Officer (Acting);

Member of the MEMT;
Member of the MA State Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC), and Policies and Programs subcommittee;
Chairperson, Amateur Radio Working Group
Office Answering Service: 978.293.7858
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North Shore Bike Race, Ham Help Sought, June 24

Steve Ross, N1IBS writes:

We’re doing a bicycle event on Sunday June 24th (Field Day). I am DESPERATE for about 3 or 4 people to help out. I will probably not need people at the water stops in Newburyport, Gloucester and Beverly but more so in positions where there is some confusion along the route. I do not forsee people between Gloucester and Newburyport so it may be more around Beverly and Salem (race starts and ends in Swampscott.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you can get some help for me. I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Steve Ross N1IBS
781-592-3765

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Gillette Stadium 5K, 10K Race Amateur Support Sought, July 3, 2012

Bob Salow, WA1IDA writes:

I know we get a lot of requests at this time of year, but this is like no other. We have been asked to support 5K and 10K races inside and outside Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. This is part of a big pre-Independence Day celebration to which the public is invited. The date is Tuesday, 3 July, starting (for us) about 1700.

Obviously, time is short and ham recruiting is problematic. Your assistance is needed. Please respond ASAP. A hand-held dual band radio with a good antenna and charged batteries should do the job.

The sponsor is Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Our support will be for both concurrent races starting just outside the stadium. The 5K goes around the property and up and down the various ramps. The 10K course hits the streets of the town. Both race courses finish at the 50 yard line on the field.

The stadium ramps and the streets can be hazardous so our observations and reporting are important. There will be medical monitors and water stations along the courses. Note that the start late in the day will help lower the temperature for the runners.

Families and friends are invited to watch the runners. As the sky gets darker there will be a spectacular fireworks display which can be seen from the Patriot Place areas. Free parking will be provided for hams and other volunteers.

Because of the complexities of the two courses, we have been asked to staff many positions. If you can encourage other hams and your club to volunteer, we can show this new venue our skills and help protect the runners.

Let’s make a good showing for this very special event. I will provide specific assignments and further details as we get closer to the date. Let me know if you can help on Tuesday, 3 July as soon as you can. Ask other volunteers to also send me an email. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

All volunteers must send me the following info:

~ Full name

~ Name on the air

~ Call sign

~ Email address

~ Postal address

~ Home phone

~ Cell phone

~ Dual band radio?

~ Shirt size

Thanks and 73,

Bob Salow, WA1IDA
wa1ida@arrl.net
508.650.9440

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South Shore Hospital ARC Seeks Volunteers For Run to the Rock Road Race

John O’Neill, KB1QEM writes:

We are looking for Amateur Radio Volunteers for the annual “Run To The Rock” Road Race in Plymouth. This is an exciting event as we cover 3 separate race courses that converge on the Finish Line at Plymouth Rock.

Amateur Radio public service is interesting and offers a fun experience. The communication load for this event is fairly light, but safety and support for the participants and staff are always our primary concern. It is an excellent event for hams new to public service that want to gain experience.

A 2-meter hand-held portable is needed at most assignments however we do have a few locations that can be covered by a mobile unit. An antenna better than the “rubber duck” that came with your portable radio should be used for all public service events. Be sure you charge your radio’s battery before the event. An extra battery pack is sometimes helpful.

If you can help with this event on Saturday, September 8, 2012 please reply with all of the following information as soon as possible. If you have already volunteered, bear with me and reply to this message, also.

Full name

Call sign

Postal mailing address (including 9-digit ZIP code)

Home phone

Cell phone

Email address

Does your 2-meter radio have CTCSS (PL)?

Do you have a mobile 2 meter radio?

T-shirt size ( I believe we will be given one)

Please let us know if you have volunteered for this event before and would like the same assignment. While we cannot guarantee requested assignments, we will try our best to meet your preference. Please respond soon. If you know other hams who would like to volunteer, please pass along this email.

Thanks,

John O’Neill, KB1QEM
South Shore Hospital Amateur Radio Club – W1SSH
southshorehospital.org

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Ipswich EMA To Conduct First Field Day Operation

2012 ARRL Field Day logo A new Field Day effort conducted by the Ipswich Emergency Management Agency will debut in Ipswich this weekend, according to EMA Director Jon Hubbard, W1HUB.

The group is off to a great start in the public relations department: they secured an official proclamation in conjunction with Field Day from the Town’s Board of Selectmen at a June 11 meeting. The presentation can be viewed at http://ipswichma.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=244.

“This year will be [our] first attempt at field day operating as W1IEM. We will be operating on Saturday, June 23 from 2-6PM and maybe a little longer depending on interest levels.”

Hubbard invites all interested parties to visit their Field Day operation. Map and directions can be found on the Eastern MA Field Day page at http://fd.ema.arrl.org/SiteDetail.php?site=IEM.

 

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Run To The Rock Road Race in Plymouth – Saturday September 8,2012

Hello Everyone,

We are looking for Amateur Radio Volunteers for the annual “Run To The Rock” Road Race in Plymouth. This is an exciting event as we cover 3 separate race courses that converge on the Finish Line at Plymouth Rock.

Amateur Radio public service is interesting and offers a fun experience. The communication load for this event is fairly light, but safety and support for the participants and staff are always our primary concern.  It is an excellent event for hams new to public service that want to gain experience.  

A 2-meter hand-held portable is needed at most assignments however we do have a few locations that can be covered by a mobile unit.  An antenna better than the “rubber duck” that came with your portable radio should be used for all public service events.  Be sure you charge your radio’s battery before the event.  An extra battery pack is sometimes helpful. 

If you can help with this event on Saturday, September 8,2012 please reply with all of the following information as soon as possible to the South Shore Hospital Amateur Radio Club email address at ssharc at gmail.com (email displayed this way in the web posting to prevent spam emails).  If you have already volunteered, bear with me and reply to this message, also. 

Full name

Call sign

Postal mailing address (including 9-digit ZIP code)

Home phone

Cell phone

Email address

Does your 2-meter radio have CTCSS (PL)?

Do you have a mobile 2 meter radio?

T-shirt size ( I believe we will be given one)

Please let us know if you have volunteered for this event before and would like the same assignment.  While we cannot guarantee requested assignments, we will try our best to meet your preference.  Please respond soon. If you know other hams who would like to volunteer, please pass along this message. 

Thanks,
John O’
KB1QEM

—–

South Shore Hospital Amateur Radio Club – W1SSH
55 Fogg Road, Mail Stop #40
South Weymouth, MA 02190

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Cape Ann ARA Field Day VE Exam Session

Cape Ann ARA logoThe Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association will conduct an Amateur Radio license examination session at its Field Day operation from 10 AM to 12 noon on Sunday, June 24 at the Fuller School Field, located next to Market Basket off the Route 128 Blackburn Circle Rotary exit.

The exam fee is $15.00. Two forms of identification are required and must include a picture ID and Social Security Number. You may make a reservation via email to Bob Quinn, WV1A at bquinn32 -at- comcast -dot- net Walk-ins are also welcome.

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Hams/ARES Participate in Scituate Health Department Anthrax Medicine Dispensing Drill

The following report from ARES Emergency Coordinator, Bob Callahan-W1QWT:

We had the Anthrax medicine dispensing drill in Scituate on Saturday June 2. The participants were comprised of member of the Medical Corps, Town Employees, CERT, and ARES. This was a setup drill only. Bob-W1QWT was the communications person and he set up the radios for everyone to use.

The State provided 12 FRS radios which were used for communications around the dispensing site
which was the Jenkins school. The State provided two Motorola UHF radios programmed to the
Scituate Police frequency used to talk to the police. The plan was to have buses pick up
residents at the Greenbush train parking lot and the North Scituate train parking lot.

Hams were dispatched to those locations and used the 145.25 repeater to communicate back to the
Incident Commander (Board of Health Director).Also KB1FBA was stationed at the EMS center at the
Scituate Fire Department

Bob-W1QWT shadowed the Incident Commander with a HAM radio, CERT radio (MURS), and FRS radio. We
assembled for pre-training at 8:30 AM and were done by 11:30 AM.

Regards

Bob Callahan-W1QWT

In Thumbnail image: Sitting: W1BT(North Scituate Train Station), NS1N (Greenbush Train Station), KB1FBA (Scituate Fire Department) Standing: W1QWT (Comms with IC) Steve Litchfield (Security – not a HAM yet)

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TRAFFIC TIPS: MESSAGE DELIVERY

To those who are new to message handling, delivering messages is one of the more important aspects of traffic handling since it is an interface between amateur radio and the general public, educating people on the public service ham radio provides.  Messages to other hams also provide an opportunity to introduce message handling and traffic nets to those who may not be familiar with this aspect of our hobby.  It is also fun, meeting new people, sharing messages to them from family, friends and other hams around the country, and in the case of other hams, perhaps talking with them about their interests in the hobby as well as yours.  This is a skill however, one that improves and becomes more comfortable with practice. 

Begin by making sure you copied the message accurately, requesting fills as needed and making sure the  check in the preamble matches the number of words in the text.

When calling introduce yourself as a ham radio operator with a radiogram for (addee) from (name in signature) in (place of origin).  This helps them to know you are not a telemarketer.  You might explain that the message is sent as a free public service so they know you’re not going to ask for money.  If you have ascertained that you are speaking with the addee, go on to read the message.  If the addee is not home ask the person answering if they wish to copy the message or when would be a good time to call back.  If you get an answer machine leave your name and phone number and a brief explanation why you are calling and that you will call back.  Some will call you back.  If you don’t hear back try again another time.  If after three tries you still get no response, send a service message to the originator.  This will be covered later.

When delivering a message you will only read the text and signature.  Remember most people will not know about arl numbered radiograms, so make sure you are prepared to read the corresponding text for the specific arl number.  (See nts.ema.arrl.org for list of these texts)  Any use of the initial “x” corresponds to a period and the word “query” represents a question mark, so these are generally not read in the text.  Most folks are very appreciative of the messages we deliver.  However you may get someone on a bad day who will react accordingly.  Remember we are ambassadors for amateur radio and conduct yourself accordingly.

Notice any handling instructions (HX’s in the preamble).  If there is an HXC send originator a radiogram with date and time of delivery.  If there is an HXE, attempt to get a reply to send back to the sender.  An HXF followed by a number means hold message for delivery until  that date.  If a message is undeliverable send a service message back to originator explaining reason for non delivery.  If phone number is incorrect, disconnected or not in service, include number you called in the text of your service message since sometimes phone numbers you received may have been garbled along the way.

Sound complicated?  It really is not.  The important thing is to relax and have fun, and know that you are getting practice in performing a public service

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Reminder: Monthly Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net for June 2012

Hello to all…

A reminder that the monthly ARES Net for June is rapidly approaching. The monthly ARES Net for June is Monday June 4th, 2012, at 8:30 PM on the MMRA Repeater system. This is after the MEMA Nets earlier in the evening. For frequencies that will be linked into the ARES Net on the MMRA Network, please see the following link from the MMRA web site detailing the repeaters that will be linked in through Hub 1:

http://www.mmra.org/repeaters/repeater_index_by_linkstate.html

In addition, if the Echo-IRLP node on the MMRA hub is available, we will likely link that to the New England Reflector system on IRLP 9123/Echolink Conference *NEW-ENG* Node: 9123.

Make this first Monday of the month, “Emergency Communications Night” and check into your local RACES Net and then check into the ARES Net on the MMRA Repeater System. We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net.

We will have several interesting announcements for the net that evening and we look forward to everyone’s participation. Updates will be posted via email and on the Eastern Massachusetts ARES Web Site at http://ares.ema.arrl.org

Thanks for your continued support of ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
http://www.wx1box.org

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