Updating the ARES Membership Database for Readiness

Hello to all…

Some time has passed since most of you submitted your contact and capabilities information. For many of you, that was well over a year ago. Please take a few mintues to submit any updated information since you filed your last application. It is very important that we get your current email address, as we are planning to migrate away from this site and set up new email address list later this year.How you do it is up to you. You can simply submit by return email pertinent updates to home address, email address, pager, cell phone, work phone, etc., brag, I mean, inform us of your changes in equipment, and if you have upgraded your license. We would also like to know what CCE courses you’ve completed or are working on. I prefer email, but you can fax or leave a voice mail 24/7 with your info at 978.389.0558.

Or, if it is more convenient for you, please use the updated EMa ARES application form in the “files” area of this website (Mass RAS Gen) to update any or all of the information requested on it.

Please accept my thanks in advance for your efforts. The leadership will be meeting next Saturday (3/15) to discuss, among other things, our membership and how to reach everybody during a crisis. I would like to have as fresh a list as possible for them.

One more request. When you submit your information, please send to w1mpn@arrl.net putting the word “Update” in the subject area. This will allow my mail program to sort the responses from my other email. Please also copy your DEC and EC as well. Obviously, if we haven’t talked to you in a while, this is a great way to reintroduce yourself.

Thanking you again…73,

Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
Eastern Massachusetts
Section Emergency Coordinator

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ARES Net This Weekend!

Hello to all…

The monthly ARES Net will be held this Sunday 1/19 at 2000 (8pm) on the MMRA network, or after the weekly Youth Net secures. For information on the MMRA network, please press the “EMa ARES Overview” button, and click on the MMRA link within. Please press the “read more” button.Although this change has been announced previously, we wanted to remind you again of the change, particularly the new time. These changes were in response to comments made by many of you, and we hope you like the result. Additionally, our long time net control and congenial host, Bill, N1VUX, is not available at this new time slot. Please join me in thanking Bill for his long dedicated service to the ARES net. I will be Net Control (NC) for the next few months, while we establish a schedule of NC’s. Please consider NC’ing this net on a rotating basis with other volunteers in the months to come.

We are making some changes to the venerable net, and more in the near future. The monthly ARES Net purpose is to practice making an ARES call to volunteers during an emergency/exigency, and then receiving checkins of volunteering ARES members, and other interested hams. As in the real situation, we will ask hams to check in with call, name, location of station or location if mobile/portable, and power source, as we have before. And as with past practice, it is important that you allow pauses in your transmissions to allow priority break-ins, and the network to drop/refresh properly. In a real world situation, you would check in the MMRA network FIRST to relieve congestion on the area RACES repeaters, so this monthly net is practice for that as well. We are exploring the use of internet based protocols such as IRLP and Echolink, to expand our net to the entire section as soon as we can.

We are asking you to add one important new item to your checkin. Please indicate whether you have priority traffic to pass to the net control. In an actual exigency, priority traffic would be involve any important information that must be passed to net control and cannot wait for the completion of check-in’s or a roll call. The traffic could be a fresh incident report, a report of major damage, or a high priority agency request. In a real situation, you must use your best judgment on what is priority information, with net control then deciding how to handle your information and when to continue the checkin. In the real situation, you would receive important information in the net concerning the exigency, directions for mobilization (or standby information), and staging/rendezvous points when the mobilization begins.

Since there will not be this activity in the monthly net (unless we have an exercise), we will substitute other activities. Changes will be announced in the future, but for this month we will:

Run two or more rounds of check-ins
Make brief announcements
SEC’s monthly comments
Contributors comments. KC1US will be a regular contributor of brief PSE announcements with website references for details
Roundtable discussion. This month’s topic will be the February 8th exercise.

A procedural note. If the network experiences problems, we will ask you to shift to the next repeater west of your location to attempt to maintain contact. For example, if Quincy 146.67 would fail, shift to Quincy 224.4 or Weston 146.82. If Stoughton 146.715 would fail, shift to 446.725 or west to Marlboro 146.61, 449.925, 53.81 repeaters. Same procedure for those south using Shrewsbury and Hopkinton repeaters to move north.

I look forward to talking to you on the net. 73,

Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
Section Emergency Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts Section
Pager: 1-800-759-8888 PIN 1155084
Admin: w1mpn (symbol for at) arrl.net
978-562-5662 Primary/Voice Mail
978-389-0558 FAX/ EFax Voice Mail

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EMa ARES Net Schedule Change

ARES Logo
W1MPN writes:

EMa ARES has now shifted its monthly net to the third Sunday of every month, starting at 2000 (8pm) on the Minuteman Repeater Association linked repeater system following the weekly Youth Net.

73,

Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
Section Emergency Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts Section
Pager: 1-800-759-8888 PIN 1155084
Admin: w1mpn (symbol for at) arrl.net
978-562-5662 Primary/Voice Mail
978-389-0558 FAX/ EFax Voice Mail

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Winter ARES Exercise Call for Players

ARES logo
***** Winter Exercise Scheduled for Saturday February, 8, 2003 *****
***** Announcing a Call for Players from the ARES community,
and from Clubs in the Section *****
***** Proposed Play for the Exercise *****

Happy New Year to all of you, and I hope that the year brings happiness and prosperity to you and your family.

The ARES leadership has scheduled a Winter Quarter exercise for Saturday February 8, 2003. The exercise will be an EOC to EOC emergency communications exercise using a similar approach as the November exercise, but implementing improvements suggested in critique sessions. We will also use a major winter storm scenario to add realism and purpose.Due to the time of the year, the field component prominent in the November SET will not be exercised. Additionally, the relatively quick follow on was in response to many of you who suggested doing a similar exercise as soon as possible.

ARES members, ARESMAT teams, Club Emergency response teams, town and city RACES officers, and individuals are invited to play in this exercise. Official RACES participation is not expected, but always welcome.

** Concept **

Teams and clubs are asked to set up a physical EOC and operators for the exercise. Ideally, several of these will be set up in each district. Due to the time of year, all exercise activities will be carried out in these locations. Obviously, EOC’s must be heated and lighted, and available for amateur use that day. Public Service Agencies are welcome to participate to any extent they wish. Please remember that most EMA personnel may not choose to participate because as it is a Saturday. They are, however, most welcome to participate if they so desire.

The exercise will consist of establishing contact with other EOC’s within and without your district, and then passing various traffic. Most traffic will be from simulated agency officials in each EOC, and some will consist of urgent traffic. We will “pick up” where we left off in November. Most importantly, we will strive to improve our ability to establish communications, set up effective net controls, and efficiently pass NTS traffic. We will implement many of the suggestions you forwarded such as revising the frequency plans with more local emphasis, setting up more planned activities during the day (i.e. “envelopes” or timed activities), and allowing use of some repeater assets. There was some discussion about adding more complexity and extending the exercise period, but no decision has been made as of yet.

** Schedule **

Please discuss participation with your clubs and interested individuals as soon as possible during the month. If you have any suggestions, please forward them as soon as you can. If you would like your DEC or me to answer questions at your meeting, please don’t hesitate to ask.

The DEC’s and I meet a week from Saturday on January 11 to finalize plans. An exercise plan will then be available about a week later. The district frequency plan will appear separately about a week before the exercise.

I will send an update shortly after the staff meeting on the 11th. Let’s work together toward a successful exercise!

s/Michael P. Neilsen

Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
Section Emergency Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts Section
Pager: 1-800-759-8888 PIN 1155084
Admin: w1mpn (symbol for at) arrl.net
978-562-5662 Primary/Voice Mail
978-389-0558 FAX/ EFax Voice Mail

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New Domain Name for ARES EMa ARRL Site

I’m pleased to report that the League’s internet service provider, Interbridge.net, has agreed to assign a distinct subdomain name for the EMa ARRL ARES web site. Beginning today, this site can be accessed via the address,

http://ares.ema.arrl.org

In addition, the old address,

http://ema.arrl.org/ares

will continue to be supported.

Why did we implement this change? Because it more accurately describes the site from a hierarchical perspective.

73,

Phil Temples, K9HI

ARRL Section Manager,
Eastern Massachusetts Section
and “web host”

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Request For Comments: ARES and NTS Cooperation

I wanted to share this Request For Information from the ARRL Volunteer Resources Committee, via Steve Ewald at ARRL Hq. VRC feels that more cooperation is needed between ARES and NTS programs. They are looking for input from Section Managers, Section Traffic Managers and Section Emergency Coordinators as to how this might occur.

Additionally, I invite comments from any ARES or NTS participants.

73,

Phil Temples, K9HI

ARRL Section Manager,
Eastern Massachusetts Section
k9hi@arrl.orgARRL Section Managers,

The ARRL Volunteer Resources Committee has asked me to forward this letter to you.
Thank you very much for your help.

73,

Steve, WV1X
sewald@arrl.org
_______________

Dear Section Managers,

It has never been more important for the volunteers in ARRL’s
emergency communications programs to serve with professionalism and
excellence. During the past year, the Volunteer Resources Committee
has been studying the ARRL’s programs related to emergency
communications (see Minute 35, Board of Directors meeting, January
2002, March QST, page 64). This review was undertaken not only because
of the growing concern for homeland security following September 11,
2001, but also because of the ongoing need to ensure that Amateur
Radio responds effectively to disasters unrelated to terrorism —
floods, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes, hazardous materials
incidents, etc.

Several inter-related themes have emerged during the study. One is
that Amateur Radio must earn and maintain increased credibility with
served agencies, both nationally and at the local level. Another is
that Amateur Radio emergency communications volunteers must be more
actively involved in a variety of training experiences throughout the
year. Finally, although ARES and NTS are (and will continue to be)
structurally separate in your Section Field Organizations, these two
volunteer programs need to work more cooperatively, functioning as
part of one coherent emergency communications program at the Section
level.

The VRC believes that both ARES and NTS are valuable programs, and so
we will propose no structural change at the Section Level. We are
convinced that more cooperation is needed, however.

Some Sections have achieved a high degree of functional integration
and cooperation between ARES and NTS. In other Sections, each may
operate as though the other did not exist. The VRC believes that close
cooperation between ARES and NTS, with mutual respect and pooling of
expertise, is the best way to serve agencies effectively and to earn
credibility as fully-skilled emergency communicators.

The VRC will recommend that leadership officials in both ARES and NTS
be strongly encouraged to achieve certification in the ARRL’s
Emergency Communications certification program. We will also recommend
that grass-roots volunteers be encouraged to pass at least the Level 1
certification. Along with the many other benefits of certification,
ARES and NTS operators will gain better understanding of and
appreciation for the value of both programs.

The VRC requests all Section Managers (in consultation with your SEC’s
and STM’s) and the three NTS Area Staff Chairmen to develop a vision
of how a closer working relationship can be effected between ARES and
NTS.

Input from all Section Managers is needed, because Sections are very
different from one another.

1. If your Section has already brought ARES and NTS together quite
well, please describe how it is done, what problems may have arisen,
and how the problems were resolved. Your success stories will provide
ideas to other Section Managers.

2. If your Section’s ARES and NTS are functionally separate now,
you are asked to work with your SEC and STM to develop a plan for
bringing them into closer cooperation. Please describe your thought
process: what do you see as the major issues to be considered, the
important problems to be solved, and the major goals to be achieved?

Please post comments as soon as possible on the SM reflector. ARRL HQ
Staff will see that your input is relayed to the VRC, so it can be
considered as we prepare our report to the Board.

Thank you for working with us toward the goal of serving our
communities and our country to the best of Amateur Radio’s capability.

73,
The VRC

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Request For Comments: NTS and ARES Cooperation

Happy Thanksgiving, EMA traffic handlers!

I wanted to share this Request For Information from the ARRL Volunteer Resources Committee, via Steve Ewald at ARRL Hq. VRC feels that more cooperation is needed between NTS and ARES programs. They are looking for input from Section Managers, Section Traffic Managers and Section Emergency Coordinators as to how this might occur.

Additionally, I invite comments from any NTS or ARES participants.

73,

Phil Temples, K9HI

ARRL Section Manager,
Eastern Massachusetts Section

ARRL Section Managers,

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Cape Cod ARES After Action Report: EMA Simulated Emergency Test

The drill began for us at 10am. That was 1 hour later than the official start of the section SET. This was due to our operations plan having been completed before the Section plan was complete.

Cape Cod ARES dispatched 2 field teams. One was deployed to assist Sandwich Emergency Management office. The other was sent to the Lower Cape Regional Technical High School in Harwich MA…Communications were quickly established with K1PBO Cape cod ARES EOC and both teams via 2m FM simplex.

Communications were also quickly established via 40m NVIS on 7230khz (severe interference was observed from a slow scan TV Net on 7228kzh). NVIS signals were very strong even for such close range. Although CCARES has done this numerous times in our last 10 drills, the NVIS signals were the best we have encountered to date.

We attempted to initiate comms on 75m NVIS, but signals were very poor. It was certain that 40m would be the band of choice today. We were able to establish comms with our EC on Martha’s Vineyard Brad KB1QL on 40m. An attempt to establish communications with Region II on our liaison frequency of 147.465. Contact was unsuccessful.

Several NTS and tactical messages were exchanged between our field teams and CCARES EOC. We were able to fulfill envelope 1 by deploying team members to the Sandwich EM site. We were initially unable to successfully act on envelope #3 as a path had not been located.

Successful check-in was made to WC1MAB Region II anchoring the EMA/RI RACES Net on 7246khz. Signals were excellent.

An initial NTS message on current shelter status was sent to WC1MAB on 40m. We then learned that Region II had indeed heard us calling on the 2m liaison frequency (147.465)earlier. They could not get a sufficient signal back to us. Once a relay path was made, we were able to send an NTS message destined for W1MPN via 40m.

An NTS message was relayed to us from Central MA Red cross on the 40m Net(7246khz). We had contact with many stations on 40m NVIS(7230khz). Several RI EOCs checked in with us having super signals. Our local operations continued normally untill mid afternoon.

Participation of CCARES Members

Number of CCARES members participating in the Exercise: 12

WQ1O-Frank
WA1KCC-Jim
KB1EAJ-Ritchey
W1VZT-Ben
N1ZPO-Mark
W1PPY-Chris
W1RBF-%@!#%& (also Sandwich EM Director)
N1CP-Chris
WA1JSE-Paul
KC1KM-Jim
K1WCC-Henry
N1PIV-Trenor

Modes and bands Used in Exercise
2m FM
2m SSB
6m FM
6m SSB
40m NVIS
40m Normal deploy
Packet Radio 2m

Number of Messages Passed
NTS format – 15
Tactical Messages – 24
NTS using packet radio – 3

Number of off Cape Stations Worked
40m – 7 stations

Operational Objectives
Deploy field teams – Successful
Logistical Resupply(Food) – Partially successful
Conduct NVIS operations with other off Cape stations – Extremely successful
Conduct all mode operation between fied teams and EOC – Extremely successful
Establish Contact to Region II on Simplex 2m FM – Unsuccessful* (warrants further technical investigation as we were unable to hear WC1MAB on 2m, but they could hear us)(we also worked other stations further away than WC1MAB on 2m FM with no difficulty)
Provide relief operators at the field sites – Successful

Observations and Analysis of Operations

1. The goal of getting numerous stations to play in the EMa Section, WMa Section and RI was well represented. It was good to see all those call signs in there.

2. 40m was incredibly reliable for this exercise. It is interesting to note that CCARES has observed the situation in which communications with just one station using an NVIS antenna can do well even if the other station is using normal antenna configurations. We have observed this concept in 6 of our last 10 drills. When we were communicating with WC1MAB on 40m, we were using a normal dipole at 45 feet. Signals were good. As we approached the end of the 40m Net on 7246khz, I conducted a test with WC1MAB (W3EVE as NCS). We switched our antenna to our NVIS 40 meter dipole (6′ off the ground with a counterpoise wire 5% longer underneath). Steve reported a dramatic signal increase after the switch(thanks Steve!). This is a great demonstration of how NVIS can be used for significant advantage.

I also want to take this opportunity to note the professionalism in operations by the RACES Region station operators. Net operations were done very effectively. I want to thank Steve W3EVE and Bob WA1OEZ for helping WC1MAB anchor the net. Great Job to all. My thanks to WMa SEC Dennis Zonia and also the RI groups who participated. We are also very lucky to have Mike W1MPN as our SEC here in the east. My desire was to see people get in the field to operate. I used to believe for years that I was prepared for field ops. That belief was shaken to the core after CCARES began our series of field drills shortly after the 9-11 attacks. You never realize just how unprepared you are until your operation ceases because you failed to bring a 50 cent item. After that, you never forget that item again. During our May 18th drill, we had downpours all day long with strong winds. I learned more from that drill than any other to date. I never would have learned those lessons without going out and experiencing it. It was great to see all you guys “in action” today. You should all be proud of yourselves for doing a great job today! My thanks to all who put in time and hard work to make the exercise possible.

73s and Happy Holidays to all!

Respectfully Submitted,
Frank WQ1O
Cape Area ARES DEC

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EMA ARES Emergency Communication Workshop, October 26th

Eastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (ARES) will put on its Emergency Communication Workshop Saturday October 26th, 2002 from 9 AM-4 PM at the Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, Massachusetts. It will be held in the Sturdy Memorial Rice-Webb Auditorium which has an outside entrance from the rear parking lot behind the Emergency Room. The workshop is being hosted by the Sturdy Memorial Hospital Amateur Radio Club, its Emergency Communications Team and Sturdy Memorial Hospital working in conjunction with Eastern Massachusetts ARES. Amateur Operators from both Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island are welcome to attend this workshop.

This Emergency Communications Workshop will provide the background and information to serve Amateur Radio Operators when they need to respond to a communications emergency. It will feature an Introduction and Conclusion to Emergency Communications, and five 1-hour training sessions on topics including:

Introduction
Net Operations I (Tactical Message Handling for ARES/RACES/SKYWARN Nets)
Net Operations II
NTS Traffic Message Handling
Basic ICS
Go Kits

This training will also feature a 1 hour lunch that will be provided at no coerced cost to any Amateur who attends the session.

The presentations will be given by other Amateur Operators well versed in the topics listed above. The training will be a worthwhile endeavor not just for emergency communicators but for anyone who is an amateur radio operator, and wants to learn more about the hobby.

Preregistration is requested but is not required in case anyone would like to attend at the last minute. If you preregister, please try to do so by Monday October 21st, 2002 so that we can get an approximate head count. We will, however, accept any preregistrations after that day or any walk-ins as long as space permits.

Directions to the Sturdy Memorial Hospital as provided by the Sturdy Memorial Hospital Web Site: [Read if desired ]

From the Boston Area:

Route 95 south to Exit 5 (North Attleboro). Left and follow to lights on North Main Street (Route 152). Right on North Main and follow to traffic light/Park Street. Left onto Park Street (Route 118). Straight on Park to HOSPITAL.

From the Providence Area:

Route 95 north to Exit 3 (Attleboro). Right to South Avenue (Route 123). Left at second lights onto County Street (Route 123). Follow County to Park Street (Route 118). Straight on Park to HOSPITAL.

From Interstate 295:

Follow Route 295 north to Route 95 south to Exit 3 (Attleboro). Follow Providence area directions above.

From Interstate 495 (North or South):

Follow Interstate 495 to Exit 10 (Norton). Follow Route 123 west to Attleboro Center. Follow signs around island to Park Street (Route 118). Straight on Park to HOSPITAL.

From Rehoboth:

Take Route 118 north to Emory Street (one way intersection). Follow Emory to Brook Street. Left on Brook to Park Street (Route 118). Left on Park to HOSPITAL.

From Route 140 (North and South):

Turn onto Route 123 (Norton Center). Follow Route 123 west to Attleboro Center. Follow signs around island to Park Street (Route 118). Straight on Park to HOSPITAL.

From Seekonk:

Take Route 152 north to Attleboro Center. Right onto Park Street (Route 118). Follow Park straight to HOSPITAL.

Signs will be posted directing you to the Auditorium. Talk-in will be on the 147.195/147.795 PL: 100.0 Attleboro W1SMH Repeater.

For any additional information and to preregister for the workshop, please contact:

W1MPN/SEC, Mike Neilsen by email w1mpn@arrl.net
W3EVE/DEC-Training, Steve Schwarm by email w3eve@amsat.org
KD1CY/DEC-South-Shore, Rob Macedo by email rmacedo@rcn.com

or your local DEC

This training should be a worthwhile endeavor for anyone interested in learning more about emergency communications and amateur radio in general.

Announcement contributed by Rob, KD1CY

Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
Section Emergency Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts Section
Pager: 1-800-759-8888 PIN 1155084
Admin: w1mpn (symbol for at) arrl.net
978-562-5662 Primary/Voice Mail
978-389-0558 FAX/ EFax Voice Mail

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July/August EMA ARES newsletter

The July/August EMA ARES newsletter is posted to
http://www.emaares.com/Newsletters/Newsletter-Latest.html *July/August Headlines*
ARES at Boxoboro Convention 8/23-25
— No ARES Net 8/25
Homeland Security Grant Training Set to Start September 1

Hurricane Season * Cape Cod Drill #9, #10
Skywarn Training Session at MIT a success (2002-07-28) Skywarn
Activations — July 23rd Outbreak included a Tornado/Downburst NWS
Taunton Now Has WX1BOX Call-Sign to be Used in All Future NWS Ham Ops

* ARES News from ARRL Letter*
Homeland Security Grant Training Set to Start September 1
Bulletin listings of ARES/RACES Responses nationwide

* Every Month*
Calendar: PSE, Training, Drill
Website updates

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Bridgewater Town of Selectmen Proclaim “MARA Day”

The Massasoit Amateur Radio Association was recognized by the Bridgewater Town of Selectman in a special proclamation on March 20.  Noting the club’s “technical and communications expertise” to the emergency management department, police, and fire departments, they declared March 20, 2001 as “MARA Day.”  

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