Congratulations Doug Bush, WD6FLW

On November 16th, 2013 I had the pleasure of certifying Douglas Bush, WD6FLW, as a fully qualified operator on the Icom-746.

Doug demonstrated his proficiency in all areas of the Icom- 746 Certification Task Book.

Thank you Doug! You are a great asset to our team at OEM ARU!

Two New Certified Radio Operators

Congratulations to Jacob Culley, K7JRC, and John Hendricks, K7JLT, for completing all of the knowledge and performance based standards required to become an ARES/RACES Radio Operator! IMG_4413

New Roster Posted

I just posted an updated roster, having discovered that I’d not updated Patrick Lewis’ phone number.

Tried to call him and got a lady with a Jamaican accent.  Figured that wasn’t Patrick, so I researched it and fixed the problem.

Sign Up for Simulated Emergency Test

Coming up on November 2, is the most significant, realistic SET that has ever been done in the State of Oregon.

Why?

1.  For the very first time, OEM staff will be involved in this exercise.  We will be generating quite a bit of outgoing traffic in addition to getting all the incoming. Doug Jiminez, our Exercise Officer, is putting together a whole exercise for us.

The scenario conditions are quite likely – what I call Cascadia Light – all the outages without the dead bodies floating in the surf, and the collapsed bridges and building.  But in that situation we would indeed be without power and without internet, so we’re exercising a portion of what Cascadia will bring us.

2.  A number of the county Emergency Managers are participating, and they’ll be generating real traffic coming to OEM, to which we will be responding as we would in a real situation.

3.  We will likely be generating traffic on behalf of some of the state agencies who would be represented in the ECC should this really occur.  For example PUC, Department of Energy, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, and maybe others

2.  This is a 4-state exercise.  Right now, there are 9 counties in Idaho, at least 2 in Washington, 3 in California and a substantial percentage of the Oregon counties pariticpating.

4.  The Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, and the Washington Emergency Management Division will be participating.  We’ll be generating traffic to and receiving traffic from these states.  Some of you may have the opportunity to use the FNARS equipment, which will be a part of our plan.

5.  The State Defense Force is activating our MARS station, and will be sending traffic.

This will be a true test of the capabilities of the OEM ARES unit.

As you know we are at the center of the hub.  If we fail to do our job well, it impacts the entire state.  That’s why this SET is so very important, and we need everyone to participate.

We will likely have the ECC FULL, and using the radios in the pickup and the trailer as well.

We will likely have off-site HF stations taking traffic and feeding it to us via VHF simplex, or maybe even peer to peer packet.

Lisa has created a signup at http://doodle.com/z6parhknfp5akfss.  So far only two people are signed up, and we’ll need signficantly more than that.  We anticipate 5-6 people needed per shift to operate, and to manage the flow of traffic.

Please make sure you go to the above link and sign up ASAP.  We really need to know our resource availablilty.

 

 

Voice Traffic Handling Procedures for SET

In the upcoming Simulated Emergency Test, we are very likely going to be handling quite a bit of voice traffic, given the volume we’re anticipating, and the possible limitations on Winlink HF Gateway capability.

HF Winlink will be very busy, since we’re relying on gateways in areas substantially out of our area, and depending on propagation, may become a challenge.

So, we need to be able to reasonably handle voice traffic on HF as well.

Of course, there’s a difference between tactical traffic and formal traffic.   Because o four position in the process, we’re more likely to get formal traffic from the counties than we are tactical communications.

We don’t use the standard ARRL radiogram for traffic, but many of the procedures in handling traffic will be the same, so it’s important to understand proper procedures.

I’ve found some tutorial videos online that do a good job of reviewing net procedure and traffic handling techniques, which I’m posting here.  They’re a bit long, but I’d still encourage everyone to take some time and review them so you’ll be more up to speed than most of us probably are.

there are three parts, all posted below


Our Own Patrick Lewis to be Featured in OMD Newsletter

Below is an article written for The Sentinal, the newsletter of the Oregon Military Department, featuring our own Sgt. Patrick Lewis, AEC Operations of the OEM ARU.  It will be published in the next edition.

Congrats Patrick.  Your fame and notoriety are spreading!

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Oregon National Guard Soldier does critical volunteer work for Office of Emergency Management

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Oregon Office of Emergency Management Communication Officer Fred Molesworth (left), and amateur radio volunteer Patrick Lewis do a demonstration at the Oregon State Fair, Aug. 27, where a display informed the public about the importance of amateur radio. (Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Cory E. Grogan)

Sgt. Patrick Lewis, a signal support system specialist with the Oregon National Guard, says he has a passion for the power of communication and using his skills to help others.  In addition to his military service, Lewis is an amateur radio volunteer for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.  The office of emergency management provides important functions and programs for the state of Oregon revolving around preparation, response, recovery and mitigation for emergencies and disasters.

The 24-year-old Lewis, who has been an amateur radio operator since he was a junior in high school, said he became interested in emergency communications when he found out amateur radio may be the only form of communication in a disaster.

“If an event like Oregon Cascadia happens we know it will be the only form of communication out there in many places,” said Lewis.

The Amateur Radio Unit that Lewis volunteers his time for is one example of the important resources the Office of Emergency Management provides for Oregon.  The unit can be activated to provide statewide backup and alternate communications during times of emergency when other methods or modes of communication are overloaded or disrupted.

“This Unit will utilize HF, VHF, UHF, and Digital Modes to provide communications between county and state emergency management offices, and to Border States, as required,” said Fred Molesworth, communications officer for Oregon Office of Emergency Management.  “Counties have no other resource for back up communication other than amateur radio and volunteers like Lewis will be critical in a disaster scenario.”

Lewis said his job with Oregon National Guard involves work with electronic equipment that sends signals.

“I joined the Guard because I was an amateur radio operator, and being an amateur radio operator has helped me throughout my military career,” Lewis stated. “It gives me more depth of knowledge about radio waves, and going above and beyond to learn radio theory, and how radio waves work.”

Molesworth stated that there are several emergency and disaster scenarios that can happen in Oregon where normal cell, telephone and internet communication would be lost.

“When we are activated to counties our backup is all via amateur radio,” Molesworth said.  “We have highly flexible amateurs with licenses and training all over states that are very versatile and capable of providing emergency communication.”

Molesworth said the amateur radio unit he manages consists of 25 members, and that Lewis is the assistant emergency coordinator and operations chief for the unit.  Lewis wrote the operations plan for the unit and was chosen for the leadership position for a reason, he added.

“I chose him because of experience, ability and tremendous enthusiasm,” Molesworth explained. “He had the qualifications we were looking for to make this unit work—he was a good choice.”

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Oregon Office of Emergency Management amateur radio volunteer Patrick Lewis does an amateur radio demonstration at the Oregon State Fair, Aug. 27, where a display informed the public about the importance of amateur radio. (Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Cory E. Grogan)

Molesworth mentioned that Lewis is a model amateur radio volunteer who brings a level of discipline and experience in communication from his military background.

“He has a real sense of mission,” Molesworth said.  “Right now in the state of Oregon people with his degree of dedication and sense of mission are vital for our state.”

Lewis said he was inspired even more when in 2011 while on leave from Afghanistan, he got to put his skill to work during a tornado in Minnesota.

“I heard tornado sirens and provided emergency communication to help speed up critical communication,” he said.  “It felt really good to be able to use my skills to help people.”

Molesworth explained that there are 680 trained volunteers out of 17,000 licensed radio operators in Oregon, and if something like the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake (similar to the event in Japan) were to occur, 680 volunteers would simply not be enough.

Lewis says he will continue to volunteer well into the future, and that he hopes more of the 17,000 licensed operators will volunteer to expand the backup emergency communication network across the state.

“This makes me feel like I’ve achieved something, I like being in the role because I have ideas and want to put them to use,” said Lewis.  “I really believe in the importance of amateur radio so it feels good to be in a leadership role.”

If you are interested in learning more about what the Office of Emergency Management amateur radio operators do, or how to volunteer, go to W7oem.org.

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 Oregon Office of Emergency Management Communication Officer Fred Molesworth (left), and amateur radio volunteer Patrick Lewis do a demonstration at the Oregon State Fair, Aug. 27, where a display informed the public about the importance of amateur radio.  (Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Cory E. Grogan)

Oregon Office of Emergency Management amateur radio volunteer Patrick Lewis does an amateur radio demonstration at the Oregon State Fair, Aug. 27, where a display informed the public about the importance of amateur radio.  (Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Cory E. Grogan)

Swaptoberfest – All Hands On Deck

i want youAs you know, Swaptoberfest is the event that funds our organization each year.  It provides us with the money to purchase the hats and vests, and gives us operating money for whatever other projects we may choose.

That’s why it’s important that we have everyone participate, not to mention that this year is going to be a GREAT event, with all the changes we’ve made.

OEM ARU has three responsibilities:

First, and most of you don’t know this, Doug Hedlund, K7WDH has handled all the pre-registrations for several years.  This is a very big task, and is our major contribution to Swaptoberfest.

Second, we’re responsible for raffle ticket sales, which means we need two people per hour shift to staff the raffle ticket sales table.  Due to legal requirements, we need to have one person who can go to the admission table and sell a ticket should someone who is not paying to enter the event request to purchase one.  Two people means that there will always be one person at the sales table.

Third, we need to staff the trailer, which is a recruiting tool for us.  We’ll need people to help set up on Friday afternoon.  We’ll need people to be available to talk to visitors during the event, and we’ll need some help in taking things down afterwards.

This year, I’d like to set up one of the Blue Sky masts as well as the flagpole masts.

I’ve set up some RSVP events so you can sign up:

Ticket Sales – http://www.w7oem.org/rsvpmaker/swaptoberfest/

Trailer Setup http://www.w7oem.org/rsvpmaker/trailer-setup-friday-afternoon/

Trailer staffing Saturday – http://www.w7oem.org/rsvpmaker/swaptoberfest-trailer-staffing/