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Thames Valley ARES Red Cross Presentation


in many cases have special training and practice for emergency situations = ARES ... This arrangement is due to the alignment of ARES Sectors with EMO districts. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Thames Valley ARES Red Cross Presentation

Thames Valley ARESRed Cross Presentation
June 18, 2008
Presented byDoug Elliott  VA3DAE Amateur
Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Emergency
Coordinator (EC) for the City of London
What is Ham Radio? What is ARES? ARES and the Red
Cross The ARES Callout Process The National
Traffic System (NTS) The Stratford / Kashechawan
Experience Questions and Answers
What is Ham Radio?
  • Amateur radio is both a hobby and a service in
    which participants ("hams") use various types of
    radio equipment to communicate with other radio
    amateurs for recreation, self-training and public

Its a hobby
  • The main reason most hams are involved in Ham
    radio is because its fun.
  • making brief contacts or lasting friendships with
    people around the city and the world
  • taking part in contests, field day, clubs
  • building your own antennas and radio gear
  • trying unusual radio operations talking to
    astronauts, moonbounce, microwave

Do it yourselfAntennas
2 Meter Ham Antenna(No trombones were harmed in
the making of this antenna)
and its a Service
  • Providing communications support for public
    events marathons, air shows, parades

Providing emergency communications in times of
disaster, assisting Red Cross, Police, Municipal
emergency plans
When all else fails, theres Amateur Radio
Chinese Earthquake May 12
  • Chinese government officials and the news media
    have recognized that when communications failed
    after the earthquake, Amateur Radio operators
    stepped in to provide vital links
  • right after the earthquake, "Two ham radio
    operators drove to the center of the earthquake
    area and had a repeater set up by the morning of
    May 13. This repeater enabled the transmission of
    rescue instructions and status reports, and was a
    main communication channel for public use

..various types of radio communications
  • Portable (fits in your hand)
  • Mobile (fits in your vehicle)
  • Base Station (fits on your desk)
  • Usually, a bigger the radio has more capabilities
    (and a bigger price tag)

  • Bigger antennas
  • longer wavelength
  • further distance

Antenna Sizes
  • Portables ----------? inches
  • Mobile Several feet
  • Base Station 20 to 200 feet

Mobile Antennas
Base Stations
  • Every ham dreams
  • of having a big tall
  • tower some day

..various types of radio communications
  • Voice simplest, and most popular
  • Morse Code workable when voice isnt
  • Computer data messaging, higher speed

Repeaters central rebroadcasters that amplify
and re-send transmissions Internet Linking
radio internet radio
to communicate with other amateurs
  • Hams must pass an exam to be licensed by Industry
  • There are selected radio frequencies set aside
    for hams
  • Hams can only talk to hams, only on ham bands
  • Ham transmissions must be non-commercial, and
    hams can never accept money for use of radio

for recreation and self-training
  • contests, long distance friendships, challenge
  • way to learn about electronics, radio career
  • endless number of different aspects of ham radio
    to explore
  • more advanced licenses recognize training and
    grant more privileges

and for Public Service
  • In return for use of frequencies, hams provide
    their skills for public service when needed
  • emergency communications is a natural, since
  • have our own equipment, training licenses
  • have a variety of gear and frequencies available
  • can still operate when infrastructure fails
  • in many cases have special training and practice
    for emergency situations ARES

What is Ham Radio? What is ARES? ARES and the Red
Cross The ARES Callout Process The National
Traffic System (NTS) The Stratford / Kashechawan
Experience Questions and Answers
What is ARES?
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Service
  • hams who volunteer for emergency service
  • an International organization, sponsored by RAC
    in Canada, and ARRL in USA.
  • National leadership structure
  • regular meetings, training and practice

Ontario ARES Top Officials
  • Vice-President Field Services
  • Robert Cooke, VE3BDB
  • Ontario Section Manager
  • Allan Boyd, VE3AJB
  • Ontario Section Emergency Coordinator
  • Bob Gammon, VA3RX

ARES Structure
  • Ontario is divided into Districts or Sectors,
    each with a District Emergency Coordinator (DEC).
  • Districts have Emergency Coordinators (ECs) at
    the county or municipal level.
  • There can also be Assistant ECs.

(No Transcript)
Tecumseh District
  • Tecumseh District covers London, Huron,
    Middlesex, Oxford and Perth Counties.
  • District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) isBrett
    Gilbank, VE3ZBG
  • The DEC works with the Emergency Coordinators in
    their District and assists with coordination when
    multiple ARES groups are responding to an

St. Clair District
  • St. Clair District covers the south-west corner
    of Ontario, plus the Elgin County panhandle.
  • This arrangement is due to the alignment of ARES
    Sectors with EMO districts.
  • Scott Carter, VE3CGN, is DEC for the Elgin County
    portion of St. Clair district.
  • Mike Ciacelli, VE3UCY is DEC for the remaining
    parts of St. Clair district.

New ARES Group Name
  • To simplify reporting, and to prevent isolating
    smaller communities and radio clubs, the name
    Thames Valley ARES Group was selected by ARES
  • TVAG currently provides service to Oxford,
    Middlesex and Elgin counties.
  • One Group of Leaders working together to provide
    encouragement, support and prevent duplication of

District Emergency Coordinators
  • DECs provide all of the tasks and duties of the
    EC in areas that do not have a dedicated EC.
  • DECs provide support to the EC and ARES Groups
    and lead by example.
  • DECs work with the ECs to assist with
    coordination when two or more ARES areas are
    affected by an incident.

Emergency Coordinators
  • ECs create Emergency Communications Plans for
    their area.
  • They create training materials, hold training
    sessions and organize radio nets.
  • They provide leadership for the ARES group by way
    of example.
  • They attend municipal and agency meetings and
    bring updates to the team.

Local ARES Leaders
  • Thames Valley ARES Group

Brett Gilbank, VE3ZBGDistrict Emergency
Coordinator forTecumseh
Doug Elliott, VA3DAEEmergency Coordinator for
Scott Carter, VE3CGNDistrict Emergency
Coordinator for Elgin
Dave Young, VE3EAYEmergency Coordinator for
Middlesex East and Oxford South
Steve Struthers, VA3TDZEmergency Coordinator
for Middlesex North and Central
Assistant Emergency Coordinators
  • AECs are appointed by the Emergency Coordinator.
  • There is no limit to the number of AECs an EC can
    assign in their area.
  • AECs are active in their local community, and are
    key responders during a disaster.
  • AECs work with the DEC to assist with EC duties
    if the EC is unavailable.
  • AECs are often assigned special roles.

Assistant Emergency Coordinators
  • Thames Valley ARES Group

Local ARES Member Categories
  • Steering Committee Composed of the five area
    Emergency Coordinators.
  • Core Team Committed, Active Volunteers who are
    eager to participate as often as their schedule
  • First Wave Volunteers who are willing to assist
    the Core Team during emergencies, but who are
    unable to participate in many scheduled ARES

Who is in the ARES Core Team?
  • The members that will be contacted first when an
    emergencies arises.
  • The members who are eager to participate in ARES
    events and volunteer frequently.
  • The members willing to participate in training
    sessions to improve their skills.
  • The members who will get clearance to operate in
    the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Canadian
    Red Cross and other key locations.

Who is in the ARES First Wave?
  • The members that will assist trained members of
    the Core Team.
  • The members who are willing to help in an
    emergency but are unable to commit to training
    and events.
  • The members who make an effort to attend annual
    ARES training events for Basic Training. (ARES
    Boot Camp)
  • The members who will not be assigned to key
    locations during a disaster.

What is Ham Radio? What is ARES? ARES and the Red
Cross The ARES Callout Process The National
Traffic System (NTS) The Stratford / Kashechawan
Experience Questions and Answers
Memorandum of Understanding
  • Between Red Cross and RAC/ARES at the national
  • Is in the process of being revised

Excerpts In an emergencyRadio Amateurs of
Canada Inc. agrees to provide, whenever and
wherever possible 2. The establishment and
maintenance of fixed, mobile and portable
emergency communications facilities for local
radio coverage and point-to-point contact between
Red Cross and various locations, as required
  • 3. Adequate provision of service for the duration
    of the emergency or until substantial regular
    communications are restored and stand down is
    ordered by Red Cross
  • Red Cross..Branches are encouraged to invite one
    or more members of the amateur radio community to
    serve as Red Cross volunteers for emergency
    preparedness and relief
  • plans forutilization of communications
    facilities of ARES should be developed by the
    local Red Cross in cooperation with RACs local
    emergency coordinator

What Can ARES Do?
  • We are communicators, pure and simple
  • We can quickly create communications paths
  • We can accommodate unusual circumstances, by
    being flexible and creative
  • We can call on other ARES teams to assist
  • We can provide relevant training and practice for
    our volunteers if we know what we may be called

What Cant ARES Do?
  • We do not work with or interfere with radio
    systems of first responders
  • We are not trained for search and rescue, or to
    provide medical services
  • We cant ask our volunteers to put their own
    safety and well being at risk
  • We cant be responsible for all the factors that
    affect radio signal propagation but we will
    always do our best to provide good service

Callout Logistics Variations
  • Topics
  • Callout Timeline
  • What Agencies?
  • Agency Ham Gear
  • Variations

Callout Timeline
  • Established Relationship with Agency
  • Agency contacts one of 5 ECs
  • Agency EC exchange contact event info
  • EC selects resource net frequency, finds NCS
  • NCS goes on air with current info, logging
  • EC pages out frequency, starts phone tree
  • Once ECs are on-air, ICS roles are assigned
  • Do whats needed possible tactical net(s)

Established Relationship with Agency
  • Discussions with agency long before callout
  • go over possible activities, and what training,
    gear, practice goes with it
  • insurance coverage and ID card needs
  • callout method, info to be exchanged
  • admin person for updating callout details
  • technical details on any Agency ham gear

Agency contacts one of 5 ECs
  • may use agreed text pager message
  • telephone number list
  • email to Blackberrys or Cell phones
  • In a severe communications outage, Police vehicle
    sent to ECs home addresses
  • limited Agency staff can do a callout

Agency EC exchange info
  • ARES activated, or on standby?
  • summary of nature, location of emergency
  • what services ARES is asked to provide
  • main and backup contacts on both sides
  • time, place, contact for any initial meeting
  • roles frequencies for Agency Ham gear
  • frequency for status updates, if any

EC selects frequency, finds NCS
  • usually use local repeater with big footprint
  • depends on location of emergency
  • avoid possible conflicts with CANWARN net
  • calls list of net controllers to get net on air
  • if none available, EC starts as NCS
  • if phones down, EC starts as NCS

NCS goes on air, starts logging
  • NCS was briefed by EC when contacted
  • NCS starts by giving out status summary, and key
    information every 10-15 min
  • may or may not call for checkins if ARES has been
    put on standby
  • NCS has initial responsibility for logging all
    events on the resource net, but may delegate

EC sends page, starts phone tree
  • after getting (or becoming) NCS, EC sends net
    frequency out as a message to ARES pagers
  • EC then starts phone tree with 3 topics
  • one sentence summary of emergency
  • recorded check to if called persons available
  • if you cant reach em, call their contacts

ICS roles are assigned
  • once bulk of ECs are on air, assign the standard
    ICS roles
  • Incident Command always needed, NCS if no one
  • Liaison Officer contact point for Agency
  • Operations Chief NCS for tactical net
  • Resource NCS is likely Logistics Chief

Possible tactical net(s)
  • Incident Commander decides if one (or more)
    tactical nets is needed
  • NCS for tactical net selected by resource net NCS
    and Incident Commander
  • operators for tactical net assigned by resource
    net NCS
  • may need monitors to pass traffic between nets
    when needed.

What Agencies?
  • The Canadian Red Cross MOA
  • London Police Services
  • City of London Emergency Plan
  • Community Emergency Management Coordinators
    (CEMCs) in Middlesex, Oxford, Elgin and Perth

Agency Ham Gear We Use
  • Varies from area to area..
  • -Amateur Gear in Agency buildings(St Thomas Red
    Cross, London EOC)
  • -provide operators for EMOs Mobile Emergency
    Operations Center

Agency Ham Gear We Hear
  • ( or might work with in an emergency)
  • -all the equipment in the previous slide
  • -London Police Community Oriented Response (COR)
  • -OPP mobile command post

  • Do we come forward and volunteer our services
    when an emergency occurs?-never at the disaster
    scene-our preference pre-existing
    relationship-we might come forward in unusual
  • What if I hear about a disaster via media?-best
    thing to do is to monitor repeaters-if youre
    really anxious, contact an EC, start charging
    batteries, grab go kit

What is Ham Radio? What is ARES? ARES and the Red
Cross The ARES Callout Process The National
Traffic System (NTS) The Stratford / Kashechawan
Experience Questions and Answers
NTS Message Handling
  • The National Traffic System (NTS) isan
    internationally standardized formal message
    handling system based on a common written format
    that is designed to be highly reliable,
    prioritized, trackable, and accurate despite
    unfamiliar content and recipients.

NTS Message Flow
Hierarchical Relay
NTS Message Flow
Multiple message streams
New Orleans
When would you use NTS?
  • When precision is important (medical, logistics)
  • When you need an audit trail for message
  • When special handling is needed to get message to
    its final destination
  • When you need confirmation of receipt
  • When prioritization is needed
  • For Health and Welfare traffic

The Radiogram
  • has standardized pieces of information and
    associated procedures
  • lots of different form layouts exist, but basic
    information is always the same
  • NTS radiogram is used all over the world
  • Were going to go over the form, and the basic
    procedures there are additional procedures that
    we wont cover today

Sample Radiogram
Rx From / Tx To
  • The most complicated part. Includes
  • - message number
  • - precedence (i.e. priority)
  • - handling instructions HX
  • - station of origin originators callsign
  • - check a count of words in the message
  • - place of origin location of 3rd party sender
  • - time filed when the 3rd party sent message
  • - date when the 3rd party sent message

Address should contain -full name-complete
address with postal code-telephone number with
area codeMessages from one ham to another need
only a callsign and a telephone number
  • Most forms have 5 lines each with spaces for 5
    words, which makes it easy to count for the check
    field in the preamble.
  • The X that takes the place of a period at the end
    of a sentence counts as a word by itself

  • Form of the signature is up to 3rd party
    originator of traffic, but must be sendable, not
    a scribble.
  • May be a name, and/or callsign and/or a title or
  • Words in the signature are not counted in the
    check count

Received from / Sent To
  • These parts are filled out by the radio operator
    sending the message
  • These are different for every transmission hop
    that the message takes towards its destination.

What is Ham Radio? What is ARES? ARES and the Red
Cross The ARES Callout Process The National
Traffic System (NTS) The Stratford / Kashechawan
Experience Questions and Answers
Summary of the Callout
  • (Read the Thames Valley ARES summary document.)

Thanks for giving us the chanceto make this
presentation.Wed be glad to answer any
questions you may have
The End