19 Spotter Quick Reference NEW & IMPROVED What to report How to report Frequencies Estimating wind speed Phone numbers Phonetic alphabet Ruler for measuring hail Posted on W9TCA.com Thanks to Jim, KB9RLT
23 ARRL Indiana Section Training Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course Level 1 (EC- 001)
24 ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course Level 1 (EC- 001) Revision 3.3 February 2015 Developed for Tippecanoe County ARES Team Training by Stephen M. Parker, WR9A ARRL ARECC Certified Instructor and Examiner 2015 American Radio Relay League, Incorporated. Information in this document, including Amateur Radio Emergency Services, ARES, ARECC, logos, and Internet references, is subject to change without notice.
25 What is a Communication Emergency? Occurs when a critical communication failure exists that puts the public at risk. A variety of circumstances can overload or damage critical day to day communication systems Storms that knock down communications infrastructure or lines Fires in telephone equipment buildings Disruption of communications centers like 911 Disruption in power Terrorist attack Disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, ice storms, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, etc.
26 ARES EMCOMM Volunteers Volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of skills. Share a desire to help others without personal gain of any kind Train and practice to improve their communication skills Can work together as a team and take direction from others Can think and act quickly under the stress and pressure of an emergency
27 Where does Amateur Radio Fit In? A skilled and equipped communications resource for our Served Agencies* We can do public service events to practice our skills We can do practice drills with our Served Agencies to improve our skill in a more realistic scenario and to demonstrate our skills We are not a single communication channel, system or network. We are dynamic and can adjust to the needs of the situation * Served Agencies are those we have commitments with, both local and national through ARRL agreements, to provide communications when called upon for NWS (SKYWARN), Red Cross, Salvation Army, Hospitals, etc.
28 How Is Amateur Radio Unique? We are communications commandos We are licensed and have allocated frequencies for local, national and international communication We can dynamically enlarge and expand our communications network as the situation changes We practice many of the needed skills for emergency communication in our daily amateur radio activates Directed nets HF communications, changing bands as necessary to maintain communication Field Day Mobile operation
29 What Amateur Radio EMCOMM is NOT We are not first responders, will not be the first on the scene We have no authority and cannot make decisions for others It is your decision if you can participate or not, especially if those decisions affect your own health and welfare You are not in charge You are there to temporally fulfill the needs of a Served Agency whose communication system is unable to do it s job It is not your job to backfill another job when the agency is short of personnel. Your job is communications. You can, however, help in other areas if you are qualified and do not compromise your primary job of communications
30 Day- to- Day vs. Emergency Communications In day to day communications there is no pressure to get a message through and no one s life is dependent on your getting a message through Emergency communication can involve non- Amateurs and Amateur operators working together Emergency operations occur in real time and can not be put off to a more convenient time Emergency communications must be staffed and set up quickly with little or no warning Following net protocol and giving short, concise messages is imperative
31 Day- to- Day vs. Emergency Communications Unlike home operations, emergency stations must be portable, and easy and quick to set up Emergency operation may carry over from several hours to several days Emergency communicators may need to interact with several organizations simultaneously Emergency communication fills in where commercial systems fail from not having enough reserve capacity.
32 Communicating is Job #1 While we are skilled operators, with impressive equipment and systems in place, our job is to communicate for our Served Agency by any appropriate communication method available to us. If asked to pass a complex message or detailed lists, and a fax machine is available, then it might be a better choice than radio voice communication. Always use the best method available and appropriate for the traffic that needs to be communicated. If the target recipient only has an FRS radio or CB radio it would be appropriate to use them. Our message handling skills will work on any communication link, including using a telephone.
33 Amateurs as Professionals The served agency relationship Your attitude is everything! It is more important than your radio skills and equipment. Historically speaking, the attitude of some Amateur Radio volunteers has been our weakest point. As one Served Agency once put it, working with ham radio operators is like herding cats. Although our name says amateur, it s real reference is to the fact that we are not paid for our efforts. We are professional and have the skills and equipment to do an excellent job when called upon.
34 Who Works for Whom When serving an agency keep in mind that we are, and are viewed as, un- paid employees of that organization. If we keep this in mind our relationship with the agency will be on track. It does not matter if you are an ARES member or one of the agency s regular volunteer force, they will treat us the same. It is a misconception that volunteers do not need to take orders. You are expected to comply with instructions from a Served Agency as long as you are able to carry them out safely and they do not constitute something that is against FCC regulations (such as going onto the police frequencies).
35 Talking to the Press Do NOT Talk to the Press The press is looking for any information they can find and you will most likely know something they would like to know. It is not your role to be disseminating information to the public. There will be a Public Information Officer assigned to the event or as part of the responding agency you are serving. Refer all questions from the press and others to the event or agency to the PIO. No matter how persistent the questioner is you are not authorized to disseminate information and if they do not leave when asked, talk with your ARES or Served Agency management personnel and ask them to resolve the problem.
36 Operating Where You Are Not Known When you are in an area away from home, monitoring a local net during an emergency, remember local ARES members do not just show up. If you are willing and able to help, check into to the net and advise the net control of your capabilities and your availability. They will determine if you can be utilized. Do not be offended if your offer to help is refused. The local net control is thinking about his/her team dynamics, operator skill level needed (yours is unknown to them), specialized training, whether or not more operators are required, local access credentials (background checks) and insurance issues.
37 Message Precision vs. Accuracy Precision is not the same as accuracy. Accuracy is important in all our message handling. The hiker has been found in the meadow and in good health - Some mistakes in this message at the character level (spelling) will still allow the information to be accurately received and understood. A list of names, request for medical supplies, etc., require precision at the character level when being sent or received, especially when voice communication is used. It is important to understand the level of precision needed. Packet is a good choice for high precision messages, but may be too cumbersome for simple communication where voice is quicker and easier.
38 Communication Methods Telephone (land line and cellular) One to one Requires infrastructure May be overloaded Not good for high precision messages May not have coverage (cell phones) Fax Utilizes phone network Good for high precision messages Two way Voice Radio One to one or broadcast messaging Not good for high precision messages
39 Communication Methods Trunked Radio systems Already at high utilization, and use skyrockets during an emergency Radios (users) have assigned priorities, getting a higher priority requires reprogramming the radio Packet Radio Good for high precision messages Can provide permanent record of message (printed/stored) Good for broadcast messaging (multiple addresses) Easily forwarded to another station (with or without notes) May not be reliable for marginal transmission paths Not good for graphics transmission
40 Communication Methods Store and forward systems Bulletin boards Mailboxes Good when sender and receiver are not simultaneously available Other ATV/SSTV (Amateur TV) (fast and slow scan) Satellite communication Internet Human courier
41 Emergency Communication Organization & Systems To be effective in an emergency situation, each ARES member: Must know and trust each other and each others capabilities Must understand their role as a leader or follower Must be able to solve problems that arise ARES provides structure, training and practice to accomplish the above. ARES has been part of the ARRL since 1935.
42 Indiana ARES Districts
43 Emergency Communication Preparation & Training Unless a positive long term relationship exists between the professionals and volunteers, professionals are likely to view the volunteers as less than useful. They do not want to do OJT (On the Job Training) during an emergency event and need to know they can depend on the folks they are working with.
44 Basic Communication Skills The job of an Emergency Communicator is to get the message through to an intended recipient quickly and accurately. Your ability to do this may be limited by: Operator Skills Communication method Noise: - Electrical in the transmission path, and - Acoustical at the receive and transmit site when voice is used. Important skills for a communicator are: Listen - Tune out distractions (use a headset if possible) and when unsure of what you heard ask for it to be repeated. Be sure the message you copy is correct, ask for a read- back to be sure.
45 Use Good Microphone Technique Speak across the microphone not into it (unless you use a desk mike) Use your normal, clear, calm voice. Do not raise your voice or shout Determine what voice level and microphone gain works best for you Wait a second or two after keying the microphone before speaking, to allow the repeater to come up VOX is not recommended for emergency communication Pause between transmissions to allow for emergency traffic Remember: if using a repeater, most have a 3 minute time out. But try to limit your transmissions to one minute, then unkey for just a couple of seconds to allow for any emergency traffic
46 Use Plain Language Do not use slang or jargon (technical slang) Do not use Q signals in voice transmissions Use simple language. Big words may not be understood by all Avoid words and phrases that carry strong emotion Use Proper Phonetics
47 ITU Phonetics During WW II, the British used one version while the U.S. had another. Other forces had yet even different phonetic alphabets. In 1947, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), adopted rules and procedures that standardized phonetics. The reason? TO SAVE LIVES. There are documented incidents where aircraft (and lives) have been lost as a result of phone traffic being misunderstood or unreadable as a result of using non- standard phonetics.
48 ITU Phonetics In 1956, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) adopted the ICAO phonetic alphabet. Today it is THE worldwide standard for military, naval, civilian aeronautical and maritime, search and rescue groups, public safety (law enforcement being an exception) and... the A.R.R.L. Virtually all of these organizations require the use of the ITU phonetic alphabet, because all of these organizations are involved in operations where confusion in communications can compromise safety. For example, FAA controllers have been known to discipline civilian pilots on the air for using non- standard phonetics.
49 ITU Phonetics Amateur Radio is the only communications service that purports to have an emergency communications purpose, where operators generally feel free to use any phonetic alphabet they choose (or, in many cases, different phonetic words for the same letter in the same transmission). This is not only poor communications practice, it bodes ill for our ability to assist in times of emergencies. To think that we can use any old phonetic that comes to mind in daily communications, and then switch to using standard phonetics in a time of crisis, is a fantasy.
50 Using Tactical Calls You do not need to know the called station s FCC call sign Makes the function/station location you are calling clear Avoids confusion during shift changes Use tactical call signs for public service and emergency events You still need to identify with your FCC call sign every 10 minutes Identifying at the end of each exchange will indicate the end of the exchange and insure you meet the FCC ID rule
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