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Welcome to the Maine Emergency Communications Course Level I


Welcome to the Maine Emergency Communications Course Level I How We Operate In An Emergency Introduction The Maine Emergency Communications CourseLevel I is copied ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Welcome to the Maine Emergency Communications Course Level I

Welcome to the Maine Emergency Communications
CourseLevel I
  • How We Operate In An Emergency

  • The Maine Emergency Communications CourseLevel I
    is copied and adapted from the Colorado Emergency
    Communications Course and used with permission
    from Colorado ARES.
  • The Maine Emergency Communications Course Level I
    is the next step in the evolution of the material
    collected on behalf of the ARRL for its ongoing
    education course in Emergency Communication. This
    material deviates from the ARRL course in that
    the intent here is to provide the student with
    the practical information that each person active
    in emergency communication needs without the
    "fluff" associated in other presentations within
    Emergency Communication.
  • The first segment is orientation, to supply the
    student with appropriate background information
    in such items as terminology, service, attitude,
    the ARES organization, ARES/RACES, Maine ARES
    Communications Plan, Served Agencies, and
    personal preparation. The second segment
    includes safety, basics of communication, nets,
    traffic handling, personal equipment, modes of
    operation, call-out process and debriefing. With
    the third segment being an overview of the
    Incident Command System (ICS).

  • Most amateur radio operators have had little or
    no training or experience in emergency
  • Training is gained from formal education
  • Training is gained through participation in nets
  • Training is gained from experience
  • Through exercises and drills
  • Public Service Events
  • Actual Emergencies
  • We Are Part Of Command And Control

Terms and Definitions
  • ARES - Amateur Radio Emergency Service
  • Group of Hams that have volunteered to train in
    communication for use by local Public Service and
    disaster relief agencies during times of
  • RACES - Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
  • Group of Hams that have volunteered to train in
    communication for use by local Civil Defense (now
    called Office of Emergency Management OEM)
    during times of emergency.
  • Communications Emergency (a.k.a. Incident)
  • Any planned or unplanned occurrence, regardless
    of cause, which requires action by emergency
    service personnel to prevent or minimize loss of
    life or damage to property and/or natural
  • Event
  • Any planned activity that is non emergency in
    nature where ARES communicators are used to
    assist a charitable organization with
    communications, or ARES training exercises.
  • Emergency communications - Emergency
  • Supplemental Communication provided to our
    served agencies by ARES/RACES when served agency
    communications are overloaded.

Service - Our Job
  • The goal of this course is to provide
    consistently knowledgeable communication people
    who have a very positive, service oriented
    attitude. Unfortunately, there are persons in
    the amateur radio community that believe we are
    there because we have a "right" to participate.
    The opposite is actually true. We are welcomed by
    the public service community only to serve their
    communication needs. We are there only at their
    pleasure and to provide a service. In fact, our
    very existence is only to provide for their
    needs. We provide the public service community
    supplemental communication when their systems are

  • We
  • Do not run the event or incident!
  • Keep good records.
  • Practice by helping charitable organizations and
    by participating in disaster drills and
  • Our job is to serve!

Record Keeping
  • Before we go further into the emergency
    communications material it is helpful to
    understand record keeping. While most people
    find record keeping distasteful it does serve a
    necessary purpose during ARES/RACES events. If a
    served agency person comes over and asks when
    thus-and-such was handled, how will you answer?
    If you keep accurate logs of everything your
    location does the answer is easy. Look in your
    log and give them the information they requested.

  • Your records
  • Can be used as a legal document
  • Are very important for documentation if you are
    operating in an ICS managed incident

  • Important forms to retain
  • Log (ICS Form 309 recommended)
  • Informal notes on the incident
  • Copies of messages
  • ICS Form 213 (ICS Message Form)
  • ARRL Radiograms
  • ARC Form 4612 (Message Form)
  • ARC Form 2079I (DWI Inquiry)
  • The sooner you get used to the paperwork, the
    easier it becomes
  • When In Doubt Retain The Documentation

  • A person having just completed basic training as
    a fire fighter is not going to be expected by the
    public, his peers, or his superiors to be as well
    suited to all aspects of the job as one who has
    undergone additional training above the basic
    level. Field experience added to on-going
    training are what make a good firefighter. Why
    then is it that many of the Amateur Radio
    fraternity feel that having an operator's license
    automatically makes them an asset to public
    safety communications? Unfortunately this
    attitude is held by many amateurs and is an
    example of something in need of change. A driving
    license grants one the privilege of driving upon
    the public streets and highways. It does not
    entitle the person to drive a heavy truck for
    hire. It is the requirement of on-going training
    and experience that produces a qualified operator.

  • Before you begin the technical material involved
    in learning about Emergency Communications, it is
    imperative that you understand your knowledge in
    emergency communications is not actually as
    important as your attitude, during emergencies.
    Yes, technical ability will enable you to do a
    far better job of communicating. But your
    attitude will determine the success of the
    overall Amateur Radio effort. The person who
    brings a "know it all" or "Cowboy" attitude will
    only hamper relations with served agencies.
  • The people you will be serving - remember that
    word - are professionals that have seen far too
    many people more interested in impressing someone
    than in getting the job done. You will actually
    impress them far more by being as quiet as you
    can and doing your job well. Results, without
    interference of served agency people, will cement
    relations with your served agency. Our served
    agencies also respond well when we take a
    positive attitude and relate what we can do
    rather than what we can't do.

  • Hams are patriotic, independent people and they
    are volunteers. The attitude among a few hams is
    that Volunteers don't have to take orders.
    That's absolutely correct. We don't have to take
    orders. But if you are not ready to follow
    instructions, you may want to do something
    outside of ARES/RACES.
  • Your attitude may be the most important thing
    you bring to an incident!

Who Defines An Emergency?
  • Our Served Agencies define the emergency and
    their response to it
  • We respond to the needs of our served agencies
    and serve them
  • The FCC defines how we operate in an emergency
  • Through the rules put forth in Part 97

Who Defines An Emergency?
  • In an emergency
  • Not Anything goes
  • Amateur Radio operations is defined by Part 97
  • 97.401, 97.403 and 97.405
  • Anything goes only for the Immediate protection
    of life or property
  • Defined in Part 97 (97.403 and 97.405)

Who Defines An Emergency?
  • 97.401 Operation during a disaster.
  • (a) When normal communication systems are
    overloaded, damaged or disrupted because a
    disaster has occurred, or is likely to occur, in
    an area where the amateur service is regulated by
    the FCC, an amateur station may make
    transmissions necessary to meet essential
    communication needs and facilitate relief
  • (b) When a disaster disrupts normal
    communication systems in a particular area, the
    FCC may declare a temporary state of
    communication emergency. The declaration will set
    forth any special conditions and special rules to
    be observed by stations during the communication
    emergency. A request for a declaration of a
    temporary state of emergency should be directed
    to the EIC in the area concerned.
  • (c) A station in, or within 92.6 km of, Alaska
    may transmit emissions J3E and R3E on the channel
    at 5.1675 MHz for emergency communications. The
    channel must be shared with stations licensed in
    the Alaska-private fixed service. The transmitter
    power must not exceed 150 W.

Who Defines An Emergency?
  • 97.403 Safety of life and protection of
  • No provision of these rules prevents the use by
    an amateur station of any means of
    radiocommunication at its disposal to provide
    essential communication needs in connection with
    the immediate safety of human life and immediate
    protection of property when normal communication
    systems are not available.
  • Please note that this is the immediate
    protection, not potential protection.

Who Defines An Emergency?
  • 97.405 Station in distress.
  • (a) No provision of these rules prevents the use
    by an amateur station in distress of any means at
    its disposal to attract attention, make known its
    condition and location, and obtain assistance.
  • (b) No provision of these rules prevents the use
    by a station, in the exceptional circumstances
    described in paragraph (a), of any means of
    radiocommunications at its disposal to assist a
    station in distress.

Who Defines An Emergency?
  • We are authorized to operate in the amateur bands
  • We are not authorized to operate outside the
    amateur bands (as amateur radio operators)
  • We are not authorized to operate outside the
    amateur bands with modified amateur radio
    equipment (not FCC Certified for commercial or
    public service bands)

ARES Organization
  • The four levels of the ARES Structure
  • National (ARRL Headquarters)
  • Section (Maine Section)
  • District (A number of Counties)
  • Local (County)

  • Section Level Organization
  • Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC)
  • Bryce Rumery, K1GAX
  • Appointed by the Section Manager (N1KAT)
  • Oversees the ARES program in Maine
  • Appoints District Emergency Coordinators (DEC)
  • Appoints County Emergency Coordinators (EC)
  • Reports ARES activities in Maine to the ARRL

  • District Level Organization
  • District 1 (York, Cumberland, Oxford, Sagadahoc)
  • DEC John Goran, K1JJS
  • District 2 (Lincoln, Androscoggin, Kennebec,
  • DEC Bill Atkins, NT1N
  • District 3 (Knox, Waldo, Hancock, Washington)
  • DEC Phil Roberts, K1PAR
  • District 4 (Somerset, Piscataquis, Penobscot,
  • DEC Currently Open

  • Local Level Organization (County)
  • Emergency Coordinator (EC)
  • Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AEC)
  • Operations (usually considered the right hand
    man to the EC)
  • Logistics
  • Administration
  • Liaison
  • Training
  • Other AECs as deemed necessary by the EC
  • The local level is where most of the real
    emergency organizing gets accomplished.

  • ARES and RACES
  • Are two different organizations
  • Were organized and are controlled by different
  • Have different leadership structures
  • Have similar objectives and goals
  • Vary in their flexibility
  • Dual membership in ARES and RACES is highly

  • ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service)
  • Organized by the ARRL
  • Part of their Field Organization
  • Leadership Structure
  • ARRL Headquarters
  • Section Emergency Coordinator
  • District Emergency Coordinators
  • Emergency Coordinators
  • Assistant Emergency Coordinators

  • ARES
  • May respond to a communications request by any
    public service, relief or charitable organization
  • Membership in ARES requires an amateur radio
    license and a desire to serve during a disaster
  • May communicate with any amateur radio operator
  • Has no restrictions on nets, drills or training
  • Has no specific training requirements
  • Is considered very flexible in response

  • RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service)
  • Originated by the Federal Government
  • Administered by DHS and FEMA
  • Rules defined in Part 97 (97.407)
  • Controlled by State and Local EMAs
  • Leadership Structure
  • FEMA
  • State EMA
  • Local EMAs
  • EMA Director
  • EMA Communications Officer
  • RACES Radio Officer

  • Can only respond when activated by EMA
  • Can only serve agencies specified by EMA
  • RACES operators may only communicate with other
    RACES operators and others within the Federal
  • May operate as RACES if amateur radio is silenced
  • Has restrictions as to nets and drills
  • RACES members must be registered with and
    certified by EMA directors
  • EMA directors set training requirements

Maine ARES Emergency Communications Plan
  • The Maine ARES Emergency Communications Plan
  • In simplest terms, details how all of the
    counties and districts "play" together.

Maine ARES Emergency Communications Plan
  • Details include
  • General Provisions of the plan
  • Authority
  • Purpose
  • Membership
  • Local, County and District Plans
  • Plan activation
  • Alerting procedures
  • Operation

Maine ARES Emergency Communications Plan
  • ARES Mobilization Procedures
  • Purpose
  • Applicability
  • Activation

Maine ARES Emergency Communications Plan
  • Maine ARES Districts
  • Operations frequencies
  • Maine repeater list
  • Maine repeater map
  • Maine ARES contacts
  • The document is available on the Maine ARES web
    site (http//www.maineares.org). Please take
    some time to read that document.

Served Agencies
  • We need to understand
  • Who our served agencies are
  • How our served agencies do business
  • What their communications systems consist of and
    how they are used
  • What their needs are during a disaster
  • How we can help to fill that need

Served Agencies
  • We need to understand
  • We are not a Rapid Response Team
  • We are not First Responders
  • We do not run the event or incident
  • We do not talk to the media
  • Refer members of the media to the on scene PIO,
    the Incident Information Center, Joint
    Information Center (JIC) or site manager

Basic Training Simulations
  • Education and training is what supplies the
    knowledge to help you build confidence in your
    ability to execute the required steps in the
    shortest amount of time and with the minimum
    amount of wasted motion.

Basic Training Simulations
  • What you need to do
  • Contact your local ARES/RACES group and register
  • Train in Emergency Communications before you are
  • Learn about the Incident Command System (ICS) and
    the National Incident Management System (NIMS)
  • Equip yourself

Basic Training Simulations
  • Practical Experience
  • In an actual emergency
  • Expect confusion
  • Be flexible
  • Know your audience
  • Know what they are expecting
  • Be aware of your first impressions
  • Your Attitude
  • Your appearance

  • How they help
  • Skill is needed for handling simultaneous
    multiple activities in an emergency
  • The nature of responding to an emergency affords
    very little in the way of on-the-spot education
    and training
  • It is vital that the education, training and
    practice occur ahead of time

  • How they help
  • Coping with equipment problems, people requesting
    attention and a response, listening for a station
    with a weak and distorted signal, all the while
    trying to absorb the situation and direct a team
    effort on and off the air are real-life
    situations that can occur

  • How they help
  • Simulations, exercises and practice nets are
    proven ways to bring together these elements in a
    non-threatening and fun environment, developing
    the composure and skills, provide analysis and
    feedback and gain new confidence to rise above
    any situation
  • To better prepare ARES members for real

  • You are emergency communicators, not first
  • Keep your EMA ARES/RACES ID with you at all times
  • Do not impede the work of professional responders
  • Stay out of the "hot zone" unless instructed
  • Remain flexible. You may be required to perform
    duties beyond just emergency communications
  • Test your techniques before an exercise or an
  • If you want to experiment with a new technique or
    method, test it before you have a major exercise
    or event

  • Safety is our primary concern
  • Loss of human resources is unacceptable
  • To our organization
  • To our mission
  • We are not a bottomless pit of human resources

  • Safety Priorities
  • Yourself
  • You cant accomplish the mission if youre a
  • Your team
  • Your team cant function effectively if its
    short of human resources
  • Your mission
  • You cant accomplish your mission in an unsafe

  • Never be afraid to decline an assignment if you
    consider it unsafe
  • If you have concerns about the safety of your
    assignment, report it to your supervisor
  • Report any unsafe conditions or practices to your
    supervisor or the incident safety officer

  • Workmans Compensation Insurance
  • During the briefing for the event there should be
    mention about workmen's compensation insurance
  • If it is not mentioned, ask
  • Not every served agency will be able provide you
    with workmen's compensation insurance
  • Feel free to decline the assignment if the lack
    of insurance bothers you
  • If you are willing to participate without
    workmen's compensation insurance that's fine
  • You must know in advance of going out, so you can
    make an informed decision

Communications Guidelines
  • Two types of messages (traffic)
  • Formal
  • Written Traffic
  • On behalf of a served agency
  • Reply expected
  • Informal
  • Initiated by you
  • May be verbal or written
  • No response or reply expected

Formal Traffic
  • Transmit traffic exactly as written
  • Change nothing
  • When you receive a message from a served agency,
    read it
  • If you cannot read it, get clarification
  • Log all formal traffic
  • Received
  • Transmitted

Formal Traffic
  • Elements of formal traffic
  • Who is requesting what and from whom?
  • What is the requesters full name/title/agency
  • What is the recipients full name/title/agency
  • What are they requesting and how many do they
  • Is it a list or single item?
  • If it's a list, do all items come from the same
  • If multiple sources then multiple messages.
  • Is the subject the transportation of an item, or
    the acquisition of that item, or both?
  • Where will it come from (not always the same as
    the location of the person receiving the
  • Where will it go to (not always the same as the
    location of the person requesting the item(s))?
  • When is it needed?
  • Time/date as applicable

Informal Traffic
  • You originate the message
  • May be verbal or written
  • Usually does not require a response
  • You control what the text of the message will be
  • Plan or write down what you are going to say
    before you transmit it
  • Log all informal traffic
  • Transmitted
  • Received

Traffic Tips
  • In Emergency communications it is important to
    say as little as possible, yet convey all of the
  • Brevity and Clarity
  • Slow Down
  • Do not editorialize
  • Listen
  • Plain Language
  • Standard ITU Phonetics
  • Numbers

  • Definitions
  • NET Short for Communications Network -
    established to handle information for an event or
  • CONTROLLED NET A means of insuring orderly use
    of limited frequency resources to conduct
    communications for a scheduled event or during an
  • NET CONTROL STATION (NCS) The person charged
    with control of information flow on the frequency
    used by a controlled net.

  • Net Types
  • Open (Informal) Nets
  • Directed Nets
  • Tactical
  • Resource
  • Traffic
  • ICS Nets
  • Tactical Net equals an ICS Operations Net
  • Resource Net equals an ICS Logistics Net

Net Participation
  • Net Protocols
  • Legal
  • you must identify at ten minute intervals during
    a conversation and in your last transmission
  • Tells NCS you consider the exchange to be
    complete without having to use extra words (saves
  • Fulfills all FCC identification requirements
  • Customary
  • Customary protocols will normally be used in long
    standing, non emergency nets
  • Tactical Call Signs
  • Tactical calls are used to identify a location
    during an event regardless of who is operating

Net Participation
  • Enjoy yourself
  • Prepare yourself
  • Listen
  • Check into the net in the mode being used by the
  • Follow NCS instructions
  • Slow down
  • Do not editorialize

Net Participation
  • Plan your transmissions
  • Check into the net when you are ready to
  • Keep the NCS informed
  • Identify properly
  • There is no need to identify after every
  • Proper identification saves time

Net Participation
  • Leaving a net
  • Keep the NCS informed if you are leaving
  • You will leave a net for one of three reasons
  • Your location is closing
  • Ensure that your location is closing through your
  • You need a break and have no relief operator
  • You turn the location over to another operator
  • Let the NCS know who is replacing you

Net Roles
  • NCS
  • NCS Backup
  • Loggers
  • Site Communicators
  • General Communicators
  • Liaison Stations
  • Listeners

Message Handling
  • Dont speculate
  • Pass the message exactly as written
  • Not all tactical messages will be in an NTS
  • Signature is important
  • Modified message forms during a disaster

Net Modes
  • Types of nets
  • CW
  • Usually HF or VHF
  • SSB
  • Usually HF or VHF
  • Digital
  • May be HF, VHF or UHF
  • FM Simplex
  • Usually VHF or UHF
  • FM Repeaters
  • Usually VHF or UHF

Net Modes
  • Requires the operator to use different skills and
  • It is important for all operators to know the
    skills and knowledge required for different net
  • If you are not familiar with a net mode, learn
    the techniques before an emergency

Personal Equipment
  • Commonly called a Ready Kit
  • Consists of
  • Communications Equipment
  • Tools
  • Power
  • Administrative Supplies
  • Personal Supplies
  • Never assume our served agencies will supply us
    with the equipment we need to do our job!

Personal Equipment
  • Plan and pack your Ready Kit before an emergency
  • If you are unable to pack a full Ready Kit in
  • Have an inventory
  • Have the supplies you need at hand
  • Know where they are
  • Check the contents of your Ready Kit on a regular
  • Recommended on a quarterly basis

Personal Equipment
  • Know what you need
  • Make a plan
  • Know where it is
  • Know how to install and operate it
  • Maintain your equipment
  • Be sure it works before an emergency happens

Emergency Callouts
  • A callout is the process by which ARES/RACES
    members are contacted to support served agencies
    in an emergency.
  • Put together a "ready kit
  • As an amateur radio emergency communicator, you
    should register with the amateurs associated with
    ARES/RACES and make arrangements to be available
    for alert and activation.

Emergency Callouts
  • Emergency callouts are initiated by the
    ARES/RACES leadership at the request of a served
  • Be ready
  • Do not self activate
  • You may end up in the wrong place at the wrong
  • You may not be needed at all

Emergency Callouts
  • Know the callout procedures for your organization
  • If you suspect a communications emergency exists
  • Monitor the primary net frequencies (repeater or
  • Be by your means of notification (phone, cell
    phone, pager, etc.)

Operator Stress
  • Emergency communications is a very challenging
  • Stress can build upon the operators

Operator Stress
  • Mechanisms to reduce stress are
  • Focus on teamwork, strategy and results, rather
    than on worry and concern
  • Learn tolerance and patience during times of
    heightened demand and activity
  • Understand that we are human and there are limits
    to our performance, both individually and
  • Learning the impact that diet, beverages and
    exercise can have on relieving stress and
    increase the capacity for dealing with it
  • Learn to get rest and take breaks as necessary
    for you. What works for someone else may not work
    for you

ARES/RACES Debriefing
  • Tactical Debriefing - needed in all events
  • Emotional Debriefing - needed in stressful events
  • Family Briefing - needs to be covered before
    major events

Tactical Debriefing
  • What was our mission/goal?
  • Was our mission or goal clear?
  • Did we accomplish our mission/goal?
  • What did we do correctly?

Tactical Debriefing
  • What did we do that was beyond expectations?
  • If nothing was beyond expectations, why not?
  • Were the expectations unreasonably high?
  • Did we not have enthusiastic participants?
  • Were we lazy?

Tactical Debriefing
  • What items did not meet expectations?
  • How can we improve on those items?
  • What specific training items do we now have a
    need for?
  • Other than the training items, what else needs
  • Were there any "surprises" and why did they
    surprise us?

Emotional Debriefing
  • Police psychologists talk a lot about "critical
    incidents," but what exactly is one?
  • A critical incident is an occurrence that is one
    or more of the following a) Sudden and
    unexpected b) perceived as life-threatening c)
    overwhelming d) disrupted sense of control e)
    disrupted basic assumptions and beliefs f)
    resulted in physical and/ or emotional loss

Emotional Debriefing
  • Physical reactions to critical incidents can
    include a) headaches b) exhaustion c) sleep
    disturbances d) appetite disruptions e)
    "nervous stomach
  • Behavioral reactions to critical incidents can
    include a) hyperactivity b) being easily
    startled c) withdrawing or isolating oneself d)
    periodic underactivity

Emotional Debriefing
  • Psychological reactions to critical incidents can
    include a) anger b) self-blame c) fear d)
    anxiety e) depression f) over sensitivity g)
    emotional numbness h) having a heightened sense
    of danger i) flashbacks j) preoccupation with
    the incident k) feeling that these emotions are

Family Briefing
  • Our families always comes first
  • They must be taken care of before anything else
  • They must understand what we are doing and
    support it
  • Be sure they understand what we are doing and why
  • Ensure that your family understands what you are
    doing before you deploy!

Final Assessment
  • Tests your understanding of the material
  • 25 multiple choice or true/false questions
  • You may refer to your manual
  • Passing grade is 70 or better
  • 4 points per question
  • Certificates will be e-mailed, mailed or delivered

Final Assessment
  • Print your name and call sign at the top of your
  • Circle the appropriate answer on your exam
  • Give your exam to me when you are ready
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