EC Report for October 2016
The schedule for the month of October was a little busy: 4 Monday Night EmComm Nets, 1 EmComm and Coffee, 1 monthly EmComm Meeting, and 1 public service event.
Bass Lake Double Century Bike Ride
The Bass Lake Double Century Bike Ride is a grueling event for the riders and their support staff that includes the radio operators. The event started before the crack of dawn and continued until after midnight. The Command Center went through several net control operators during the operation and all did a fine job. That position can be hectic at times with the operator being pushed in several directions at once but all seemed to keep a cool head and kept the net running smoothly.
All of the rest stops had operators on site to supply communications for medical staff and the staff supplying hydration and food for the riders. Two of the SAG vehicles were driven by hams with radios and kept in contact with Net Control throughout the ride. At three of the major rest stops bib numbers were collected and radioed back to the Ride Staff at the Command Center in Clovis. We used digital communications from Auberry School to Command Center again this year. There were a couple of glitches but all in all the traffic was passed and printed.
I would like to thank Rob for all of his work putting the communications plans together and making it easier for the operators to do their job.
Public Service And Its Importance
As most of you have observed I really push the use of Public Service Events as training venues. There is a method for my madness. As an ARES EC and RACES Officer I need to know your proficiency as an operator. When ARES or RACES gets a request for assistance from a served agency, they want to know what our staff is capable of and what training they have completed. We have a database with the training courses where you have received a certificate (that is if you have summited them), but as of now, nothing showing your abilities as an operator. We are starting to log your participation with public service events as well as handling the Monday Night EmComm Nets.
Please consider helping with the Monday Night Nets or volunteer for some of the Public Service Events.
Public Service Calendar
- December 21, 2016 = The Salvation Army Food & Toy Distribution
- February 18, 2017 = Rotary Chocolate Run
If you are interested in the biking events please either go to the CARP website or contact me. If you would like to participate in the Salvation Army food drive, use my information at the end of the publication.
- The command post (CP) environment from which radio net control (NC) operates is a dynamic and busy place. Race organizers, safety officers, medical personnel and support staff all share some of the same places within the CP. As such, the CP is often crowded, loud, and filled with people not communicating on the radio. However, these same people may be speaking with or listening to the NC personnel, or simply listening to the radio communication traffic. As such, deployed operators need to recognize the conditions at the CP while interacting with NC. All radio traffic goes through Net Control, no exceptions.
- Net control cannot referee communications, which is not the purpose. Operators should know that they communicate as requested, respond to questions as often as necessary to effectively convey the content of the message or answer the question. While it should go without saying, all radio operators should NEVER be argumentative, should ALWAYS be patient (remember the NC environment) and RESPECT the NC as the final authority of the communications net.
- Deployed radio communicators must recognize and accept that NC is the final authority, and must maintain control of the net, or communications effectiveness will deteriorate.
- If you as an operator wish to contact another ask Net Control for permission and if possible take the traffic to another frequency, this will keep the net clear for additional traffic.
- When you have completed your traffic on the alternate frequency check back in with Net Control and inform him or her that you are back on frequency and available for traffic.
- When trying to break into the net with non-essential traffic use your call letters, do not use “break or contact” these are to be used if there is emergency or priority traffic.
- Remember that a lot is going on at the Net Control position that is not conveyed over the air. This can become a very hectic environment. Control may be trying to multitask (being asked to preform or answer multiple questions at once), so be patient.
- Net Control may ask an operator to either repeat a message several times or go to your served agency and update information you may have just passed. Do what you are asked don’t argue just comply. There most likely is something going on in the background you are not aware of.
- Inform Net Control when your served agency is starting to dismantle your location.
- Wait for Net Control to dismiss you or ask you to move to another.
- Remember to keep a log of all of you traffic.
Be prompt with your after action report. Be truthful and when commenting on the event that these reports are used for training and improving our communication skills.
We are now posting events and meetings on the calendar as well as posting articles on the home page. Check us out at fcemcomm.org.
Net Control Staff Needed
We are looking for volunteers to take a turn as net control on Monday nights. This is not a difficult task. We will provide the preamble and net roster. This is a great way to enhance your skills running a net for emergency situations. If you are interested, please contact Gary (KI6OYW) at 559-269-1340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget the Monday Night EmComm Net at 19:30 hr. on the 147.15 MHz Pl 141.3. We have some good information and camaraderie. On the third Friday of the month there is the EmComm Coffee at YFC on Cedar south of Ashlan in Granite Park at 07:00hr. And last but not least the EmComm Meetings are held on the Fourth Thursday of month except November and December. Due to the holidays falling on our meeting nights the next meeting will be held December 8 at 1900 hr. at the Salvation Army Citadel at 1854 Fulton St., Fresno. Remember there is no meeting in November.
Best of 73’s
GLEN CAINE (N6HEW)
Fresno County RACES Officer
Fresno County ARES EC