Hams part of emergency exercise
The US National Guard had its Operation Seismos, an earthquake drill on February 3-6, and used radio amateurs to transmit messages as it accessed community disaster resources. The National Guard 213th Forward Support Company at Cedar City Utah, the Sheriff's office, City Police, Fire Department, local hospital and the Rainbow Canyon’s Amateur Radio Club were involved. Iron County Emergency Management Coordinator John Higley, describes how the messages, to and from the Emergency Coordination Centre, included some innovative techniques. Don Blanchard WA7GTU of the Rainbow Canyon’s Amateur Radio Club said that about 160 radio amateurs who were in contact with each other including the hospital.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
He said: "Teams were deployed to various sites to do simulated damage assessments and reported in using both voice and digital communications." The digital communications them to provide messages directly into the required government forms (IC-213). Don WA7GTU said the exercise was highly successful and showed the hams could interface with the National Guard and worked on how best handle traffic that they might need to send. He said although a few snags were found, we were able to quickly work around them and felt that the exercise was highly successful. Some of the key people that made it all successful were Brad Biedermann, WA7HHE, George Gallis, AL7BX, Linda Shokrian, KG7PBX, and Ken Richter, KR7KR.
Meantime the Iron County Emergency Preparedness EXPO for 2016 will be held in June, to be called 'Preparedness in the Park' and likely to feature a new communications trailer.
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