Arapahoe County ARES Monthly Meeting -- Next meeting planned for Thursday, August 12th at 19:30 hours. Meeting will be in person and on line -- DETAILS IN EMAIL AND ONLINE --

For Immediate Release

 

Arapahoe County, CO, July 19, 2021 -- Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who are members of Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Arapahoe County, Colorado, will utilize their Amateur Radio equipment to support public safety resources at the Arapahoe County Fair from 11:00AM on Thursday, July 22, 2021, until midnight on Sunday, July 25, 2021. Local amateur radio personnel, also known as “Hams”, will set up their radio resources in support of local sheriff emergency medical services (EMS) and Fair Officials within the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. Each team of ARES individuals will have selective areas on the Fairgrounds to patrol and observe. They will provide backup communications to alert partner agencies in the event of routine or emergency issues, including lost children and lost parents. These hams use their radio’s ability to work while mobile and under any conditions to create an independent, wireless communications network within the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. According to the website, “The Fair is one of Arapahoe County’s longest standing community traditions.” Arapahoe County ARES has been supporting the Fair since 2003.

 

Some hams from Arapahoe County ARES will also use their radio stations set up in their homes to track personnel and provide support for this radio resource net. “Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers,” said Ben Baker, KBØUBZ, Arapahoe County ARES Operations Section Chief and ARES Mission Coordinator, Communications for this year's Fair.

 

Arapahoe County ARES was first formed in the 1970’s and ever since has supported emergency management personnel and the citizens of Arapahoe County through radio communications. Members of Arapahoe County ARES have received specialized training that includes the Incident Command System (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), Weather Spotting, and specialized communications for all types of emergencies. ARES members are always prepared to assist utilizing their own equipment. Members cannot accept any money for our efforts and have assisted in past events such as the 1997 and 2003 Blizzards, 2001 Hayman Fire, 2013 floods, the 2019 Bomb Cyclone, and the H1N1 Point of Dispensing exercise conducted by the Tri County Health Department.

###

 

For Immediate Release

 

Arapahoe County ARES Simulates Weather Emergency

 

Arapahoe County, CO, April 24, 2021- Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who are members of Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Arapahoe County, Colorado will be participating in an exercise on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 9am.  The exercise will test and improve our overall preparedness for an emergency event that may require specialized communications.  Exercise participants will simulate weather related activities, involving simulated weather scenes and communicating with other volunteer communicators. The incident is not real, however, the response activities during the fictional exercise are practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible. The exercise was meant to challenge the participants to think about how they would respond in complex situations.

 

Arapahoe County ARES was first formed in the 1970’s and ever since has supported emergency management personnel and the citizens of Arapahoe County. Members of Arapahoe County ARES have received specialized training that includes the Incident Command System (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), and specialized communications for all types of emergencies and are always prepared to assist utilizing user owned equipment. Members cannot accept any money for our efforts and have assisted in past events such as the 1997 Blizzard, 2001 Hayman Fire, 2013 floods, 2021 Blizzard and the H1N1 Point of Dispensing exercise conducted by the Tri County Health Department.

 

 

 

Arapahoe County ARES Group Use Amateur Radio to Support Public Safety

 

Arapahoe County, CO, March 15, 2021 -- Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who are members of Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Arapahoe County, Colorado,  utilizing their Amateur Radio skills to support public safety efforts during the most recent blizzard of 2021. After being on standby  for 12 hours on Saturday, March 13th, Arapahoe County ARES was finally activated as the snow finally arrived in Colorado on Sunday on March 14th. Over 20 members of Arapahoe County ARES commenced an Amateur Radio Emergency Service weather radio net at 10:00am. For over eight hours, Arapahoe County ARES members collaborated through Amateur Radio on a locally supported  radio repeaters to provide real time weather, snow depth, temperature, and wind speed information to emergency management in Arapahoe County and the City of Aurora. This reporting was of great assistance by providing weather observations to various Arapahoe County agencies. It is this situational intelligence that is supportive in where and how to deploy county resources. 

Arapahoe County ARES Hosts SKYWARN® Training Class 

 

Arapahoe County, CO, February 8, 2021 -- Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who are members of Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Arapahoe County, Colorado will host a web based SKYWARN® training class by Scott Entrekin of the National Weather Service on Thursday, April 8, 2021 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program of the National Weather Service with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service giving precious time to get clear of destructive weather. This program is free and open to the public and no previous weather spotting experience is required. Interested participants must sign up in advance at: 

 

https://tinyurl.com/bx8szpvf

 

 

For Immediate Release

 Arapahoe County ARES Tests Radio Communications

Arapahoe County, CO, January 30, 2021 -- Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who are members of Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Arapahoe County, Colorado participated in an operation titled “Operation Can You Hear Me Now” on Saturday, January 30, 2021.  This exercise tested normal and specialized communications among Arapahoe County ARES members and 3 other county Amateur Radio Emergency Services districts and their Emergency Operations Centers  within the North Central Region of Colorado. Thirteen (13) Arapahoe County ARES members  spread out to various simulated points of distribution (PODs) conversing with other volunteer communicators in VHF, UHF repeater connections, UHF simplex (direct radio to radio communications), DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) and hotspots (small, linked device allowing radio connection through the internet). This exercise  provided needed confidence in our member’s ability to assure that  radio communications was possible between the possible POD sites and respond to unforeseen radio communications challenges.

Arapahoe County ARES was first formed in the 1970’s and ever since has supported emergency management personnel and the citizens of Arapahoe County. Members of Arapahoe County ARES have received specialized training that includes the Incident Command System (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), and specialized communications for all types of emergencies and are always prepared to assist utilizing user owned equipment. Members cannot accept any money for our efforts and have assisted in past events such as the 1997 and 2003 Blizzards, 2001 Hayman Fire, 2013 floods, the 2019 Bomb Cyclone, and the H1N1 Point of Dispensing exercise conducted by the Tri County Health Department.

 


Welcome Arapahoe County ARES New PIO

Effective immediately, Drew Shattuck, KFØAPV, has volunteered to be the new Public Information Officer (PIO) for Arapahoe County ARES. Drew joins an elite group of PIOs throughout Colorado dedicated to promoting ARES to the public. 

WARNING: AMATEUR AND PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES LICENSEES AND OPERATORS MAY NOT USE RADIO EQUIPMENT TO COMMIT OR FACILITATE CRIMINAL ACTS

The Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission issues this Enforcement Advisory to remind licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, as well as licensees and operators in the Personal Radio Services, that the Commission prohibits the use of radios in those services to commit or facilitate criminal acts. The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities. The Bureau recognizes that these services can be used for a wide range of permitted purposes, including speech that is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Amateur and Personal Radio Services, however, may not be used to commit or facilitate crimes.

Specifically, the Bureau reminds amateur licensees that they are prohibited from transmitting “communications intended to facilitate a criminal act” or “messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning.1” Likewise, individuals operating radios in the Personal Radio Services, a category that includes Citizens Band radios, Family Radio Service walkie-talkies, and General Mobile Radio Service, are prohibited from using those radios “in connection with any activity which is against Federal, State or local law.2” Individuals using radios in the Amateur or Personal Radio Services in this manner may be subject to severe penalties, including significant fines, seizure of the offending equipment, and, in some cases, criminal prosecution3.

Media inquiries should be directed to 202-418-0500 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To file a complaint with the FCC, visit https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov or call 1-888-CALL-FCC. To report a crime, contact your local law enforcement office or the FBI. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

Issued by: Chief, Enforcement Bureau


147 CFR § 97.113(a)(4).
247 CFR § 95.333(a).
347 U.S.C. §§ 401, 501, 503, 510.

ARRL Seeks Waiver of Proposed FCC Amateur Application Fees


ARRL has urged the FCC to waive its proposed $50 amateur radio application fee. The Commission proposal was made last month in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD 20-270. The proposal already has drawn more than 3,200 individual comments overwhelmingly opposed to the plan. The fees, directed by Congress and imposed on all FCC-regulated services, are to recover the FCC's costs of handling and processing applications.

The NPRM can be found in PDF format at  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-20-116A1.pdf.

"Amateur radio applications were not listed when the Congress adopted its 1985 fee schedule for applications, and therefore amateur license applications were excluded from the collection of fees," ARRL said on November 16 in its formal comments on the proposal. "Similarly, a decade later when regulatory fees were authorized, the Amateur Service was excluded, except for the costs associated with issuing vanity call signs." The new statutory provisions are similar. Amateur radio license applications are not addressed in the application fees section and explicitly excluded from regulatory fees," ARRL said, and there is "no evidence of any intent by Congress to change the exempt status of amateur applications and instead subject them to new fees."

ARRL's formal comments can be found online at, https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/111762316365 .

ARRL argued that the FCC has explicit authority to waive the fees if it would be in the public interest, and should do so for the Amateur Radio Service.  Unlike other FCC services, the Amateur Radio Service is all volunteer and largely self-governing, with examination preparation, administration, and grading handled by volunteers, who submit licensing paperwork to the FCC, ARRL pointed out.

"Increasingly, the required information is uploaded to the Commission's database, further freeing personnel from licensing paperwork as well as from day-to-day examination processes," ARRL said. "The addition of an application fee will greatly increase the complexity and requirements for volunteer examiners."

The Communications Act, ARRL noted, also permits the FCC to accept the volunteer services of individual radio amateurs and organizations in monitoring for rules violations. In 2019, ARRL and the FCC signed a memorandum of understanding to renew and enhance the ARRL's Volunteer Monitor program, relieving the Commission of significant time-consuming aspects of enforcement.

These volunteer services lessen the regulatory burden - including the application burden - on the Commission's resources and budget in ways that licensees in other services do not, ARRL said.

Amateur radio's role in providing emergency and disaster communication, education, and other volunteer services also justifies exempting radio amateurs from FCC application fees. For example, ARRL noted, last year more than 31,000 participated as members of the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), and local ARES teams reported taking part in more than 37,000 events, donating nearly 573,000 volunteer hours, providing a total value of more than $14.5 million.

Amateur radio also has motivated many students to develop critical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills. ARRL noted that the Amateur Radio Service contributes to the advancement of the radio art, advances skills in communication and technology, and expands the existing reservoir of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts - all expressed bases and purposes of the Amateur Radio Service.

"Accomplishing these purposes entails working with young people, many of whom may have difficulty paying the proposed application fees of $50, $100,  or $150," ARRL said. "The $150 fee would be the cost of passing the examinations for the three amateur license levels in three examination sessions," ARRL said. "Such multiple application fees to upgrade would dampen the incentive to study and demonstrate the greater proficiency needed to pass the examinations for the higher amateur classes."

ARRL concluded that the FCC should exercise its authority to exempt amateur radio from application fees generally. If the FCC cannot see its way clear to waive fees for all amateur radio license applications, the fees should be waived for applicants age 26 years and younger. Such individuals, ARRL contended, have the most to contribute to the future of radio technology and other STEM-related activities and are the most likely to find the proposed application fees burdensome.
 

For Immediate Release


Arapahoe County ARES Participates in Nationwide Red Cross Exercise


Arapahoe County, CO, November 14, 2020 -- Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who are members of Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Arapahoe County, Colorado participated in a nationwide exercise on Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 9am.  This exercise, titled Operation Polar Vortex, was conducted in conjunction with the American Red Cross and was designed to test the communications infrastructure during a simulated emergency.

Fifteen (15) Arapahoe County ARES members simulated weather related activities, involving simulated weather scenarios, and communicating with other volunteer amateur radio communicators. As part of the exercise, members were also asked to send simulated messages to exercise leaders acting as emergency operation centers and to one of seven (7) American Red Cross offices throughout the nation. These messages utilized a specialized message program called Winlink Express® that allows messages to be sent using Amateur Radio as well as the Internet to other Winlink stations across the region and by email.

The incident is not real, however, the response activities during the fictional exercise are practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible.

Arapahoe County ARES was first formed in the 1970’s and ever since has supported emergency management personnel and the citizens of Arapahoe County. Members of Arapahoe County ARES have received specialized training that includes the Incident Command System (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), and specialized communications for all types of emergencies and are always prepared to assist utilizing user owned equipment. Members cannot accept any money for our efforts and have assisted in past events such as the 1997 Blizzard, 2001 Hayman Fire, 2013 floods, and the H1N1 Point of Dispensing exercise conducted by the Tri County Health Department.


# # #

 

For Immediate Release

 

 Arapahoe County ARES Participated in Simulated Emergency Test

Arapahoe County, CO, October 3, 2020 -- Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who are members of Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Arapahoe County, Colorado participated in a Simulated Emergency Test on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 8am MT. The exercise, held in conjunction with Colorado State ARES and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), is held nationally each year in October to test our preparedness in the event of a real emergency. Members used the WinLink messaging tool over High Frequency (HF) and across the Internet, simulating a multi-county multi-causality incident (MCI) and our ability to use our radio equipment to send messages and to get assistance. 

The incident is not real, however, the response activities during the fictional exercise are practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible. The exercise was meant to challenge the participants to think about how they would respond in complex situations.

Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service was first formed in the 1970’s and has supported emergency management personnel and the citizens of Arapahoe County. Members of Arapahoe County ARES have received specialized training that includes the Incident Command System (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), and specialized communications for all types of emergencies and are always prepared to assist utilizing their own  equipment that they have purchased themselves. Members cannot accept any money for our efforts and have assisted in past events such as the 1997 Blizzard, 2001 Hayman Fire, 2013 floods, and the H1N1 Point of Dispensing exercise conducted by the Tri-County Health Department.

 

For Immediate Release

Dear County Residents,

Amateur Radio Operators/Volunteers within Arapahoe County will be participating in an exercise taking place on Aug. 29 2020 throughout Arapahoe County.  The exercise is being conducted in order to test and improve our volunteer’s overall preparedness for an emergency event.  The fictional exercise simulates a Operation Bug Out Emergency Shelter Operations.  Exercise participants will simulate activities, will involve volunteer responders, will simulate scenes and might involve communicating with other volunteers who are pretending to be victims. The incident is not real; however, the response activities during the fictional exercise will be practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible. 

The areas where the exercise will take place will be clearly marked.  For your safety, and in order to complete the exercise in a realistic environment, the exercise area will not be open to the public.  We ask for your patience and support if the exercise disrupts your daily routine.

There are simple steps that Americans can take to prepare themselves and their loved ones for emergencies:  be informed, make a plan, build a disaster supply kit, and get involved through opportunities that support community preparedness.  By gathering supplies to meet basic needs, discussing what to do during an emergency with your family in advance, and being aware of the risks and appropriate actions, you will be better prepared for the unexpected and can help better prepare your community and the country.  Please visit www.ready.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY to learn more about preparedness activities. To learn more about amateur radio and emergency communications, please visit Arapahoe County Amateur Radio at www.arapahoeares.org

We thank all residents for their support of this important exercise.   

If you have any concerns or questions about the exercise, please contact the Emergency Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Sincerely,

Exercise Planning Team

 

Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ACARES)

 

For Immediate Release

 Arapahoe County ARES Simulates Weather Emergency

Arapahoe County, CO, July 25, 2020 -- Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who are members of Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Arapahoe County, Colorado participated in an exercise on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 11am MT. The exercise tested and will improve our overall preparedness for an emergency event that may require specialized communications. Ten (10) exercise participants simulated weather related activities, involving simulated weather scenarios, simulated preliminary damage assessment and communicating with other volunteer communicators. The incident is not real, however, the response activities during the fictional exercise are practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible. The exercise was meant to challenge the participants to think about how they would respond in complex situations.

Arapahoe County ARES was first formed in the 1970’s and has supported emergency management personnel and the citizens of Arapahoe County. Members of Arapahoe County ARES have received specialized training that includes the Incident Command System (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), and specialized communications for all types of emergencies and are always prepared to assist utilizing user owned equipment. Members cannot accept any money for our efforts and have assisted in past events such as the 1997 Blizzard, 2001 Hayman Fire, 2013 floods, and the H1N1 Point of Dispensing exercise conducted by the Tri County Health Department.

 

For Immediate Release

 Arapahoe County ARES Simulates Weather Emergency

Arapahoe County, CO, June 20, 2020 -- Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators, who are members of Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Arapahoe County, Colorado will be participating in an exercise on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 9am.The exercise tested and will improve our overall preparedness for an emergency event that may require specialized communications. Eighteen (18) exercise participants simulated weather related activities, involving simulated weather scenarios, and communicating with other volunteer communicators. The incident is not real, however, the response activities during the fictional exercise are practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible. The exercise was meant to challenge the participants to think about how they would respond in complex situations.

 Arapahoe County ARES was first formed in the 1970’s and has supported emergency management personnel and the citizens of Arapahoe County. Members of Arapahoe County ARES have received specialized training that includes the Incident Command System (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), and specialized communications for all types of emergencies and are always prepared to assist utilizing user owned equipment. Members cannot accept any money for our efforts and have assisted in past events such as the 1997 Blizzard, 2001 Hayman Fire, 2013 floods, and the H1N1 Point of Dispensing exercise conducted by the Tri County Health Department.

 
Remember to support ACARES by using Amazon Smile when buying on Amazon. 

  

Puerto Rican Earthquake, Aftershocks Continue with More Predicted -- ARES Supports Red Cross

ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, reported on January 12 that as of early Sunday morning he was serving at the American Red Cross (ARC) HQ in San Juan, maintaining communications with the Red Cross warehouse in the town of Yauco in southwestern Puerto Rico, the center for the ARC relief operation for those affected in earthquake-impacted zones. Resto reported that radio communications on VHF and UHF were stable as were the commercial telecommunications services.

Resto reported that antennas were needed. ARRL Southeastern Division Director Mickey Baker, N4MB, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, arranged to have ARRL HQ staff ship the antennas for the VHF and UHF operations to Resto.

Resto reported that aftershocks were continuing in the wake of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the southwestern part of the island on Tuesday, January 7. Resto reported at the time that the commercial telecommunications network was largely operational, stating "We have cellphones all over the island working," and adding that ARRL section officials were drafting a list of amateur radio licensee-volunteers who would be able to muster to assist the American Red Cross, with which Puerto Rico ARES has a memorandum of understanding.

Ultimately, stations at Red Cross HQ in San Juan and the Yauco center operated as a backbone in the event of more aftershocks, or new and possibly stronger earthquakes hitting the region. The USGS forecast indicated a 68% probability of a Magnitude 5 earthquake in the next seven days. "These strong aftershocks are expected and are a natural process after a strong earthquake," FEMA said.

Heriberto Perez, WP4ZZ, the ARES District Emergency Coordinator for Yauco, was active there. ARES was involved with health and welfare message handling, with calls received and handled by ARES ZONE 5 operators on backup frequency 146.770 MHz from their home stations. Perez reported that the internet was working, albeit with slow throughput.

At the Yauco Red Cross distribution center, Perez and operators signed in and set up radios, and attended a short safety meeting conducted by the Red Cross Chief Operating Officer (COO) Miriam Ojeda. Meeting topics included "survival safety and where to meet in case evacuation is imminent." Operators were required at all times to wear safety vests and hard hats, all personal protection equipment (PPE) provided by the Red Cross on site. Meals, snacks, water and drinks were provided for the radio operators. No one was allowed to leave the facility.

Perez reported that "it was a bit of a rough day," with many aftershocks occurring. "It felt like you were in a simulator," he said. "We had three ARES personnel at the station, with our primary frequency for direct contact with San Juan assigned: 447.800 MHz, and our backup support frequency in Mayaguez -- 146.770 MHz." Solid, reliable communication was established and maintained. Health and welfare traffic from nearby victims was handled, and messages were promptly given to ARC COO Ojeda.

Perez reported: "By the end of the day, Ojeda asked us if we could help fill out official forms from the victims that were contacted via radio -- she gave us blank forms and conveyed instructions on standard operating procedure." Perez said "we are now reaching out to the affected communities and victims who are asking for tents, diapers, and medicine, and handling many other requests."

FEMA reported on January 12 that there had been significant progress in power restoration with 100 percent power generation expected if all assets are online, although there will be little to no reserve capacity, and the grid will be fragile. FEMA continues to assist impacted municipalities in addressing emergency needs. FEMA personnel are embedded with local officials in impacted areas to facilitate requests for assistance. On January 11, Governor Vazquez had submitted her request for a Major Disaster Declaration. More here.

Australian Bushfires Causing Major Telecommunication Outages, Amateur Radio Emergency Communication Groups Asked to Remain Alert

Wireless Institute of Australia President Greg Kelly, VK2GPK, reports the bushfires in Australia have caused or are expected to cause significant disruption of telecommunication services in the states of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW). "The scope and range of these impacts is unknown at this stage but are predicted to cover all internet and phone (fixed and mobile) and other commercial radio services," he said. Kelly asked radio amateurs in International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 3 to monitor the emergency communications frequencies set forth in the IARU Region 3 band plan whenever possible, as well as repeaters.

In a post on New Year's Day, the Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network in New South Wales (WICEN NSW) stated it continues with its response to the NSW bushfire emergency. WICEN NSW maintains an ongoing commitment of Incident Management Team communications operators to Fire Control Centers, and of operators to the Bush Fire Information Line at Rural Fire Service (RFS) HQ. WICEN NSW operates as a part of the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association commitment to the emergency and operates under the direction of the NSW RFS.

 

FEMA Updates Community Emergency Response Team Training

FEMA conducted a webinar on January 8 on the release of the updated Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic training curriculum. Presenters shared the reasons for the changes, highlighted best practices, and shared impacts of the updated training. Participants learned how trainers can deliver the updated training and how to order materials. This was the second of two webinars about the updated CERT Basic training curriculum, though the webinars presented similar information. Recordings of the webinars can be found here.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

The updated CERT Basic Training can be found here. It features a revised Disaster Medical Operations section, updated Terrorism and CERT section, and new hazard-specific annexes. Find the new curriculum materials online and order free copies from the FEMA publications warehouse beginning January 8, 2020. The CERT Basic Training includes research-validated guidance for CERT programs to teach members what to do before, during, and after the hazards their communities may face. The materials in the training include instructor guides, participant manuals, and hazard annex slide decks. The FEMA Independent Study IS-317: Introduction to CERT can be taken online before or during training.

 

[ARRL is an affiliate under the Department of Homeland Security's Citizen Corps programs--Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service, Community Emergency Response Teams and Medical Reserve Corps. The mission is public preparedness and safety. In other words, neighborhood and community volunteers serve as the "help until the help arrives." Radio amateurs are ideal candidates for the CERT program owing to their unique ability to communicate within their neighborhoods and communities for local emergency communications, but also when the need exists for communications with the outside world. Find your local CERT group and get connected. - ed. ]

 

FCC Formally Adopts Proposals to Remove

Amateur 3 GHz Band, Invites Comments

 

The FCC's plan to remove "existing non-federal secondary radiolocation and amateur allocations" in the 3.3 - 3.55 GHz band and relocate incumbent non-federal operations already has begun drawing fire. The Commission formally adopted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WT Docket 19-348 on December 12 and invited comments on appropriate "transition mechanisms" to make the spectrum available for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use. ARRL plans to oppose the move. The amateur 9-centimeter allocation is 3.3 - 3.5 GHz.

 

"By proposing to delete the existing non-federal secondary allocations from the 3.3 - 3.55 GHz band, we are taking an important initial step towards satisfying Congress's directives and making as much as 250 megahertz of spectrum potentially available for advanced wireless services, including 5G," the FCC said in the Introduction to its NPRM.

 

Some comments arrived before formal adoption of the NPRM, which was circulated ahead of the December meeting. Kevin Milner, KD0MA, the secretary/treasurer of the Ski Country Amateur Radio Club in Colorado, argued that the club's equipment cannot be re-channeled below 3.4 GHz, and the club is seeking relocation costs. Devin Ulibarri, W7ND, told the FCC that amateur networks in the current band cannot move easily into other amateur allocations because there is no readily available commercial equipment to support the bandwidth, the FCC said in a footnote.

 

Currently, the entire 3.1 - 3.55 GHz band is allocated for both federal and non-federal radiolocation services, with non-federal users operating on a secondary basis to federal radiolocation services.

 

With respect to amateur operations, the FCC invited comments on whether sufficient amateur spectrum exists in other bands that can support the operations currently conducted at 3.3 - 3.5 GHz. The 3.40 - 3.41 GHz segment is earmarked for amateur satellite communication. The FCC said if non-federal licensees are relocated to the 3.1 - 3.3 GHz band, it proposes to have them continue to operate on a secondary basis to federal operations, consistent with current band allocations.

 

Also at its December 12 meeting, the FCC considered another NPRM in WT Docket 19-138 that would "take a fresh and comprehensive look" at the rules for the 5.9 GHz band and propose, among other things, to make the lower 45 MHz of the band available for unlicensed operations and to permit "cellular vehicle-to-everything" (C-V2X) operations in the upper 20 MHz of the band. The FCC is not proposing to delete or otherwise amend the 5-centimeter amateur 5.650 - 5.925 GHz allocation, which would continue as secondary. The NPRM, if approved, would address the top 75 MHz of that amateur secondary band. Although no changes are proposed to the amateur allocation, an anticipated increase in primary use could restrict secondary amateur use.

The Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) has offered its voice in challenging the FCC proposals on both 9 and 5 centimeters, saying their adoption would "eliminate our use of the most-effective resource hams have to build its networks."

"The AREDN Project is able to leverage low-cost commercial devices solely because they are designed to operate on adjacent allocations," AREDN said on its website. "Moving to other allocations would be difficult if not impossible without a complete redesign, manufacture, purchase, and installation of new custom amateur hardware and software...raising the price out of reach for the typical ham."

Volunteers provide much needed help during disasters and more. Santa Cruz County has a very active Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, presence as well as a team of ham radio operators who are the unsung heroes during a disaster.

“Good morning, Cucamonga! This is Santa Cruz E.O.C.!”

Each week ham radio operators check the California Office of Emergency Services and network with other ham operators throughout the state. They play a pivotal role in emergencies and natural disasters through groups like the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and The Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL).

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Local amateur radio operators came together today to talk about the importance of ham radios and connect with the community.

 

The Magnolia and Lowndes County Amateur Radio Clubs joined forces for a radio day in Starkville.

The event lets amateur operators connect with the community and test out their gear. 

ARRL Legislative Advocacy Committee Drafting New Bill Addressing Antenna Restrictions

The ARRL Board of Directors Legislative Advocacy Committee is in the process of drafting a new bill to address the issue of private land-use restrictions on amateur radio antennas. The proposed legislation would be the successor to the Amateur Radio Parity Act. The Legislative Advocacy Committee, chaired by Pacific Division Director Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, will report to the Board soon, once plans are fleshed out. Tiemstra told the ARRL Executive Committee (EC) on October 12 in Aurora, Colorado, that Advocacy Committee members have traveled to Washington to meet on multiple occasions with members of Congress and their staffs to inform them of the committee's plans.

ARRL Washington Counsel Dave Siddall, K3ZJ, told the EC last month that he understands the conditional exemption of amateur radio licensees from the RF exposure measurement requirements in the FCC's Part 97 Amateur Service rules is proposed to be removed. A Report and Order in FCC Docket WT 13-84 is making the rounds that, if adopted, would make amateur licensees subject to the same requirements as all other FCC licensees. The Report and Order is expected to be released before year's end.

Siddall also reported to the EC that the FCC is poised to address the 60-meter band amateur allocation adopted at World Radio communication Conference 2015 (WRC-15). The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), on behalf of US government primary users of the band, has insisted that the maximum permitted power for radio amateurs must not exceed that agreed to at WRC-15 -- 15 W effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) or 9.1 W ERP -- despite the fact that Canada has authorized its amateur licensees to use 100 W, and eliminate the current discrete channels, which ARRL's petition proposed to retain. NTIA oversees federal government frequency allocations and users.

Minutes of the October 12 Executive Committee meeting were posted this week on the ARRL website.

 


From the ARRL Letter for March 28, 2019:

Colorado ARES Volunteers Muster for "Bomb Cyclone" Winter Storm

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers in Colorado stepped up as a mid-month "bomb cyclone" winter storm struck the state, with heavy rain shifting to heavy snowfall. The storm affected several states and led to significant flooding in Nebraska. Parts of Colorado recorded winds of nearly 100 MPH and record-low barometric pressure readings. ARES teams in Colorado began preparations a day ahead of the so-called "bombogenesis" weather event.

Water vapor imagery of the March 13 "bombogenesis" weather event. [National Weather Service image]

Pikes Peak ARES alerted its personnel via email and a regularly scheduled Tuesday net and coordinated with the Special Communications Unit (SCU), a special cadre of radio amateurs in the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Most SCU members also belong to ARES, but when called up by the OEM, they wear their SCU hats. The SCU planned to deploy to the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) on March 12 and be ready to operate first thing in the morning.

At the time, the Red Cross did not anticipate needing Pikes Peak ARES support, so the ARES district planned to undertake weather spotting for the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Pueblo and relay status information to the ECC. By the morning of March 13, however, the storm's timing had changed, and the Red Cross requested ARES operators in four shelters, creating a problem with recruiting and deploying sufficient volunteers in time. Three ARES volunteers were identified, but by then the weather was so severe that only one was able to get through, amid difficulties.

At the request of NWS Pueblo, a formal weather net was called up and ran for more than 10 hours, even though the primary and back-up net control stations lost power for several hours. Some 70 operators provided reports during the storm and its aftermath. An informal net continued for another 16 hours until the SCU operators were released from the ECC.

"While the net started out as a weather net, it quickly became a common way for operators to report stranded motorists, requests for assistance, abandoned vehicles, Good Samaritan rescues -- important so that the ECC could clear police, fire, rescue, and National Guard units from responding -- shelter status, and requests about road conditions," said John Bloodgood, KD0SFY, Pikes Peak ARES Emergency Coordinator and Public Information Officer (PIO). The storm stranded more than 1,000 motorists in El Paso County.

Neighboring Douglas and Elbert counties also took proactive measures on March 12, opening emergency operations centers (EOCs) in anticipation of the storm. Both counties count on ARES of Douglas and Elbert Counties (ARESDEC) radio to support communication in emergencies. Before the heavy rain turned to snow, the two counties had already begun to open shelters. The ARES team's operations staff closely followed weather forecasts and knew this activation would be different.

Frank Watervoort, AB0WV (left), and Rand Reynard, W0RDR, at the Douglas County Emergency Operations Center. [Ron Coffee, KD0TRY, photo]

"Our preferred procedure is to keep our operational periods to about 8 hours," ARESDEC Operations Chief Denny Phillips, W0DDP, explained. "However, we knew that once our people were in place, especially on the eastern plains, that providing relief would not be possible. Our people would have ride out the storm in the shelters."

As the storm progressed, it became clear to county officials that additional shelters would be needed. ARESDEC operators assisted the Red Cross in setting up shelters and organizing and managing food service.

By the end of the storm, more than 1,100 people were hosted in eight shelters across the two counties. ARESDEC deployed 17 radio operators. Emergency Coordinator Jim Rooney, N4JJR, praised the volunteers' performance, saying, "Our team performed well above expectations due to their commitment to training and willingness to serve." 

Colorado Section Emergency Coordinator Robert Wareham, N0ESQ, oversaw and took part in the overall response. -- Thanks to Pikes Peak ARES EC and PIO John Bloodgood, KD0SFY, and ARESDEC PIO Ron Coffee, KD0TRY 

From the ARRL ARES E-Letter February 20, 2019:

 

 

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To reach us by U.S.P.S. mail please send to:

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Archive of Newsletters

D22 Newsletters from years gone by...

Wayne, N0POH, was going through some files and found some newsletters dating from 1988 to about 2006 that we have posted now on a "Newsletters" page. These are definitely worth the read! They are historical, informative, and entertaining! It amazes me, especially as your new EC, how Alphonse Karr really hit the nail on the head when he said "The more things change, the more they are the same." If you have other newsletters or materials of interest to the history of Arapahoe ARES please send them to N2NWA or KD5DKQ.  They are also scanned into a single 37 page PDF file that can be downloaded: D22 Newsletters 1988 to about 2006. Thanks to Wayne for scanning those for us!