2020 training Archive
- 24th OSU Meteorology Club‘s Severe Weather Symposium.
- 2020 AUXCOMM course
- Corona Virus
- Corona Virus Pt II
- National Volunteer Week
- Armed Forces Day Crossband Test Postponed
- NCBRT/Academy of Counter-Terrorism Education
- Did You Feel It
- Sanitizer Recall
- ARRL Director of Emergency Management
- LED Road Flares
- Comet Free Online Meteorology Training
- MARS Exercise October 2020
- Emergency Response Guidebook
- FEMA NTED
- ERG Apps
- Contingency Travel Planning
- FEMA CPG101 Review
- Medical Reserve Corps
- College Credit for FEMA Courses
- EMA Radiological Equipment
1. 24th Annual OSU Meteorology Club‘s Severe Weather Symposium
Well, it‘s the dead of winter and time to plug the 24th Annual Ohio State University Meteorology Club‘s Severe Weather Symposium. This year‘s event will again be held at the US Bank Conference Theater in the Ohio Union, 1739 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio. The date is Friday, February 14th, 2020 from 9AM to 5PM. And, yes, that‘s Valentines Day.
I find every Metclub Symposium interesting, but this year may interest other District 3 ARES members. My sources tell me that the Memorial Day tornadoes will come up during this year‘s talks.
Scheduled speakers from our area include meteorologists McCall Vrydaghs from Cox Media in Dayton, Brian Wood from Assurant in Springfield and Andy Hatzos from the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
Those interested in attending this free event may preregister at: https://u.osu.edu/metclub/2020-symposium/
The U.S. Government website formerly known as RadResponder was a Federal Emergency Management Agency/Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Energy site dedicated to all things radiological. It recently expanded its areas of interest to include all Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) incidents. The name changed to CBRNResponder to reflect the revised interests, but the website remains https://www.radresponder.net
Along with the name change, the CBRNResponder YouTube channel CBRNResponder is gradually expanding to include CBRN podcasts. As usual, everything mentioned in this training is free.
3. 2020 AUXCOMM course
The United States Department of Homeland Security will once again offer the three day Auxiliary Communications, or AUXCOMM, course in conjunction with Hamvention 2020. AUXCOMM is only available to licensed Amateur Radio Service licensees who meet a list of prerequisites and submit proof to the DHS by April 15th.
The Hamvention 2020 AUXCOMM course will take place May 12-14, 2020 at the Beavercreek Township Fire Department Community Room. Only 30 hams are selected for training prior to Hamvention each year, so if you are interested get started on meeting the requirements as soon as possible.
AUXCOMM students are trained to integrate into the National Response Framework, assisting DHS Communications Leaders and Communications Technicians at major incidents. To learn more go to the following Hamvention page: https://hamvention.org/auxcomm-training-hamvention-week/
4. Corona Virus
Will the Corona virus spread have any impact on Amateur Radio in general and ARES in particular? You bet your boots it will! While small, local hamfests may be unaffected, regional and larger fests will definitely be impacted.
Using Hamvention as an example, hundreds of hams and vendors from foreign nations may reconsider traveling here or even be prohibited from doing so by their government or ours. Hams from Washington state may still arrive in Xenia, but suppose one becomes ill during the weekend? It may be just a cold, but it may take days to confirm that. The Hamvention committee is watching developments closely according to their website.
Many hams come to Xenia for deals on new radios. Most of those radios are assembled in the Far East, and many parts suppliers there are temporarily closing. There may be very few radios available by the time Hamvention arrives.
On a personal note, for several decades I‘ve manned a Hamvention booth for an area radio club. But I also volunteer for a local medical reserve corps and an emergency management agency, so I may also be pulled in different directions in May.
5. Corona Virus Pt II
Two weeks ago I predicted that COVID-19 would have a major impact on Amateur Radio. That turned out to be quite an understatement. Virtually all gatherings of hams on the March 4th calendar are now postponed or cancelled outright.
Some of you might be interested in my COVID-19 volunteer work. On Monday I started working 5 hours a day for the Clark County Combined Health District COVID phone bank as a Medical Reserve Corps staff member. This has nothing to do with Amateur Radio, but everything to do with communications.
Many Clark County residents are worried about their health now. Some are worried well but others are experiencing one or more symptoms and are literally worried sick. The phone bank tries to talk the worried well off the ledge and tries to connect the worried sick with a nurse to evaluate their symptoms for further action, including testing.
In the next few months ARES District 3 communities will probably need more volunteers for odd jobs like mine. While some ARES members are only interested in radio communications, others might desire some real-world disaster experience even if ham radio is not involved.
6. National Volunteer Week
This is National Volunteer Week. Are you District 3 ARES members doing anything to contribute to the COVID 19 response?
In March I worked several days on a Clark County Combined Health District phone bank, answering general questions about the virus. After that I switched to the Clark County Emergency Management Agency, working in logistics to pick up and distribute personal protective equipment for our hospitals, government offices and nursing facilities. I continue to deliver these supplies as of today.
Of course, none of these jobs are directly connected to ARES activities, but all involve communications of some sort. Is anyone out there making masks to donate? Are you helping families to communicate with relatives in quarantine? Are you volunteering temporarily at some agency that normally wouldn‘t need you? I‘d be interested in hearing about any relevant COVID 19 experiences.
7. Armed Forces Day Crossband Test Postponed
Normally held on the Saturday preceding Armed Forces Day in order to encourage Hamvention attendees to participate, this event encourages amateurs operating in their assigned bands to contact military stations operating just outside of those bands.
QSL cards are provided for successful contacts. In addition, hams and shortwave listeners can receive a certificate for copying a message from the Secretary of Defense.
Watch the ARRL home page or other ham news sources for the rescheduled crossband test date.
8. NCBRT/Academy of Counter-Terrorism Education
It‘s been years since we visited the Louisiana State University online programs. Now known as NCBRT/Academy of Counter-Terrorism Education, this center provides courses funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that are offered at no cost to the user.
Their newest offerings are COVID-19 trainings and resources, including how to don Personal Protective Equipment and cleaning various surfaces.
To find out more about these offerings, or to register to take a training, go to: https://ncbrt.lsu.edu/elearning/index.php .
9. Did You Feel It
Greetings from Clark County, the easternmost part of ARES District 3‘s COVID-19 Red Zone. At least so far.
Randy, KAØAZS contributed an interesting program idea two weeks ago, and it only took me two program dates to get it to you. The United States Geological Survey offers a citizen science program to share earthquake information with them. It‘s called Did You Feel It, or DYFI.
We occasionally experience felt earthquakes in District 3, some from outside the district on Lake Erie or near Maysville, Kentucky. Others are within District 3, especially near Anna, Ohio. If you feel one, and wish to add to the USGS knowledge base, send a report to https://earthquake.usgs.gov/data/dyfi/
Submitted by Michael Schulsinger, N8QHV
Supplemental From Randy Allen, KAØAZS:
DYFI reporting forms are also now available in the current version of Winlink (version 22.214.171.124, Template version 126.96.36.199); Open a New message; Select Template> Standard Templates> USGS. There are English and Spanish versions of the form.
10. Sanitizer Recall
Two weeks ago I purchased two containers of Next brand hand sanitizer at a local drug store to add to my ARES Go Kit. I‘ve had pandemic supplies in my kit for over a decade, but used up my sanitizer and surgical masks earlier in the COVID-19 experience.
But this week I saw several news stories about a Food and Drug Administration hand sanitizer recall of Mexican products involving methanol, which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin. The list of recalled sanitizers is now 115 brands long, and my Next hand sanitizer is included. I returned mine to the drug store for a refund.
So my search for hand sanitizer for my Go Kit resumes. And while we‘re on the subject, all of you should probably check your sanitizer against the FDA recall list. And note that the list continues to grow as new brands are added. Go to: www.fda.gov
11. ARRL Director of Emergency Management
The American Radio Relay League has added a new position to its staff – Director of Emergency Management. Paul Z. Gilbert, a Texas Extra Class amateur, has been hired to fill the position.
In addition to his FCC license, Mr. Gilbert has completed the Department of Homeland Security Communications Leader (COML), Communications Technician (COMT) and Auxiliary Communications (AUXCOM) courses.
The Director of Emergency Management will have overall responsibility for ARRL EMCOMM operations, including the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and National Traffic System (NTS). For further details, see the news items at www.arrl.org .
12. LED Road Flares
Earlier this week I looked over a Facebook list of vehicle emergency supplies suggested by several Ohio response agencies. I generally agreed with the list, but there was one glaring exception.
One suggested item was old fashioned road flares, and I can think of several reasons why there are better choices. One, a vehicle tire can roll a flare into the grass, which may or may not be dry enough to ignite. Two, a wreck might involve hazardous materials that leak or give off flammable vapors, either of which might go up in flames. And none of these flares last longer than an hour.
Newer Light Emitting Diode Road Flares are a better choice. These battery powered devices can be seen a mile away, and fresh batteries will drive them for a day or more. They are unlikely to start fires, and the better quality versions can be run over several times and still function.
LED Road Flares are available at many auto parts stores and online.
13. Comet Free Online Meteorology Training
I haven‘t mentioned the Comet folks for several years now. Comet is a collection of educators offering online meteorology training at my favorite price – free! They have started collecting their short courses into logical bunches directed at undergraduate and graduate meteorology students and faculty. However, anyone may take these new offerings, called University Course Support. SkyWarn folks may be particularly interested in going beyond the basic and advanced training offered annually by the National Weather Service.
The first three available are: Introduction to Meteorology, Thermodynamic Meteorology and Dynamic Meteorology. More will be added at later dates. To look them over or register to try one, visit MetEd » Education & Training
14. MARS Exercise October 2020
The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) will be conducting exercises in conjunction with Department of Defense Drill 20-4 with several amateur radio organizations between October 3rd and 26th. MARS stations will be using 60 meter frequencies to exchange ICS213 messages with Amateur Radio Emergency Services ARES), National Traffic System (NTS) and Radio Relay International (RRI) stations.
Information regarding this exercise will be carried over National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Stations WWV and WWVH throughout the exercise.
15. Emergency Response Guidebook
The 2020 edition of the U.S. Department of Transportation Emergency Response Guidebook is now available. This is the book that explains those numbers or symbols on the sides and rear of trucks, railroad cars and shipping containers. The ERG guidebooks are intended to keep first responders safe at hazardous materials incidents, but also work well as educational tools. New editions are released roughly every four years.
Copies of the ERG are supplied to fire departments, law enforcement and emergency management agencies. They may be willing to share extra copies with ARES members. You may also download ERG .pdf files in English, Spanish or French at: Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) .
16. FEMA NTED
We haven‘t visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s (FEMA) National Training and Education Division (NTED) website for a few years. This site lists free training opportunities for first responders, including emergency management functions such as ARES. Some trainings are in classrooms, some are online at specific times and others are online to be taken at the user‘s convenience. NTED features an online catalog and several training catalogs that can be downloaded to your computer or smartphone.
To view the NTED site for yourself, go to First Responder Training System .
17 ERG Apps
Randy, KAØAZS adds to our Emergency Response Guide discussion. He reports there is also an APP for that! Both the Google Play and the Apple iTunes stores have ERG apps that are free to download. Get there from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration website located at ERG2020 MobileApp
18. Contingency Travel Planning
I will begin by wishing all of my fellow veterans a happy Veterans Day.
The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of an emergency that gives warning prior to its arrival. The tropical storm currently threatening Florida is another such example. We can take some steps to address such events.
At three o‘clock this morning two semis collided on the lower deck of the Brent Spence Bridge, which carries I-71 and I-75 over the Ohio River. Hundreds of gallons of fuel spilled and caught fire, closing the bridge in both directions. Is is expected to remain closed for days or longer.
I wonder how many commuters who use this route daily planned for the loss of the bridge? Can some work from home? Is the Anderson Ferry running, or must everyone local use the few remaining bridges? Most truckers will be using the I-275 bypass until the bridge reopens.
Do you need to take a route that would be difficult to bypass? Think about it!
19. FEMA CPG101 Review
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is in the process of updating the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide, or CPG 101. They are seeking feedback from their Whole Community Partners, which include individuals, families, businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, etc.
FEMA must receive any feedback by January 21, 2021. CPG 101 and the feedback forms may be seen at the following site: www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/national-preparedness/plans
20. Medical Reserve Corps
Have you ever considered signing up as a volunteer with your local health district‘s Medical Reserve Corps? Most Ohio health districts have an MRC. While retired licensed medical professionals are obvious MRC candidates, they can use a wide range of skills.
I have been active with the Clark County Combined Health District MRC for many years. I‘ve helped with traffic at flu clinics and assisted with paperwork at Covid-19 sites. MRC activity even opened the door for some part time contract employment with my district.
The Champaign County MRC has a notice in today‘s Springfield News-Sun that they are specifically seeking MRC volunteers. Anyone in ARES District 3 who would like to look into joining their local MRC can go to this statewide website for more information: https://www.ohioresponds.odh.ohio.gov
21. College Credit for FEMA courses
Many years ago I reported on FEMAs Emergency Management Institute and its agreement with Frederick Community College (FCC) in Maryland. FCC was offering undergraduate credit for many EMI Independent Study courses. Those credits could be applied toward FCC associate degrees.
Recently the EMI made a similar arrangement with the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). The new agreement includes 174 of EMI‘s courses, both independent study and classroom offerings. Up to 90 EMI credits may be applied to UMGC bachelor degree programs. This program may be cheaper than other means of obtaining credit.
You can obtain more details in EMI Training Bulletin 1621, and at the following UMGC website: https://sites.umgc.edu/corporate/emi/index.cfm
22. EMA Radiological Equipment
The Ohio Emergency Management Agency has started replacing their 50-year-old Cold War era radiation detection equipment with more modern instruments. County emergency management agencies are now receiving them. The new alpha/beta/gamma counter is the Ludlum Model 26-3. It‘s easier to use and more rugged than earlier meters.
What does this have to do with Amateur Radio? Licensees already know something about physics, as electronics is a component of this science. Few firefighters, police, paramedics and emergency managers, who would normally respond to a radiological incident, know as much about radiation as hams. ARES leadership and members approaching their county HazMat teams may find that their knowledge of radiation is a welcome addition to the team resource list.