Sunday, October 2, 2011

Successful 2011 ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET)

We had a very successful SET yesterday morning here in Chatham and surrounding counties.  Many of us gathered for breakfast ot 0700 like we normally do then afterward we went into exercise mode.  Following the statewide scenario, we practiced setting up a communications network without the benefit of most of our local repeaters and HF stations.  Kevin-KW4B took a crew and deployed to the top of the parking deck at Candler Hospital to rapidly put up an HF and VHF station including antennas.  Kevin and Jeff-KJ3FFD operated on the tailgates of thier truck and on generator power.  Kevin handled voice and Jeff handled digital.

Steve-K4SDJ took a crew and setup in one of the Chatham EMA EOCs using callsign N4CEM.  We have a nice station there and a great relationship with CEMA.

Ted-KJ4EGZ deployed to the Savannah Red Cross facility where we also have a nice station K3SRC.

I deployed to Memorial Medical Center and ran the K4MUM station that we have located there.  I was also equiped for D-Star operation.

Things went real well as we simulated primary and secondary ARES repeater failure.  We convened a local net on 146.550, established HF contact with the GA ARES Net and the GA Digital Net, established comm with the South Carolina ARES Net, the Beaufort County EOC, Liberty County EOC, and Bulloch County EOC.  We also practiced the use of tactical callsigns at the served agencies.

We also leveraged the local D-Star system in Pembroke but could not get it connected to the reflector for the statewide net.  I thought that the guys in Atlanta were going to make the connection.  Casey tried but no luck.  The repeater function did work properly and we used it to stay in touch with the Bulloch County team and with Russ-KJ4VIG in Evans County.

We also took the opportunity to move some traffic between the two hospitals on 2 meter simplex using NBEMS.  We sent traffic back and forth using ARRL Radiogram and ICS 213 formats.  What a great mode and we plan to use it alot more.

Of particular note was the fact that the Liberty County team and the Bulloch County team ran thier own exercises this year.  Great job to Casey-KF4BSC who is the EC for Bulloch and to the Hinesville Amateur Radio Emergency Society for doing a great job in thier respective counties!  Casey and his team manned the EOC, Red Cross, and East GA Regional Hospital.  HARES manned thier local EOC. 

We managed to achieve most of our objectives and should have a decent score on our SET Report. 

Thanks to everyone who participated this year.

Guy McDonald, K4GTM
DEC Southeast District

Getting some fuel for the exercise

Jeff-KJ3FFD operating his digital station at the Candler Parking Deck

Jeff-KJ3FFD tail gating

Kevin-KW4B AEC for Chatham County operating the hospital go kit at the Candler Parking Deck

The Candler Hospital Team at our designated command center

Memorial Medical Center station K4MUM

The very nice Memorial Medical Center station K4MUM

Chatham County EMA EOC station N4CEM

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