EmComm

Ham Radio Equipment for Emergency Communication Delivered in Honduras

On August 22, the Honduras National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) delivered Amateur Radio equipment to COPECO -- a government disaster-organization coordination agency -- for use in an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) pilot project that aims to take wider advantage of the Winlink HF email system for emergency communication. The ITU pilot project includes Central America and the Caribbean with the goal of achieving implementation throughout South America. Winlink already enjoys wide usage in North America by Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams. ITU donated the equipment.

"The most important thing is that CONATEL, COPECO, and radio amateurs start working with the Winlink tool," said ITU Area D Representative Miguel Alcaine. "I am very happy to know that we are doing something before disaster strikes."

The donation consists of an HF radio, a VHF radio, a multiband dipole, a VHF antenna, an automatic antenna tuner, a modem, and coaxial cable.

National Commissioned Minister of COPECO Lisandro Rosales said that one of his agency's objectives has been to strengthen information and communication technologies (ICTs) -- a primary ITU initiative. "We have realized that telecommunications is a key element in order to give early warning and to warn about imminent danger, or to coordinate assistance or reconstruction activities," Rosales said.

"This program and radio equipment will allow first responders that work during emergencies to send information [via HF], when telephone and digital communications collapse or if there are power outages," commented Omar Paredes, HR1OP, secretary of Club de Radio Aficionados Central de Honduras (CRACH). -- Thanks to IARU Region 2 and the ARRL

Update: 9/7/2018
XE1BRX, Senor Remba from FMRE in Mexico will arrive Monday 9/10/18 to start the final configuration and gateway power up.
Gateway call sign is HR0COP. Tentative next installs are Costa Rica and Dominican Republic for 2nd week in October 2018, two teams same day.

Update: 9/10/18 First photos of HR0COP gateway and it is on the air. https://mikeburton.smugmug.com/organize/Honduran-Gateway-HR0COP-activated

Parte dos, una plática sobre el funcionamiento y utilidad de este sistema, Técnicos de #Copeco y de Conatel Honduras participan en capacitación de telecomunicaciones en emergencia y subsistemas de radio VHF y HF, impartida por miembros de la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones #OIT y presentada por Jonathan Remba XE1BRX miembro de la Federacion Mexicana de Radio Experimentadores. En unos días mas se harán las otras seis instalaciones: Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica y Republica Dominicana.

All about SHARES at HamVention

May 17, 2017 -- SHARES - Interoperable HF Emergency Communications: Friday, 9:15 to 10:15, Room 2.

Ross Merlin, WA2WDT, SHARES Program Manager, will moderate a forum on SHARES (SHAred RESources), a Federal government HF radio program for backup communications and interoperability among Federal agencies and Federally-affiliated entities that have a need to send or receive national security or emergency preparedness communications such as state agencies, county emergency management agencies, and critical infrastructure/key resources providers (telecommunications, energy, healthcare, transportation, etc.). This session will include both an introduction to SHARES for potential users and an open forum for audience members to discuss program issues with the SHARES Program Office staff. Merlin wrote the National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG), which is widely used by public safety and emergency communications professionals across the country.

From the ARRL E-Letter, used with permission.

FEMA Forms Region IV AuxComm Working Group

Recently, the FEMA Region IV RECCWG members formed an auxiliary communications working group to improve the relationship between agencies at all levels and its auxiliary communications volunteers. Steve Waterman, K4CJX, a RECCWG member, was asked to chair this working group. Although the FEMA Region IV RECCWG working group has only recently formed, its members have already identified the following objectives:

  • Provide a model plan of action for agencies at all levels who wish to enhance their staff by adding non-paid, qualified auxiliary communications (AuxComm) volunteers. This would include mainly, but not exclusively, interested Amateur radio operators local to these civil organizations, and their critical infrastructure partners. It would include sample county and State operations plans that includes ongoing participation of these volunteers in a meaningful way.
  • Promote the education of auxiliary communication volunteers through inclusion of FEMA on-line NIMS courses, specific agency “101” training, and relevant classroom courses such as ICS-300, COML, the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) AuxComm course, and periodic exercises. The objective is to familiarize the auxiliary communications volunteer with the NIMS Incident Command System (ICS) process, and how the supported agency/office works within the ICS framework.
  • Define productive ways in which AuxComm volunteers may interact with agencies, including County “Reserve” groups, ARRL ARES groups, Ham Clubs, and others that can be brought into the methodology of the soliciting agency. In other words, define common processes that can be devised to enhance a smooth working relationship between AuxComm groups and the organizations they wish to support. Establishing and maintaining relationships between agency personnel and the AuxComm Volunteers is the key to effective support;
  • Define obligation and liability issues for both Agencies and AuxComm volunteers.
  • Define services needed by the agency wishing to utilize AuxComm support. There are several pathways in which these groups may be able to provide effective communications transport layers for these agencies where and when needed. Example: deploying the use of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Communications Coordinating Shared Resource program (NCC SHARES), MARS, use of the Amateur Radio Spectrum under Part 97, and the agency’s own FCC Public Safety spectrum, etc.
  • Determine an effective method of disseminating the findings and material resulting from the working group's efforts, which will benefit those who are not now deploying AuxComm personnel.
  • Seek out examples of successful statewide and regional amateur radio programs in order to incorporate best practices and improve standardization nationally.

This RECCWG Working Group has a diverse membership including representatives form State emergency agencies, ARRL leadership, FEMA Regional staff, AuxComm instructors, Statewide Interoperable Communications coordinators (SWIC0, I.T and Tribal representatives. As this FEMA Region IV RECCWG Working Group progresses, it will provide further information. If you would like information about this group or the FEMA Region IV RECCWG please contact Donnie Monette, [email protected].

Republished with permission from the FEMA Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group (RECCWG) Newsletter.

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