ACS & HUBs Emergency Communications Field Exercise 4-28-18

On April 28, 2018, from 0900 to 1200, the Seattle Neighborhood Hubs and Seattle ACS will hold a field exercise. ACS will support the hubs by deploying sector teams and hub operators simulating a general communications failure.

Participating amateur radio operators will need radios programmed with the ACS frequencies and the ability to receive Fldigi digital messages. Winlink email will be the default mode for sending messages from hubs and sectors. Voice will be used for coordination and as a last alternative for messaging. The emphasis of this exercise will be efficient and accurate message handling as well as practice deploying and operating as cohesive teams.

To simulate an unplanned emergency a full briefing will be broadcast the night before at 1900 on UHF Channel 4, the Columbia repeater. The net will also be announced via Alert Seattle. ACS will activate at 0830 on Saturday morning. The exercise will conclude at 1200. Please plan to participate, we hope this will be a helpful learning opportunity and a lot of fun.  .

Emergency Communications Field Exercise – March 31st

 

On Saturday March 31st Seattle Auxiliary Communications Services (ACS) conducted a city-wide drill. Forty two ACS amateur radio volunteers participated and were organized into 5 sector teams throughout the city as well as a team staffing the EOC.  The exercise instructions and plan were kept secret from the participants until the start of the activities.

The exercise scenario was that a significant wind storm had knocked out all power to the region and caused widespread damage from downed trees.

The drill ran from 0830 to 1200 hours. During that time the teams we able to:

  • assemble rosters of members participating on each team
  • visit 52 emergency hub sites and conduct radio frequency path testing
  • submit 172 simulated damage reports derived from scavenger hunt like activities
  • as well as contact the State EOC and coordinate with other teams across the region

Overall, ACS volunteers drove approximately 300 miles in their own vehicles throughout the City to support this mission to collect and provide critical information that would be essential in a disaster situation.

These tasks were accomplished through the use of amateur radio voice communication as well as digital email-over-radio messaging. Special thanks and appreciation to Dean Lambert an ACS volunteer for planning and managing the exercise.

 

 

Up-coming Trainings, Meetings and Exercises

Winlink Training March 17th  This training will be Saturday morning beginning at 9 AM and running until approximately 12 PM, coffee at 8:30. Location: South Seattle College, Olympic Hall, room 101 (where ACS normally meets)  This is intended to be hands-on training with as much one-on-one help as possible.

If you are coming for help, you need to do the following:

  1. Bring your radio, laptop, and whatever other equipment that is meant to be part of your Winlink setup to the class, ready to use. This is hands on, not lecture.
  2. Before you come, go to the following new link: Winlink – E-Mail Over Radio Operations a course developed by Scott Currie for the City of Auburn also see his two presentations from last year’s Comm Academy   Winlink Presentation 1 and Winlink Presentation 2

We look forward to seeing as many people as possible on March 17th, and welcome PSRG members and others not involved with ACS to participate.

Other Winlink Training Opportunities  

  1. Every Monday during our Monday Night ACS net you can go to North Seattle College to our radio room, and get help with Winlink. Dave Wilma davidwilma@comcast.net is the contact for getting to the radio room and coordinates the training.
  2. Additionally, we can offer one-on-one remote control help through an audio/video chat room where you can share your screen so we can see it, and do a lot to get you going that way. The challenge is finding the right person to help and matching them up with you and finding a time that works for both people. This is a powerful tool for us to use. Please email acs-leadership@seattleacs.org if you would like to try and schedule one of these sessions. Include days and times you are available.

ACS March Meeting and Training

The next ACS meeting and training will be held March 24th 2018, 9 AM until 12 PM coffee at 8:30 at South Seattle College in Olympic Hall, Room 100. There will be updates on current projects and work program items, a presentation on the HF SHARES radio system, other training topics and information about the coming exercises.

ACS Scheduled Field Exercises

The March – 5th Saturday drill  This will be a fun field exercise designed to mobilize our ACS sectors and practice field work.  The EOC will activate and communicate with the sectors and other jurisdictions – more information to follow.

April 28th Field Exercise – this drill will focus on practicing emergency communications with our community partners, the Hubs and other teams.  We will be using voice and digital modes of communications –  more information to follow.