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. .
During a recent meeting at City Hall Barb Graff, Director of Emergency Management had the opportunity to brief Mayor Jenny Durkan on how Seattle enlists the support of volunteers to help during emergency incidents and disasters. Barb presented the Mayor with an ACS cap as a visible reminder of the invaluable service provided by more than 150 volunteer ham radio operators.
A brief recap of our Seattle ACS Team accomplishments:
During 2017 the ACS team signed up 33 new members and contributed approximately 7500 hours of volunteer service in support of city departments and community organizations. This included: 8 EOC activations, 2 city wide field training exercises, 52 radio nets, and 7 radio system projects. Additionally, ACS members supported multiple public services events which included: The Seattle Marathon, Fat Salmon Open-water Swim, Pride Parade, Torchlight Parade, Fremont Parade, RAMROD, and the Children’s Hospital Charity Run. During EOC activations ACS supports EOC operations by operating the audio-video display system, staffing positions in the Planning Section, and providing general administrative support to the EOC in addition to handling all of the radio communications.
Seattle ACS, along with members of the Puget Sound Repeater Group (PSRG) jointly conducted Field Day. The event provides an opportunity to showcase the science and skill of the Amateur Radio operations. During the 2017 exercise, our team operated continuously off the utility grid for over 50 hours (mostly by solar). Field Day 2018 is scheduled for the weekend of June 23-24, the public is welcome to stop by South Seattle College and visit the ACS operation.
We thank our team members for volunteering their time, skills and enthusiasm to support the City and our neighborhoods to plan and prepare for future emergencies and disasters. It is through your efforts we will be better prepared to respond and recover. Thank you all – we look forward to working together to meet the challenges of 2018.