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ARES Provides "Situational Awareness" During January Blizzard
(Mar 24, 2019) - - Ohio ARES members stared down “Snowmageddon” 2019, the mid-January blizzard that blanketed the lower Great Lakes region. Based on ominous forecasts and discussion with Assistant SECs across the state, Section Manager Scott Yonally, N8SY, and the Ohio Watch Office, SEC Stan Broadway, N8BHL, asked ARES operators to provide observations and reports to assist decision makers at the Ohio Emergency Operations Center and county emergency management agency centers.
“We could do this safely from our homes, and integrate our reports (remotely) into the state’s WebEOC management system, which could be read by the Ohio Watch Office and any other emergency official around the state,” Broadway said. “We had never tried this, and it seemed like a great way to promote the Amateur Service’s ability to provide situational awareness on a wide scale.” Broadway said conditions generated by the storm “could have resulted in an emergency” and warranted a statewide ARES response.
A statewide net was convened on Saturday, January 9, as conditions deteriorated. Amateurs quickly began checking in and reporting their local conditions with specific details. The reports were compiled by Ohio’s AuxComm Team station W8SGT, which was operated from Broadway’s residence on 80 meters, and the VHF/UHF Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) network (the Ohio Talk group), simultaneously.
By nightfall, storm conditions had stabilized, and reporting slowed to the point that the statewide net could be closed. Many county-level nets were also in operation.
The Ohio “Snow Net” received 131 reports from 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, split evenly between HF and DMR. The short-notice net was entered into the ARES Connect system and more than 50 amateurs signed up for the net event. Several other local snow nets entered for county events also. The statewide reports were logged and submitted every few hours to the state Homeland Security/Emergency Management Agency Watch Desk through WebEOC.
Broadway said emergency managers around the state were impressed that Amateur Radio could furnish reports with such detailed information. He said HF capability to reach across the state was a proven asset, with effective communication in all directions. The DMR system functioned much like Ohio’s public safety radio system, connecting nearly 80 repeaters across the state through the internet. This service had been untested and this event created the perfect proving ground, Broadway said. “We needed dependable statewide communication where all stations would benefit by hearing reports as they were filed,” he pointed out. “The Ohio Talk Group was used with great success, with no known problems with dropout or system faults. Communication proved reliable even with the severe weather threatening power loss and antenna corruption.”
Ohio ARES operators provided a broad range of information including snow depths, wind speeds, and “Level 3” declarations, closed airports and more. Under Level 3 in Ohio, non-essential motorists on roadways are subject to arrest.
Broadway conceded that more aggressive alerting of District and county Emergency Coordinators would have given them more time to prepare. More guidance for local nets might have contributed to more realistic expectations and efficient operation — the specific weather information sought and time frame of operation anticipated, he added.
“Winter storms are part of the Ohio landscape, and we don’t propose ramping up a net for every snowfall. But when the forecasts call for extreme conditions, ARES operators have now proven we can be a true asset for our served partner agencies. — Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL
(Mar 16, 2019) - - On Thursday, March 14th a Skywarn Net was opened around 7:00 PM as severe weather entered western Stark County. Soon after the Cleveland National Weather Service issued multiple watches and warnings the storm developed over the area.
As heavy rain and high wind gusts started, the NWS issued a Tornado Warning for our area. The Stark County EMA was activated with staff reporting to the office. Also our ARES team was notified that our response might be needed. Our net was continued as some reports of downed trees and power lines began coming in.
By about 8:15 PM preliminary determined multiple tornados rated EF-0 had hit the Massillon, Perry Township and Louisville areas with wind speeds in excess of 80 mph. Heavy traffic on our weather net prevented us from taking timely damage reports. By 9:00 PM Thursday our weather net was closed and we began taking damage report.
On Friday morning a response team from the Cleveland NWS arrived and began to assess the damage throughout the area. Throughout the event, our ARES members remained activated in case support communications were needed.
You can also submit reports of severe weather using the NWS E-Spotter reporting system. Click Here for this link.
New DMR Weekly Net Announcement
(Mar 6, 2019) - - A new DMR Net sponsored by the Massillon Amateur Radio Club is held every Monday night at 7:30 PM on the KG8DQ Repeater System.
If you are using the KG8DQ code plug set your radio for the Massillon Zone, Channel 1. To access the Canton System go to the Canton Zone, Channel 1. Both systems are tied together and have nearly countywide range and can be used using either a handheld or mobile.
Net Control is currently Jim Farriss, WA8GXM who accepts all check-ins. Some local news items are covered as well as comments.
Severe Weather Awareness Week
(Mar 2, 2019) - - March is Severe Weather Awareness Month here in Northeast Ohio. Severe WX awareness week will be observed on March 18th - 23rd this year. Our annual Tornado Drill will take place on Wednesday, March 20th at 10:00 AM. A special ARES Weather Net will take check-ins during the drill on the 147.12 Mhz Repeater.
New Plan Aligns ARES with the Needs
of Served Agencies
(Feb 19, 2019) - - The new ARES Plan adopted by the ARRL Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting in January represents an effort to provide ARES with a clearly defined mission, goals, and objectives; specific training requirements, and a system for consistent reporting and record-keeping. The Board’s Public Service Enhancement Working Group (PSEWG) spent more than 3 years crafting the ARES Plan which, ARRL officials believe, provides a much-needed update of the program’s role in public service and emergency preparedness in the 21st century. Concerns focused on bringing ARES into alignment with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS), and creating more consistent and standardized ARES training requirements. Given dramatic changes and upgrades in national, regional, and local emergency and disaster response organizations, ARRL faced a major challenge, said ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, who chaired the PSEWG.
“If we didn’t address these issues, such as training standards and organizational management, ARES faced the very real possibility that it would no longer be viewed as a valid and valuable partner in emergency and disaster relief situations,” Williams said.
With input from ARES members and a peer review team, and the assistance of emergency response officials with some partner organizations, the PSEWG came up with a plan that provides guidelines to ensure that ARES remains a service of organized, trained, qualified, and credentialed Amateur Radio volunteers who can provide public service partners with radio communication expertise, capability, and capacity, Williams added.
A drafted ARES Plan was circulated among ARRL Section Managers (SMs) and Section Emergency Coordinators (ECs) to gather feedback. During the comment period from August through October 2018, the PSEWG heard from 55 ARRL Sections, representing 40 states — more than 125 pages of feedback in all. The PSEWG expressed appreciation to all who submitted comments and ideas.
The PSEWG reviewed every comment and suggestion, identifying about a dozen key items commonly cited by those in the Field Organization to improve the plan.
Based on input from ARES participants, the training requirements in the final ARES Plan consist of the free FEMA Professional Development Series. The series comprises these independent study (IS) courses: 120.c, 230.d, 235.c, 240.d, 241.b, 242.b, and 244.b (as they may be amended), as well as the ARRL’s EC-001 and EC-016 emergency communication courses. As part of adopting the ARES Plan, the ARRL Board approved a proposal to make the ARRL EC courses free for ARES members.
The plan highlights some additional training programs that ARES participants are encouraged to consider taking, but that are not required, such as AUXCOMM and training courses like ICS-300 and ICS-400.
The ARES Plan outlines a three-tiered membership structure based on increased responsibility levels and accompanying training requirements. Although the tiers are not a required path, they serve to define three distinct ways to participate in the ARES program; it’s up to the participant to determine his or her level of involvement.
The ARES Plan points out that public service events such as parades and marathons are within the realm of ARES activity and are, in fact, a key part of it, because such events are an integral part of effective training.
In recognizing the local and regional nature of emergency communication needs in disaster response activations, the Plan notes that training requirements are ultimately the responsibility of the Section Manager, with each SM approving training for local ARES teams, as local conditions and needs dictate.
The ARES Plan also highlights the relationship between ARES and the National Traffic System (NTS). The PSEWG indicated that it will continue moving forward with efforts to find ways to refine and strengthen that relationship.
While the intent of the ARES Plan is to align the ARES organizational structure with the NIMS and ICS systems, Williams noted that, within the ARES structure, the Emergency Coordinator (EC) will continue to lead the ARES team locally during an incident, while the District and Section Emergency Coordinators will continue to serve as resources and support for the EC. (The emergency preparedness staff at ARRL is in the process of updating the EC manual.) The ARES Plan stresses that ARES participants are not first responders, and it encourages ARES leaders to develop and grow their group’s partnerships with state emergency management agencies and officials. Williams said the adoption of the ARES Plan is not the end of this process.
During the next several months, Stark Co ARES will begin reviewing the plan and how we can interface it into our local emergency response plan.
2019 Ohio ARES Annual Conference
(Feb 3, 2019) - - The Ohio ARES Conference is currently scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 2019 once again at the Marion Technical Campus in Marion, OH. Those who have attended previous meetings know this is a top notch facility and Ohio SEC Stan Broadway, N8BHL and his staff are hard at work preparing a full day's presentation of new ARES training.
More information will be coming out soon. In addition the Ohio NVIS Antenna day will be held on April 27th. This is a great time to test out your portable/temporary HF Antennas !.
Mark your calendar to make sure you plan on joining Stan for this always interesting day of training !
2018 Public Service Report
(Feb 1, 2019) - - From the Section Emergency Coordinator
Stan Broadway, N8BHL - SEC
Ohio Section: Amateur Radio Emergency Service Yearend Report, 2018
Ohio ARES members provided at least $2,674,295.00 in service to their communities during 2018.
For the year 2018, Ohio Section ARES volunteers donated their time and equipment in large numbers. The monetary value of their time is calculated using $24.69 according to
“The Independent Sector” as used by the ARRL. We calculate the value of equipment at $300 per volunteer.
December is anticipated based on prior years.
Activity 2018 Total 2018 Average Monthly Monetary Value
ARES is structured so that each county Emergency Coordinator (EC) operates autonomously with training, relationships and service to served agencies. A guideline for them is provided in ARRL EC training material, and in the Ohio Section Emergency Response Plan (OSERP). Under their guidance, radio nets and training meetings help to keep members active and ready.
ARES county organizations participated in numerous drills and exercises throughout the year, from active shooter training to many other scenarios. ARES members were activated for a number of real events, including missing person searches, storm damage, and other events. Some counties made use of ARES members during elections as supplemental communications back to the various boards of elections. Others used our volunteers for additional security and situational awareness at fairgrounds, special events, and Halloween observances. We provided free communication support for hundreds of events including major marathons, Ironman, and numerous other large public gatherings.
ARES members participate in a weekly statewide radio net anchored at the Ohio JDF/EOC where station W8SGT is located right off the main control floor. This activity confirms our ability to communicate from the state EOC to various counties throughout Ohio. On the same evenings, the Ohio Digital Emergency Net (OHDEN) does a similar exercise using digital message modes, such as would be employed to send forms such as IS-213 messages between counties and from county to state. Most counties are active in early January for the “Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest”, testing our ability to use VHF / UHF frequencies without repeaters to relay messages. In late April, we stage our annual “NVIS Antenna Day”, employing “Near Vertical Incident Skywave” antennas designed to communicate to neighboring and nearby locations. These antennas are the type that might be deployed after a major disaster removes normal communication equipment and antennas. In late June, we participate in the ARRL’s “Field Day” exercise- where remote stations provide portable antennas, power, and equipment to communicate across the country for a 24-hour period. All of these activities further our mission to be able to communicate “when all else fails”.
Our ability to provide this important service is dependent on having proper antennas to allow us to make contacts. With these resources in place in our homes and public buildings, we are able to stay ready to provide this important service.
73, Stan N8BHL
Stark County Year End Report:
Stark County ARES was involved in 5 Community Service Events last year that involved 78 radio amateurs that totaled nearly 400 Service hours. This was a 5% increase over last year.
Annual Massillon Holiday Parade
(Nov 24, 2018) - - The MARC just finished assisting with the 64th Annual Massillon Holiday Parade sponsored by Massillon Main Street and the Downtown Massillon Association. This continues to remain the oldest public service event that is handled by the club and our responsibilities have grown over recent years to include many aspects of parade operation. The parade was rebroadcast over Massillon Cable TV and I hope some of you had a chance to view it. The club trailer looked great on the route with our new decorations and special thanks to Jim Farriss - WA8GXM for pulling the trailer in the parade.
In the early years of the parade, we provided only communications support to the Massillon JC’s organization who handled the staging of all the parade units. When they disbanded, the city struggled to find volunteers willing to take on this task. Since the MARC handled communications support, somehow we got nominated to take on this responsibility as well.
A few years later, Massillon Cable began filming the parade in conjunction with the Massillon High School Communications Department and again the club was called upon to assist with this part of the parade also. Last minute omissions or changes to the parade line up are passed on to the production crew so that the announcers can follow along with the parade units. We had experience with this as well as amateurs routinely handle staging activities including TV production control relay duties at the Hall of Fame Festival Community Parade. The Holiday Parade has depended on this ever since.
Over the past several years the parade has been sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association with President Donald Harwig serving as Parade Chairman. During this time and before the club has always been there to make sure the parade is properly staged and starts on time down the parade route. We have become an integral part of the parade and I wonder if they could pull it off without us.
I’m glad to report another successful public service event with very few problems thanks to our communications and parade skills. Over 50 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC.
Parade Organizers and Communications Coordinator Perry Ballinger, W8AU express their appreciation to the MARC for their continued support of this annual holiday parade. The following club members assisted with this years event.
Perry Ballinger - W8AU, Steve Hall - KD8ACF, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Evan Rankl - KE8IDH, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Bob Ballinger - N8KXO, Robin - N8EBS, Vern Sproat - KE8VS, Fred Reed - KD8SMO, Mike Daughenbaugh - KE8EHG, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Russ McMahen - N8PII, Don Rankl - N8IVJ and Anne Ballinger - N8GAF. This event provided over 60 hours of community service.
Fall Skywarn Severe Weather Training
Stark County our local training took place
AARC Assists With Alliance Carnation Festival
(Sep 12, 2018) - - The Alliance Amateur Radio Club provided Communications for the 2018 Greater Carnation Festival Grand Parade on Saturday August 11, 2018 in Alliance, Ohio. The club’s project received two (2) blessings, the club’s Two (2) Meter Repeater W8LKY worked flawlessly and the weather was magnificent
The logistics for the event include a parade route of 2.1 miles long, which included using a part of State Route 183 and US Route 62. AARC positioned Ten (10) radio operators in such a manner in which the entire parade route was visible at all times. Incidents along the parade route could be relayed to W8LKY net control and passed on to a representative of the Grand Parade Committee. A Tactical Call Sign System was created for the duration of the event, “Carnation Control” acted as net control for the event which was located at the beginning of the parade. The radio operators used various Tactical Call Signs such as “Carnation Six (6)” which designated the location of the radio operator and occasionally the operators would add their own call letters to their parade status reports. The parade itself, took approximately One and a Half Hours to reach the end of the parade route at Broadway and South Union Ave. where it dispersed on West Broadway. The project was completed by 1:30PM with the sign off of the radio operator at Union and Broadway Streets, which signified the last unit, had entered the dispersement area. The Alliance (Ohio) Police Department also monitored the activity ofW8LKY’s 2018 Grand Parade Communication Project.
The Operations: We started with a 9AM PR Parade briefing at Rockhill Elementary School. Each radio operator was given a packet containing a parade lineup and other project information. Each operator proceeds to their assigned locations and checked in at 9:30AM with “Carnation Control” the Tactical Control for the project. Each location operator reported the first unit’s arrival and the last unit passing their assigned location and any incident that may have occurred during their time in the viewing area of their assigned location. After the last unit passed their location, they were dismissed. The Ten(10) radio operators of the Alliance Amateur Radio Club who participated in this project included: Frank Sanor WA8WHP, Loren Kleinhans KD8WVE, Paul Richardson K2ASA, Howard Miller JR. K8DXR, Ron Rittenhouse KE8HCY, Shawn Gentle KD8ZEZ, Dwight Turner KD8YFV, Dave Kleinhans KE8IYN, Dave Moreno KE8JLP and Mike Urban KE8CKL. Frank Sanor WA8WHP served as “Carnation Control” or Net Control for W8LKY for the Greater Carnation Festival 2018 Grand Parade Communication Project. Ron Rittenhouse KE8HCY served as coordinator for the event.
Submitted by Ron Rittenhouse - KE8HCY
12, 2018) ...
The Canton Repository Grand Parade starts long before the seats along
Among the thousands of parade volunteers, Amateur Radio operators help
to organize this vast ensemble of parade participants. These volunteers are
members of the Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Services and multiple other
area radio clubs. For over 40 years,
amateurs have provided communications services for this event that will total
over 200 volunteer hours of service on this day alone. The parade has grown
steadily in size over the years and now is the single largest public service
event handled by amateur radio operators here in
Again this year over 500,000 spectators watched the parade and behind the scenes lies a core of amateur volunteers many of which have nearly 25 years of experience assisting with the parade. This dedication is one reason that parade organizers have long realized the importance of effective communications that are necessary in organizing a parade of this magnitude. Also over the years, they have come to understand and appreciate the fact that it takes more than a radio to make an effective communicator. Parade General Chairman Drew Felberg realized the limited range of their commercial radio's and he was grateful to learn that our communications was solid throughout the parade route thanks to our wide area coverage ARES Repeater on 147.12 Mhz. The Canton ARC's club repeater on 146.79 Mhz was also ready to use as our backup if needed. With the introduction of Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Technology, we also increased both our communications range and ability to cover the entire parade route this year.
The last several years, parade officials have used loaned commercial radio's to maintain communications with their committee members.. While this has worked for routine short range communications, parade organizers have relied on the discipline and experience of amateur operators to handle urgent communications needs and especially medical traffic that occurs throughout the nearly two and a half mile parade route.
Continuing this year, in a reorganization of parade communications, our responsibilities covered four separate areas, each with it's own control point. These were Staging, Route Communications, Dispersal and Medical Support.
Staging is where it all begins. Event organizers and radio operators setup and
arrange the over 130
units that make up this years parade. Beginning at about 2:00 A.M., this job is
like taking a 5,000 piece puzzle and assembling all the pieces to create the
final picture in a little over five hours. This doesn't include the setting up
of the Television Broadcast area,
Route Communications then kicks in to help maintain the pace of the parade units. The pace of the parade is set by Canton Police Department motorcycle units. Each successive unit is to follow maintaining a certain spacing set by football helmets painted along the entire 2.5 mile parade route. Expected slowdowns occur during the parade in the TV area, where all units slow to perform for the crowd then speed back up to maintain proper spacing.
Parade spacing and movement is a top priority for event coordinators, a role headed up another committee member who was in charge of all parade marshals positioned throughout the parade route. Shadowed by a ham liaison Mike Daughenbauch, KE8EHG, he monitors the condition of the entire route thanks to our network of radio operators. As spacing became an issue, Mike relayed instructions to all marshals to get everything back in sync. A task that would not be possible without the support of ham radio. This continued to be a daunting task and thanks to amateurs disciplined communications experience, we were effective in minimizing unit gaps throughout the parade.
In addition, amateurs watched for trouble spots, assisted with broken down floats, crowd control, seating assistance, media relations, and medical support, these being only a few of the responsibilities handled by amateur radio operators. Net Control, under the direction of Ron Hendershot, KA8FTP, helps to ensure orderly parade radio traffic and maintains overall communications with all parade operations. Ron also monitored weather radar, another benefit provided by radio operators. Nearly 30 radio operators were positioned along the entire parade route to handle this facet of parade operations.
Medical Support has continued to remain one of our most important parade
responsibilities as thousands of participants and spectators crowd the route
each year and brave a myriad of changeable weather to watch the grand parade. In
recent years, county medical squads have updated their communications equipment
to provide for better interoperability between the many emergency medical
service units called in to assist with the parade. Due to these advances,
amateurs' role in this area was decreased although operators along the route were
prepared to assist should emergencies arise. Again this year several
emergencies did occur and radio operators again were called upon to
As in previous years Emergency Coordinator Terry Russ - N8ATZ maintained communications
with the Parade Chairman in the
Parade Dispersal continues to be an increasingly complex segment of the Grand Parade in recent years. This years responsibility for as Dispersal Communications Coordinator was Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.
An important part of the parade, dispersal has had to handle numerous
situations and problems including reuniting participants and parents and general
disassembly of the entire parade. For the twelfth year in a row, additional
volunteers were assigned to this area. With local amateurs running in
short supply, volunteers were obtained from the
The 2018 Enshrinement Grand Parade was another great success thanks to the many
volunteers including the amateur radio operators who assisted us again this
year. Parade General Chairman Drew Felberg and
Communications Coordinators Wade Huthmacher – WD8MIU and Terry Russ -
N8ATZ want to thank all the volunteers for their help and
assistance during this years parade. Their tireless efforts, although largely
unnoticed by the general public, have proven their worth time and time again
over the years.
Parade Officials were very appreciative of the ham operators assistance in the parade each year, "I really don't think we could pull this thing off every year without ham radio assistance." County EC Terry Russ agreed: For over thirty years, ham radio operators have been the backbone of the parade, providing the bond that keeps it all running smoothly for the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Committee."
Volunteers for this year’s parade include the following operators:
STAGING/COMMUNICATIONS Center: Terry Russ - N8ATZ and Dave Beltz - WD8AYE, and Mike Daughenbauch, KE8EHG. General Net Control - Ron Hendershot - KA8FTP.
DEMARSHALLING COORDINATOR: Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.
ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS: Steve Simon - KD8SPF, John Wagner - W8JJW, Don Wade - W8DEA, Vern Sproat - KE8VS.
North Route: Perry Ballinger - W8AU, Pat Quinlan - KA8DAL, Jeff Gortney - K8JAG, Ted Faix - KB8PRK, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Al Perry - KE8EHE, Lori Perry - KE8EHF, Roger Grey - W8VE, Dale Lamb - NX8J, Dirk - KE8JGX, Tom - KD8JRK, Perry - N8VXQ, Mike - N8COM, Don - N8IVJ, Justin - N8JKC, Brian - K3CAK, Ted - K8TWA, Dennis - AI8P, and Deb - KD8DEB.
DISPERSAL Team Leader: Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill, Leonard Johnson - N8XPI, Frank Koby - N8SGS, Keith - KE8DTS, Sandy - KB8PHO, Adam - KE8IEM and Jay - W8DAP.
Congratulations to everyone on another great Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival !
(Jul 29, 2018) - - With a picture perfect day for an opening day parade, members of the Stark Co ARES, Canton & Massillon ARC's once again assisted in the opening events of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival by providing communications support for the Community Parade held this year on Sunday, July 22nd.
Again this year amateurs provided both logistical support communications for
parade staging as well as medical support covering the
Digital packet communications were utilized to synchronize the nearly 90 parade units making up this years parade. A voice relay is normally used to relay the exact line up and was provided by Evan Rankl - KD8IDH to Tom Gill, KC8QOD and Ted Armstrong, K8TWA who then sends this down to Jason, KC8LIN inside the Television Production truck. This system allowed parade officials to make any last minute lineup changes and accurately convey this to the TV producer.
Packet is used for this function and has proven to be the perfect choice as it allows van personnel to continuously monitor the status of all units in the parade. This marks the 19th year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance.
This year the weather cooperated and the parade was completed with only a few minor unit breakdowns and no injuries to any of the participants.
Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, is medical support. Amateurs were stationed along the route to provided a common communications link to the medical command center in demarshaling area.
A special thank you to the following volunteers who assisted with this years event. The TV Production and logistical support crew included packet operators Tom Gill – KC8QOD and Ted Armstrong, K8TWA, and Jason Stroll - KC8LIN in the TV Production Van. Net Control was handled by Terry Russ - N8ATZ. Medical Unit support included Mike Palmer – KD8ENV in staging with Perry Ballinger, W8AU in demarshaling. Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Very Sproat, KE8VS, Steve Simon - KD8SPF, and Don Wade - W8DEA positioned along the Market Avenue Route.
A terrific job from a great crew, thanks again for your support of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival !
KC8QOD in the Comm Trailer Packet Station
(May 28, 2018) - - On Tuesday, May 15th, members of the Stark County ARES provided support communications for the Akron-Canton Airport Drill. This Exercise was a full scale Disaster Drill to help test and improve emergency procedures and preparedness.
The FAA requires all commercial airports to prepare and conduct full scale drills every three years. This years drill was coordinated by the Akron-Canton Airport and Stark County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) with the help of over twenty-one participating agencies including both the Stark and Summit County ARES.
Our role in this drill was to provide communications support at multiple hospitals including Altman and Alliance General. Operators also staffed multiple transport busses used for volunteer/victim transport to the crash site and area hospitals, Finally we provided tactical communications between the Airport Command Post and hospitals & crash site. Finally we provided tactical communications between the Airport Command Post and EMA.
A portable communications Go-Box was used at the Command Center while portable handhelds were used on the busses. As expected, communications with the busses proved difficult even using external antennas to provide better range.
Constant communications was maintained between the busses, hospitals and the command center throughout the exercise providing vital information on the status of all volunteers/victims. This would provide critical information should this had been an actual disaster site.
Multiple local repeaters were utilized as well as simplex frequencies for this drill. Summit County ARES also assisted with this event providing communications for several Summit County Hospitals.
Stark County EMA Director Tim Warstler expressed his total appreciation for the assistance of both Summit and Stark County ARES as we again proved that our ability to provide reliable support communications would be a vital part should an actual incident happen at our local Airport.
The following operators participated in this drill that totaled over 50 hours of community service. David Beltz - WD8AYE, Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Linda Finley - K8MOO, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Don Wade - W8DEA, Frank Sanor - WA8WHP, and Mike Palmer - KD8ENV.
The Command Post at the Akron Canton Airport
(Feb 23, 2018) - - Hi all! The ARRL has published its year end report for 2017. We’ve told you repeatedly that Ohio is a leading program…and that’s all because of YOU! Here are the official stats.
Nationally, there were 31.322 members (a 12% increase from last year) The caveat is that more sections have been reporting than ever before, so you’d expect that number to be up.
There were 34,125 Ares nets
Drills training and tests: 42,838
Public service: 5,730
Total monetary value ( at $24.14) $17,354,958
So that is ARES contribution to our nation in 2017- something we can be proud of!
How about Ohio?
Ohio reported 1858 members, with 9,457 events and a contribution of $2,051,972 You invested 85,003 hours in service to your communities!! This, with our reporting record of 100%, puts Ohio in the top five ARRL sections.
We are actually third by state (California 2265, Texas 1930 are ahead) in membership. Ohio is FIRST in number of ARES events! And we are second in the amount you have contributed to your communities: $2,051,972. We are second behind MI (90,244) in hours contributed.
Dividing this by FEMA region (we are in 5) we are in the strongest position with the most members, by far the most events and volunteer hours. Our contribution as Region 5 is $5,459,213. Region 5 is OH, MN, WI, IN, IL, MI
These are great numbers to show your EMA Directors! The takeaway is that even with major events such as hurricanes, our Ohio Section ARES is the most consistently active organization- showing that we DO have the training and track record to be a valid partner!
I cannot thank each of your enough for your time and energy!! These results show that it’s working, and very worthwhile!
Stan Broadway, N8BHL
What about here in Stark County ?
The Stark County ARES was involved in 3 Community Service events last year that involved 55 radio amateurs who provided 268 total Community Service hours. 2018 looks to be just as busy with our normally scheduled events plus an anticipated Airport Drill in April.
Congratulations to every ARES member for your dedication and hard work !
Ohio ARES Conference
(Apr 14, 2018) - - The 2018 Ohio ARES conference was held Saturday, April 7 at the Marion Tech / OSU Marion campus. We had use of a great 150 plus seating lecture facility with excellent visuals, and a wide selection of lunch places nearby! This year’s keynote speaker was Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, who covered the extensive changes currently taking place within the ARRL ARES program both within in Ohio and the nation.
Other topics covered were expanded use of DMR communications in Ohio ARES, additional training opportunities and future state wide drills here in Ohio.
Attending from Stark County were EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ and Assistant EC's Don Wade, W8DEA and David Beltz, WD8AYE.
Great attendance for this years ARES Conference
2018 Skywarn Spotter Training
(Apr 1, 2018) - - Stark County Skywarn and the County EMA office hosted our annual Severe Storm Spotter Training this year at Jackson High School on Wednesday, March 21st from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
Conducting the training was Zach Sefcovic, Meteorologist from the Cleveland NWS Office. Nearly 100 people attended this years training consisting of Amateur Radio Operators, area public safety forces, hospital, school employees and the general public.
This training included a new powerpoint presentation that included content from last years severe weather here in northeast Ohio.
County EMA Director Tim Warstler and ARES EC Terry Russ would like to thank Zach Sefcovic for the great training presentation, Keith Obermeier, IT Director representing Jackson High School for arranging for the use of the great facility. The training was very well received by those in attendance.
I would also like to thank my Assistant EC's for their help with registration for this years community service. They were David Beltz - WD8AYE, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, and Mike Lackney - KB8MIB.
Registration was busy right up to the start of the training
Another full house again this year
Changes Coming to the
ARRL ARES Program
(Dec 23, 2017) - - - The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) has been the public service communications program of the ARRL since 1935. Over the program’s eight decades it has occasionally undergone updates to make sure it meets the needs of partners at all levels, adjusts to changes in the Amateur Radio Service, and incorporate lessons learned from emergency and disaster activations. However, the last major update to ARES occurred more than 40 years ago, and it is quite clear that a lot has changed since then.
So, two years ago, the ARRL board of directors created the Public Service Enhancement Working Group to study the ARRL’s public service offerings and recommend changes and improvements. The working group focused on many areas including training, volunteer management, field organization positions, and mission – all areas of concern brought to the board and staff’s attention from those in the field. The recommendations were vetted through a peer review group of field organization volunteers and readied for implementation.
In the months ahead, you will receive information on enhancements coming to the ARES program, including:
The first step in the next evolution of ARES is group identification. Currently there is no way to identify ARES groups or their associated volunteers with a searchable unique designator, which makes reporting and accountability difficult. Beginning January 1, 2018 ARES groups will need to sign up for their unique ARES identification number. This number will be utilized by the ARES Connect system and provide ARES groups with unique benefits (think club affiliation, but for ARES!).
Once ARES groups receive their identification numbers they will be eligible for benefits including:
Groups that will need an ARES identification number include local level (city/county/district) and section level. Information about the ARES identification application process will be sent out the week before the application system opens.
If you have any questions, please contact ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the coming months Stark County ARES will be providing additional information on how this new ARES program will be implemented here as we are also reviewing the current ARES registrations into those members eligible for Tier 1 Status. Contact Stark County EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ with any questions on this new program.
The Next Go-Box Designs
(Dec 23, 2017) - - I recently completed two new Go-Box Equipment Stations using parts obtained during my trip to Dayton Hamvention this year. The first is a VHF/UHF design using the classic Ammo Box design while the other is an updated design of an HF station box.
If you are interested in looking for ideas or are ready to building a portable Go-Station have a look at our Projects webpage where you will find several of my own designs as well as stations assembled throughout Ohio ARES complete with photographs and assembly ideas. You may already have some spare equipment that would work out perfectly for a Go-Box. Time to start thinking about assembling one of your own !
(Oct 30, 2016) -- Stark ARES hosted an information table at the October 23rd Massillon Hamfest. The table was staffed by ARES Net Manager Mike Lackney - KB8MIB and Assistant Net Manager Mike Palmer - KD8ENV.
Our display included a PowerPoint presentation covering basic ARES & Skywarn operations, a display of several versions of Emergency Response or (Go-Boxes) and informational literature. New this year was literature provided by the Stark County EMA Office.
Many visitors stopped by with questions and comments covering our ARES & Skywarn programs here in Stark County. My thanks to both Mike's for staffing the booth during the hamfest !
Mike Lackney, KB8MIB at the ARES Display
(Jul 30, 2016) - - Stark County ARES was active on standby status during the Cleveland Republican National Convention. EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ was a backup operator for the Summit Co Red Cross Operations Center during the event which was staffed around the clock during the convention. Summit Co EMA was the primary agency during the event. Stark County EMA was also prepared to provide support in case it was needed. Summit Co EC Ken Dorsey, KA8OAD expressed his appreciation for our offer of support for the event. Below are some pictures taken on the Summit Co Command Post.
The main Command Post with volunteers
Hourly communications were maintained between the Summit Co Command Post and Cuyahoga County Main Operations Center
One of the operating stations at the command center
(Feb 6, 2016) - - The Stark County EMA was briefly activated last Monday evening when a train derailment occurred at the Brewster Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway station. Four railroad tanker cars derailed and one carrying butane caught fire at about 5:30 PM. By about 6:15 PM the Stark County EMA was activated uncertain as to the extent of the emergency.
ARES was requested to activate the communications center to monitor the county emergency station and establish and an emergency net in case additional support was needed at area hospitals and the Red Cross Center.
About 100 local residents in close proximity to the scene were evacuated and assisted by the Red Cross.
County Emergency Coordinator Terry Russ, N8ATZ was contacted and also responded to the EOC with Assistant EC David Beltz, WD8AYE who staffed the Comm Center for several hours assisting with communications. Once the on scene fire and Haz-Mat crews had the situation under control at about 8:00 PM, the EMA was deactivated and our Emergency Net was closed. EMA Director Tim Warstler appreciated the quick response from the Stark County ARES who monitored communications during the emergency.
A Tanker Car Fire
(Jan 17, 2016) - -Gary Garnet has served the National Weather Service for over twenty six years. Since starting his career in 1989, Gary has held many positions including: Intern in Charleston South Carolina, General Forecaster in Charleston, West Virginia, Science Operations Officer in Grand Rapids Michigan and most recently sixteen years as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist in Cleveland, Ohio. Gary has served periods as the Acting Meteorologist in Charge at NWS Cleveland and briefly at NWS Pittsburgh.
Gary has earned several awards throughout his career including the U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal for actions during Hurricane Hugo and the NOAA Administrators Award for work with the Great Lakes Marine Program. Gary has provided support to multiple other NWS offices during significant events such as Deep Water Horizon, Super Storm Sandy and the Super Tornado Outbreak of April 2011.
Gary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences from The Ohio State University and a Masters of Computer Science from Grand Valley State University in Michigan.
Mr. Garnet assumed his new position on January 10, 2016.
(Jan 19, 2015) - - Stark County ARES was activated the evening of January 13th when a telephone outage caused by an equipment failure in a Summit County AT&T switching station caused multiple equipment failures throughout the area. Here in Stark County local emergency service phone line failure resulted in an emergency declaration and the Stark County EMA office was activated.
EMA Director Tim Warstler requested ARES activation to provide communications and logistics support to his office. ARES member David Beltz was first to respond to the office at 9:00 PM only to find that our equipment had been temporarily removed as building renovation was in process. Dave contacted EC Terry Russ to respond as well. Our portable equipment kit was brought to the EOC to establish communications. Antennas had also been removed and thanks to support from local radio station WHBC and their remote truck, station engineer Dale Lamm, NX8J, we were able to setup a temporary antenna. This completed we established a net on our ARES Repeater.
During net operations, we made contact with the multiple EMA offices affected by the phone outage. We were also in contact with the Ohio EMA office in Columbus. During the next four hours we helped maintain communications links with multiple offices and public safety forces as well as staff the MARCS Statewide Radio System. The Massillon ARC offered the use of their Communications Trailer in case support equipment was needed.
Stark County Sheriff George Maier and EMA Director Tim Warstler were thankful for area amateurs quick response to this short communications emergency. Full phone service was restored and by approximately 1:30 AM we closed down the emergency net and operations from the EOC.
County EC Terry, N8ATZ operates using our Go-Box from the
(UPDATED Feb 16, 2016) (Dec 27, 2014) - - While I was very satisfied with my latest Equipment or Go-Box based on the Gator 8U Rack Mount Case, it did have several limitations. On my latest design, I tried to correct these limitations and come up with a more useful Field Box. The full report including several pictures is posted on the Projects Page. Have a look at it and let me know what you think. Finally I have been able to collect a lot of Go Box pictures from my travels to several ARES Conferences over the last several years. These pictures are now posted on the photo page. Have a look if you are looking to build your version of a equipment Go-Box.
ARRL ARES E-Letter Posted
(Feb 16, 2019) -- The February, 2019 edition of The ARES E-Letter is currently posted and includes the following highlights;
Amateur Radio Volunteers Activate
Following California Flooding
(Mar 11, 2019) - - Amateur Radio volunteers with the Sonoma County, California, Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) rallied to assist in February after heavy rain led to flooding in the region. San Francisco Section Manager Bill Hillendahl, KH6GJV, told ARRL that while no actual communication emergencies occurred during the weather event, Sonoma County ACS volunteers provided “needed eyes” and were available in case further assistance was needed. Sonoma County ACS Radio Officer Dan Ethen, WA6CRB, said heavy rainfall on fire-scarred areas resulted in flooding along the Russian River.
“During February, the Sonoma County Auxiliary Communications Service activated, providing communication services to the Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Department,” Ethen reported. “On February 13 and 14, ACS volunteers staffed the Sonoma County Operational Area Emergency Operation Center. Mobile ACS Field Units were assigned to patrol the burn-scar areas that were a result of the Complex Fire Storm in October of 2017.”
“All-Hazard Road Patrols” observed and reported downed powerlines and trees, mud[slides] and landslides impacting traffic flow, and debris issues that posed problems with water drainage and road flooding,” Ethen said.
From February 26 – 28, ACS Volunteers staffed the Sonoma County Operational Area Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Graton Fire Incident Command Post (ICP). They provided back-up communication capability between the EOC and ICP to support the evacuation of residents in the Russian River flood area. Sonoma County recommended on February 26 that residents living near the Russian River evacuate, after the river was forecast to crest at nearly 46 feet by the following evening.
ACS volunteers continued “All-Hazard Road Patrols” while operating on the countywide 2-meter repeater system. “Mobile patrol units were also tracked on APRS and visible to the EOC radio operators to ensure safety and accurate location reporting of any observed hazards,” Ethen said.
“ACS volunteers remain ready to serve their communities,” Ethen said. “We currently have 131 dedicated and trained communication volunteers focused on supporting our communities throughout Sonoma County.”
Sonoma County ACS supplements government disaster communication on a volunteer basis. It is a part of local government and operates under the authority of the Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Department. Volunteers provide communication between the County and its jurisdictions, county and city governments, and neighboring county governments.
ARES Volunteers Assist in California
[UPDATED 2018-08-08 @ 1210 UTC] Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) volunteers have pitched in to assist where needed to provide or support communication as catastrophic wildfires have struck California. Volunteers from multiple ARRL Sections in the state have stepped up to help, as some fires remain out of control. The fires have claimed several lives, destroyed more than 1,000 homes, and forced countless residents to evacuate, including radio amateurs. ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, said this week that things have calmed somewhat compared to the past couple of weeks, with American Red Cross shelter communicators stepping down after 10 days of support. Initially, there were four shelters in Redding. On August 5, the Shasta-Tehama ARES team was able to take its communications trailer to Trinity County to support a shelter in Weaverville opened for Carr Fire evacuees, he said.
“This relieved the Sacramento County ARES volunteers who had been up there for several days,” Kruckewitt said. “For mutual assistance to Weaverville, it is a 4.5- to 5.5-hour drive for the Sacramento Valley Section people who helped out. Communications at the shelter have been important, as power and cell phone coverage is often spotty, with power going off for hours at a time.” All ARES activations for the Carr Fire ended the evening of August 7.
CalFire reports that the Carr Fire in Shasta and Trinity counties covers more than 167,000 acres and is 47% contained. Evacuations and road closures are in effect. At one point, more than a dozen ARES volunteers from Shasta, Sacramento, Butte, Placer, and El Dorado counties were working at shelters opened in the wake of the Carr Fire. READ MORE
Monitor the 147.12 Mhz Repeater for Severe Weather information here in Stark County !
ARES - SKYWARN Car Magnets and lots of other items available
Our thanks to Mercy Medical Center for their commitment to the Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and for their support of Stark County Winlink.
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The Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Service
ARES®, Amateur Radio Emergency Service and the ARES logo are registered trademarks of the American Radio Relay League, Incorporated and are used by permission.
Click above for official ARES Logo merchandise from the ARRL.
The Official Stark County ARES Name Badge Supplier. Click on the logo for details.
The Stark County ARES is a proud supporter of the Annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival providing communications support for over 25 years !
Stark County EMA is now on Facebook. They will use the new social media site to provide ongoing public information about disaster related issues in the county.
Please Like and share with your friends !
Look for them by going to "starkcountyema" on facebook.
Looking for a ready made "Go-Kit" ?
Checkout Quicksilver Radio for several ready to go VHF Go-Kits. Click on the pix below to see the current specials.
Have a look at our Projects Page for a review of their latest product.
|last reviewed/updated on 03/16/19|
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