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The new Introduction to Emergency Communications course includes updated content from the previous Basic Emergency Communications Level 1 course, as well as some content previously included in the former Level 2 course. The EmComm training program has been restructured to offer two courses: This enhanced basic course for EmComm volunteers who want to serve as part of an ARES® response team and the management course -- Public Service and Emergency Communication Management for Radio Amateurs (EC-016, also available on the ARRL website) -- for those who are serving in ARES® leadership and management roles.

Click Here for Complete Details...

To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator.

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Hall of Fame Festival Communications
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Emergency Coordinator

  (June 3, 2017) - - Hall of Fame Festival Communications Coordinators are looking for volunteers to assist with parade communications for this years Festival. The Community Parade will be held on Sunday, July 23rd starting at 2:30 PM. The Canton Repository Grand Parade will be held on Saturday, August 5th beginning at 8:00 AM.

The Community Parade coordinator is Terry Russ, N8ATZ who can be reached by phone at (330) 837-3091 or email to truss@sssnet.com. Grand Parade leader is Wade Huthmacher, WD8MIU. Phone is (330) 704-2100 or email to wd8miu@gmail.com.

Volunteers are eligible to attend the Volunteer Appreciation Party on Friday, on Friday, July 21st at 5:30 PM. A ticket is required to attend. Contact Wade if you would like to attend. You are also requested to attend a training meeting. These meetings will be held on Tuesday, July 25th and repeated on Thursday, July 27th. Both will start at 5:30 PM and last for about one hour. They will be held again at the Gateway Exploration Center on 12th Street NW at Sippo Lake.

Additional information will follow, contact either Wade or Terry for more information. Please consider volunteering your time for these important community events !


Emergency Communications Driving an Increase in Amateur Radio Operators
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Emergency Coordinator

   (Apr 15, 2017) - -  More Americans than ever have been licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as amateur radio operators, and those in the know say that emergency communications is driving their passion to be “hams.”

“There has been a tremendous amount of interest in emergency preparedness since 9/11 and Katrina, and this is true for the amateur radio community as well,” said Mike Corey, the emergency preparedness manager for the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). “Emergency communications is a gateway into amateur radio, and many join our ranks through an interest in being better prepared themselves and as a way to serve their community.”

“This is the third year in a row that the total number of new licenses has exceeded 30,000,” said ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator Manager Maria Somma last year. She said 32,552 were granted in 2016, 32,077 in 2015, and 33,241 in 2014. Total active FCC-issued ham radio licenses hit an all-time high of 743,003 in November 2016.

The public’s growing interest in amateur radio for emergency communications is a legacy of 9/11, when Americans saw their cellular telephone networks become overwhelmed by excess traffic and system outages. When regular phone service fails, amateur radio operators fill the communications gap with their independent transceivers and battery power backups.

 “I think we have experienced an uptick in new licenses due to the emergency capabilities of ham radio,” said Jack Ciaccia, ARRL Colorado section manager. “Interest really peaks after a large-scale event where ham radio has been utilized.”

Amateur radio operators played a substantial role in restoring vital communications links in the wake of 9/11, hurricanes, tornadoes and other major disasters that have affected the United States. They assist in directing first responders to victims, providing real-time situational updates from the disaster scene to emergency management agencies, and offering victims a way to contact their families and friends when normal communications channels have failed.

 “Generally, amateur radio operators assist other organizations and agencies by adding communications capacity when normal means of communications are down or overloaded,” Corey said. “Amateurs work with local emergency management, first responders, hospitals, National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center and VOADs [Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters] and the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Many also use amateur radio as part of their own family communications plan and use the skills they learn as amateurs to assist neighbors during emergencies and disasters.”

 Walt Palmer is a licensed ham radio operator, and also director of broadcast operations, engineering and programming at NewsRadio WGMD 92.7 FM in Rehoboth Beach, Del. “Through an arrangement with our local EOC, I have a 2-meter ham radio set and antenna at my desk, which can be patched into our FM transmitter during emergencies,” he said. “If regular communications fail, the EOC can put the mayor or one of their officials on the 2-meter band, and I can rebroadcast it via our FM channel to our entire coverage area.”

 Emergency managers have taken note the usefulness of amateur radio operators during manmade and natural disasters — and many have ongoing relationships with their local ham communities. This includes assigning amateur radio operators specific roles within each agency’s emergency response plan, and even setting space aside for hams in their EOCs.

 For many years, ARRL has created special Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) units to assist during times of crisis. Each ARES unit “consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment with their local ARES leadership for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes,” according to the ARRL website. ARES members are trained to work with local emergency management; to have their own food, sleeping equipment and other supplies to survive during emergency situations away from home; and to have pre-planned for their families’ well-being during the ARES team member’s absence.

 “In most cases, the amateur radio response to an emergency or disaster is handled by local ARES teams,” said Corey. “However, in the case of large-scale disasters such as a large hurricane or earthquake, ARRL headquarters will assist local and state ARES teams with equipment, media support, regulatory guidance and coordination with national partners.”

 “Most of our ARES teams around the country partner with local and state emergency management,” he added. “In most cases this relationship also allows for closer work with other local response groups such as public safety, hospitals and local VOADs.”

 This is certainly the case in Colorado. In 2016, the state Legislature officially designated qualified hams as members of Colorado’s new Auxiliary Emergency Communications Unit, under the authority of the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in the Department of Public Safety.

 As a result of this new law, Colorado ARES teams are now part of their state’s emergency management team, with their own roles with their state’s emergency management plans and facilities.

 “In many EOCs, including the Colorado EOC, ARES has its own space with its own permanently installed radio gear and antenna installations,” Ciaccia said. “In Boulder, they also maintain a cache of portable equipment that can be deployed as soon as manpower is available. This way, they never have to worry about obtaining anyone's personal gear for use in an emergency.”

 It is worth noting that hams also aid emergency managers in less dire situations. For instance, “throughout the United States, amateurs assist the National Weather Service’s SKYWARN program in providing ground truth reports during severe weather events,” Corey said. All told, the growing number of amateur radio operators in the U.S. are self-funding, fully equipped communicators, many of whom want to support local emergency managers and first responders any way they can.

 “We have worked extremely hard over the years to become useful and professional with our assistance to our community OEMs and EOCs,” Ciaccia said. “The major capability that hams bring to emergency management is our varied modes and frequencies: We can usually make a communications path when others do not exist. Because of those two important and valuable commodities that are usually not available to public service entities, we are an important asset to local authorities in times of need.”


Ohio ARES Conference
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Emergency Coordinator

 (Apr 8, 2017) The Ohio ARES Conference for 2017 was held on Saturday, April 1st at Marion State Technology College with over 100 ARES members in attendance. Stark County was represented by EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ and Assistant EC's Don Wade - W8DEA and David Beltz - WD8AYE.

After a short business meeting from Ohio Section EC Stan Broadway, N8BHL the remainder of the day was devoted to training including the following topics; 1) The Changing Face of Traffic, from Matt Curtin- KD8TTE, Assistant Section EC; 2.)  Winlink for Ohio, presented by Bryan Hoffman - KC8EGV, Hamilton County EC; 3.) MARCS Statewide Radio System, by Dick Miller, Field Operations Manager and lastly EMA and Amateur Radio, by Sean Miller, KD8RBM, Director, Delaware County EMA.

The presentations were both interesting and informative covering a lot of topics relevant to today's public service communications needs. All of the presentations were video taped thanks to Ohio Section Manager Scott Yonally, N8SY and we encourage you to take some time to watch them. Click on this link to replay the training. My thanks to both Don and David for attending the conference with me  ! 

A full house for the 2017 ARES Conference


2017 Skywarn Spotter Training
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Emergency Coordinator

(Mar 24, 2017) - - Stark County Skywarn and the County EMA office hosted our annual Severe Storm Spotter Training this year at Jackson High School on Wednesday, April 22th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Conducting the training was Zach Sefcovic, Meteorologist from the Cleveland NWS Office. Nearly 120  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, Michele Gill - KC8ZEJ and Mike Lackney - KB8MIB.

Registration was busy right up to the start of the training

 

Another full house again this year


ARES 2016 Annual Report
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Emergency Coordinator

    (Feb 25, 2017) - - The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) has posted its 2016 annual report. The 2016 ARES Annual Report focuses on documenting the value that ARES provides to the nation, states, and localities in collaboration with partners at all levels. The report features basic data drawn from Section Emergency Coordinators’ reports, a breakdown of ARES figures by state and FEMA region, and a challenge for 2017. According to the report, ARES membership in 2016 was 27,754 — up from 17,756 in 2015 — and the Service was active in 42 states and US territories. ARES volunteers responded to 33,136 events last year.

“Sharing information about what ARES provides at all levels is critical to our work overall, as hard numbers provide better detail about our work,” ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said. “We all need to pitch in to ensure that our contributions are counted, and here at HQ, we will be sure to do our part.”

ARES volunteers will see changes in some reporting forms in 2017; all forms, starting in January 2017, have been updated and renumbered. According to the report, 76% of ARRL sections filed reports for 2016, a significant improvement over past years. The report challenges ARRL Section Emergency Coordinators to raise that number to 85% in 2017.

In addition to the annual ARES report, ARRL Field Services staffers will produce their own monthly report, a link will appear in the ARES E-Letter, showing monthly data for ARES, as well as information about ARRL Headquarters emergency preparedness and Field Service activities.


Massillon Holiday Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Emergency Coordinator

 (Nov 20, 2016) - -  The Massillon Amateur Radio Club just finished assisting with the 62nd 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. 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. 19 Volunteers took part in this years parade and our thanks for their help. For over 48 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC.

The following club members assisted with this years parade. Igor - K8INN; Steve - KD8ACF; Fred - KD8SMO; Don - W8DEA; Lori - KE8EHF; Dan - N8DZM; Ted - K8TWA; Robin - N8EBS; Vern - KE8VS; Terry - N8ATZ; Jim - WA8GXM; Anne - N8GAF; Perry - W8AU; Al - KE8EHE; Mike - KB8OTK; Tom - KC8QOD; Charlie - KB8STV; Russ - N8PII and Wade - WD8MIU.


Stark ARES Display
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Emergency Coordinator

   (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


October SET Report
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

   (Oct 3, 2016) - -  Each year during the first weekend in October, the ARRL sponsors the annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET). This national emergency exercise is aimed at testing the skills and preparedness of the ARES and other organizations that are called into action during actual emergency situations. The object of this exercise is to test training and skills in order to be ready for a real emergency.

Stark County ARES had our exercise on Saturday, October 1st. County EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ was notified early Saturday morning by our District EC Dennis Conklin, AI8P that the drill had commenced. This years exercise was to simulate the total breakdown of the MARCS statewide radio system as well as other critical communications infrastructure. Various public safety agencies were activated as well as the Ohio Military Reserve who were positioned in various cities to maintain order.

Assistant EC - EMA Operations David Beltz, WD8AYE was requested to activate our county response plan and report to the Stark County EMA office. Once there Dave established an emergency net on our 147.12 ARES Repeater. Dave also contacted EMA Director Tim Warstler that the command center had been activated. Twelve amateur radio operators checked-in during the drill.

Had further operations been necessary, we would have notified our other ARES members for possible field response to other offices including various police & fire departments, area hospitals and both Red Cross and Health Departments. Results of the drill were relayed to both the District and State ARES EC's. The drill was concluded at approx 10:30 AM.


Ohio ARES Fall Conference
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

  (Oct 1, 2016) - -  Several members of the Stark County ARES including EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ and Don Wade, W8DEA attended the fall Ohio ARES Conference held this year in Marion, Ohio on Saturday, September 24th at the Marion Technical College.

This years conference included a full recap of amateur participation with the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the upcoming Ohio Simulated Emergency Test (SET), a review of the current HIPAA privacy laws and Don, W8DEA gave a FEMA presentation on Family Emergency Planning for disaster prepardness.

Over 40 ARES members took part in this meeting which included a display of several Comm Vehicles and Go-Box demonstrations.

All of the speakers programs were video taped by Ohio Section Manager Scott Yonally, N8SY and are now available for viewing on the Ohio-ARES website. Click Here to view any of the great video's.


Alliance Rotary Castle Run
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

   (Sept 14, 2016) - - The Alliance Amateur Radio Club provided support for the annual Alliance Rotary Castle Run on Labor Day. Affiliated Club Coordinator John Myers, KD8MQ report that six amateurs participated in this annual community event that totaled 13 volunteer service hours.

The following amateurs participated in this years event. John Myers - KD8MQ; Rex Simmons - NX8G; Frank Sanor - WA8WHP; Richard Humpolick - KD6MPN; Ben Davis - KD8KMQ and Shawn  Gentile - KD8ZEZ.

Our thanks to the Alliance Radio Club for providing support and operators for this event !


Canton Repository Grand Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

    (Aug 9, 2016) ...  The Canton Repository Grand Parade starts long before the seats along Cleveland Avenue are filled. Long before the first float begins its journey, when the sky has yet to change from starlight black to morning blue. High School Bands are still finding their positions and tuning up their instruments, parade balloon are slowly being filled with helium while their handling teams get last minute marching instructions and the dozens of classic cars that carry football legends and celebrities alike are lined up like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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 39 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 Stark County .

Again this year over 500,000 spectators watched the parade and behind the scenes lies a core of amateur volunteers many of which have over 20 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 Pete Truemper 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.

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, Parade Communications Center and the Balloon Inflations area, all included in our early morning duties. At exactly 8:00 A.M., the gun sounds and the parade starts down the route. Terry Russ, N8ATZ is stationed at the  television area to act as communications liaison to Parade Chairman and Vice-Chairman Drew Felberg.

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 Dave Beltz, WD8AYE, he monitors the condition of the entire route thanks to our network of radio operators. As spacing became an issue, Dave 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.  Twenty-seven 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 support the EMS in providing communications assistance with this ever present problem area. 

As in previous years Emergency Coordinator Terry Russ - N8ATZ maintained communications with the Parade Chairman  in the Parade Communications Center. This provided a link to both Emergency Medical Service and Police personnel.  

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 eleventh year in a row, additional volunteers were assigned to this area.  With local amateurs running in short supply, volunteers were obtained from the Akron area including members from the Summit County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and several other area radio clubs including both the Canton and Alliance ARC and the Portage County ARC. A special thanks for these additional volunteers, provided through our Mutual Aid pact with neighboring county ARES.   

The 2016 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 Pete Truemper 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. General Net Control - Ron Hendershot - KA8FTP.

DEMARSHALLING  COORDINATOR:  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS:  Steve Simon - KD8SPF,   John Wagner - W8JJW, Tony Casebolt - KD8UXK, Bill Treacle - KD8TKX, Don Wade - W8DEA, Vern Sproat - KE8BYW, and Joe Herrick - WD8BGW.

North Route:  Perry Ballinger - W8AU,  Pat Quinlon - KA8DAL, Jeff Gortney - K8JAG,  Ted Faix - KB8PRK, Jim Mulvanne - KD8MUD, Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ, Nikishin - K8INN, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Al Perry - KE8EHE, Lori Perry - KE8EHF, Dennis Conklin - AI8P, Carl Cunnert - AB8CC, Keith Obermeier - KE8DTS and Dale Lamb - NX8J.

DISPERSAL Team Leader:  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU,   Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill,  Leonard Johnson - N8XPI, and Frank Koby - N8SGS.   

Congratulations to everyone on another great Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival !


HOF Community Parade Recap
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

(Jul 30, 2016) - - With a slight chance of severe weather, 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 24th.

Again this year amateurs provided both logistical support communications for parade staging as well as medical support covering the EMS units assigned to the parade route and TV Production assistance.

Digital packet communications were utilized to synchronize the over 100 parade units making up this years parade. A voice relay is normally used to relay the exact line up to Tom Gill, KC8QOD and Charlie Scherger, KB8STV who then send 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 17th year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance. The best laid plans they say often go south which again happened this year and severe weather forced cancellation of the parade for the first time since the inception of this event.

As the morning continued severe weather was forecast to arrive in Stark County by early afternoon which caused concern with the parade officials. Once again, amateur radio came through as we established our Severe Weather net on the 147.12 Repeater with Dave Beltz, WD8AYE keeping a close eye on the weather radar for us as the storm front moved into our area. Cleveland NWS established a Severe Thunderstorm Warning just before 2 PM and all eyes maintained constant communications with both the NWS and parade officials to determine if the start of the parade would have to be delayed. Unfortunately the worst of the weather arrived at what should have been the start of the parade. Chris Gumpp, Assistant Director of the Canton Chamber of Commerce was thankful we were able to provide timely and accurate weather information. When severe lightning was seen over the parade route, and for the safety for both the participants and spectators the parade was cancelled and nearly 1,500 parade participants mostly children were gathered and taken to shelter in the Canton Civic Center per their severe weather planning. Heavy rain followed shortly there after forcing all to seek cover. Even though we did not complete our normal parade responsibilities, our Severe Weather experience proved invaluable to the Canton Chamber of Commerce and our community. 

Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, would have been our  role in medical support. Amateurs were stationed with Canton EMS units and provided a common communications link to the medical command center in demarshaling area.

Community Parade General Chairman Roger Manse expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Roger, "your continued support year after year makes all the difference". 

A special thank you to the following volunteers who assisted with this years event. The TV Production and logistical support crew included packet operator Tom Gill – KC8QOD, Charlie Scherger - KB8STV 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  Tony Casebolt - KD8UXK and Tim France - WB8HHP in demarshaling.  Igor Nikishin - K8INN, new volunteers Vern Sproat - KE8BYW, Al Perry - KE8EHE, Lori Perry - KE8EHF  provided reports along the Market Avenue Route. Dave Beltz, WD8AYE provided weather updates to parade officials. 

A terrific job from a great crew, thanks again for your support of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival !


ARES Assists With RNC
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

 (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


2015 SET Results
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

 (Jul 9, 2016) - - The results of the 2015 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test were announced in the July issue of QST Magazine and the Ohio Section scored third in ARES activity in the US with 4,317 points. Ohio has always had strong participation in this annual event.

Stark County also participated in last years SET holding an emergency drill with other northeast Ohio sections on the 147.12 Mhz ARES Repeater placing us 17th in the state in scoring. The schedule for 2016 has not yet been posted but we hope to participate in this annual emergency exercise again this year.

 

Stark County EMA Activation
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

 (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


ARES Volunteers Help to Distribute Water in Ohio Community with Lead-Tainted Water
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

Mahoning EMA Director Dennis O'Hara, left, and Regional Red Cross Director Karen Conklin, coordinate the distribution of bottled water in Sebring, Ohio. [Courtesy of Stan Broadway, N8BHL]   (Jan 28, 2016) - - Flint, Michigan, is not the only community with water problems due to high lead content. During the week of January 18, some 8100 water customers in Sebring, Ohio, were notified that they, too, had problems with high lead content in their drinking water. On January 22, both Ohio and Mahoning County emergency management agencies began passing out bottled water in Sebring. Mahoning County ARES Emergency Coordinator Wes Boyd, W8IZC, activated ARES to assist.

“Response on the workday was low, but a handful of ARES volunteers were able to respond,” said Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL.

Boyd said, “EMA and Red Cross were overjoyed that radio operators came to work not needing a radio.”

ARES volunteers joined others in moving and distributing pallets of bottled water, and another call went for weekend duty. ARES members from neighboring counties volunteered. All told, the volunteers moved more than 166 pallets of water in 6 days.

“This is a perfect example of being ready to serve in whatever capacity we can, in order to help our communities. Sometimes it doesn’t involve only operating a radio,” Broadway said.
 


Gary Garnet Selected as Meteorologist-in-Charge of NWS Cleveland
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

Gary Garnet, MIC  (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.


2015 Year End ARES Report
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

  (Jan 18, 2016) - - Ohio State ARES was actively involved during 2015. The year end report recently issued by Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL reported some impressive totals for the year.

Ohio ARES averaged 1,700 active members across the Ohio Section. Those members contributed over 55,500 hours in training, exercises, participation in various net operations and performing public service. Of these hours, over 2,000 was directly involved in providing emergency communications.

ARES is indeed a viable emergency resource in Ohio and we continue to need volunteers to participate in the many scheduled events and emergency activations that happen here in Ohio. Please volunteer your time when we call !


Severe Weather Report
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Stark Co EC

 (Jun 19, 2015) - - Situation update to the severe weather pattern that came through Stark County last Thursday.

Our initial evaluation of the area shows most of the damage occurred in the Uniontown and Hartville areas.  According to the NWS the winds in our area reached 80 mph.  The wind damage path is several miles wide with a smaller intense path approximately 300 ft wide.  This path was located in the area of the Uniontown Fire Department to the intersection of Smith-Kramer, Middle Branch and Market Avenue following a path to State Route 44 in Marlboro Township. 

The NWS will be out later today to evaluate the pattern of damage to the area.  There is a possibility that this smaller intense path of damage is consistent with tornado activity.  The NWS suggests at this time without further evaluation that it is possible to have had a small tornado embedded within the larger storm. 

All the resource needs in the damaged areas were met locally with the Red Cross providing canteen services to local responders until 3:30 am.  One person was provided shelter by the Red Cross due to specific medical needs. 

The NWS has determined that Stark County had an EF-1 tornado estimated to be 100 yards wide at 105 mph.  The tornado touched down in Uniontown and traveled East-SE along an intermittent path for approximately 9 miles.  Most of the damage was to trees being uprooted or snapped half way up.  A newly constructed dairy barn in Marlboro Township in the area of Rt 44 and Peters Church road had significant roof damage.  Minor roof and siding damage to homes was observed along the path. 

Throughout the event Stark County Skywarn was activated and maintained close communication with the Stark County EMA office in case our assistance was requested.


ARES Activation
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Stark Co EC

 (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. 

Click Here to read the ARRL recap of the comm emergency.

County EC Terry, N8ATZ operates using our Go-Box from the radio room.
(Photo courtesy of Dale Lamm, NX8J)


"Go-Box" Version 2.0
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Stark Co EC

 (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
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

   (May 1, 2017) --  The  April 19, 2017 edition of The ARES E-Letter is currently posted and includes the following highlights;  Hurricane Conference Amateur Radio Sessions This Morning! Check Them Out -- See Below for Schedule. HYPERLINK \l "toc02"This Morning! Attend or Live Stream Amateur Radio Sessions at the National Hurricane Conference, New Orleans Puerto Rico Radio Amateurs Active in Major Caribbean Tsunami Exercise Amateur Digital TV for Emergency/Disaster Response Presentation in Honolulu, by Pioneer Local and State Drills and Exercises Roundup Article Links Amateur Radio Growth to Emergency Communications

Click Here for a direct link.


 - National ARES News  - 

Buildout of Nationwide First Responder Broadband Network Could Drive ARES Changes
Courtesy of the ARRL

FirstNet logo-3

  (June 1, 2017) - -   The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) — a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders — could change the complexion of how the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) functions to support communication for responders during disasters and emergencies. As an independent authority within the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA), FirstNet’s mission is to build out, deploy, and operate an interoperable nationwide broadband network dedicated to first responders. Ralph Haller, N4RH, the chairman of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), told ARRL that the advent of FirstNet “will likely be as significant as when public safety first began using radio.”

“The nationwide network will be hardened, so that it will be more likely that many of today’s public safety systems remain operational in emergencies,” Haller said, pointing out that Amateur Radio should not expect to have access to FirstNet. He cautioned, “The endurance of Amateur Radio systems in disasters has been a big selling point in the past for incorporating amateur operators in emergency plans, but perhaps not so much in the future.” Read More..


Amateur Radio Volunteers Support 2017 Boston Marathon
Courtesy of the ARRL

   (May 1, 2017) - -  Nearly 280 Amateur Radio communication volunteers on April 17 participated the 2017 Boston Marathon, the 121st running of the event organized by the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). Warmer-than-typical temperatures for the Patriots' Day race raised concern for increased medical issues, but lower humidity and some cloud cover later in the afternoon mitigated the potential for problems.

Amateur Radio’s primary communication role involved logistics. Amateur Radio operations included relaying medical resupply requests, picking up runners via medical sweep buses, conveying medical statistics as required by the Red Cross and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and providing situational awareness as needed along the entire 26-mile route. Amateur Radio also backed up EMS communications, and the team relayed several ambulance requests along the route. Brett Smith, AB1RL, one of the BAA Organizational Committee representative, said Marathon organizers were very pleased with the efforts of Amateur Radio Operators.

“Congratulations to everyone on a job very well done,” Smith said afterward. “We were braced for a busy day, and our preparation helped see us through to make sure it was never anything we couldn’t handle.” Smith said that many volunteers enjoyed spending their day supporting the Marathon this year. Read More...


Upcoming Army MARS Communications Exercises Highlighted at Regional Conference
Courtesy of the ARRL

 
 (May 1, 2017) - -   US Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, reviewed the upcoming calendar of communication exercises planned for the remainder of 2017, when he spoke via video link to attendees at the Army MARS Region 3 Conference April 6-8 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Hosting the event was Pennsylvania Army MARS, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).

Addressing the first day of the gathering, English highlighted MARS participation in two NORTHCOM-sponsored exercises that are taking place this week — one in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, supporting the Wisconsin Army National Guard and Office of Emergency Management, and the other in New York and New Jersey called “Gotham Shield.”

“Gotham Shield includes MARS members interfacing with Amateur Radio operators as well as with National Guard stations,” English told ARRL. “One key event of this exercise is to tie — via HF radio — the Commander of NORTHCOM in Colorado Springs and the National Guard Bureau in Washington, DC, with the exercise occurring in New York City.  Read More...

 


   Monitor the 147.12 Mhz Repeater for Severe Weather information here in Stark County !

 



ARES 11" Vehicle Magnets - PAIR

ARES - SKYWARN Car Magnets and lots of other items available at www.hamcrazy.com
 

 

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
Canton,  Ohio  44701

ARES®, Amateur Radio Emergency Service and the ARES logo are registered trademarks of the American Radio Relay League, Incorporated and are used by permission.

 

  

Our PurposeSkip Commissioner Navigation Links


Welcome to the new Stark County ARES Website. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed Amateur Radio operators who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public interest when disaster strikes.

 

Our MissionSkip Commissioner Navigation Links

The Stark County ARES has always been dedicated to the completion of three goals. One, to provide the citizens of Stark County and local Public Service officials with a team of highly skilled and dedicated radio operators ready to assist when needed. Two, to provide Stark County amateurs with a full featured, reliable wide area coverage ARES Repeater. And three, to provide an information service for both amateurs and the community.

With the redesign of this website, we hope we have accomplished this mission. We welcome your comments.

 

ARES News Skip Commissioner Navigation Links


June News

A new ARES On-Line Registration form is being tested on the website. Using this form you can complete a new or update your existing ARES Volunteer Registration Status.

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2017 Stark Co ARES meeting schedule will be posted when dates are set.

Meetings will be on Thursday Evenings at the Stark County EOC Office beginning at 7:00 PM. 

Stark Co ARES Repeater is on 147.12+, PL 110.9

County Winlink RMS Packet Relay is on 145.07 Simplex. Callsigns are N8ATZ-10 (Eastern Stark Node) and WA8GXM-10 (Western Stark Node).

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Ohio Section ARES News is available on the Ohio ARES Website. Click Here to read the latest Section News. 

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Click Here to see some simple ARES portable antenna mounts you can use during local public service drills and events.

Review Current Activities in the Stark County Winlink Initiative.

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Powerpoleing Your Power Connections

  The ARRL recently reviewed a new website that does a great job of describing the Anderson Powerpole connectors. The site describes the connectors in detail and provides tips on assembling and using them on your equipment.

For higher power rigs and DC power supplies, the Anderson Powerpole is the emerging National ARES/RACES standard.

The site also contains links for additional Amateur Radio Emergency Communications ideas, a portable EC station and a Quick Response Team Go Kit. This site has lots of useful ARES information, well beyond the powerpole ideas.

Click Here to visit the site.

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New Emergency Communications Handbook

The ARRL announces a new emergency communications handbook for all hams that volunteer their skills in public service applications. The handbook includes details on basic emergency communications skills, message handling, and much more. This reference will help you to understand the public service role amateurs will play and what to take along.

The Handbook is 176 pages and costs $ 19.95 plus shipping from the ARRL and other dealers.

(Mar 26, 2006) -- The ARRL has introduced a new Emergency Communications Catalog containing a host of items using the "When All Else Fails" theme. The items are a great reminder that Amateur Radio provides immediate, high-quality communications that work every time, when all else fails.

The items include T-Shirts, Pins, Stickers, Patches, Magnetic Signs, Banners, a Coffee Mug and Key Chain all carrying the "When All Else Fails" theme. Click Here to visit the catalog.

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Click Here to download a current ARES Registration Form. Help us keep your record current !

Anderson Power Pole Connectors, the defacto standard for ARES power connections. 

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Other News

Amateur's Support COOL Project...

2010 Tour de Cure Report...

2010 HOF Festival Timken Grand Parade....

2010 HOF Festival Community Parade Report..

Alliance ARC Take Part in Drill.

Stark ARES Attends District Meeting.

ARES Repeater Anniversity...

Stark ARES & MARC Assist With 2009 Annual MS Walk.

MARC Assists With Massillon Holiday Parade.

Hurricane Ike's Winds Hit Stark County.

Stark ARES Assists With Akron Marathon.

March 2008 Winlink Updates

ARES Teams Activated for Northwest Near Record Flooding.

MARC Assists With Annual MS Walk.

ARRL Board Accepts NERPC Report.

Airmail Station Completed at Mercy Medical Center.

Stark County ARES Part of OEHA Fall Conference.         



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 !

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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.  

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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.

Hammo-Can Go-Kit

Hammo-Can XL™ VHF-UHF Go-Kit

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last reviewed/updated on 06/03/17