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PUBLIC SERVICE

Stay tuned to this page for updates on public service events happening in our area.

 

Massillon Annual Holiday Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Stark Co EC

 (Nov 23, 2014) - - The MARC just finished assisting with the 60th 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 47 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, Bud Harvey - WA8KWD, Steve Hall - KD8ACF, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Bill Maurer - KD8LCS,  Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU,  Gary Kline - WC8W, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM,  Tom Gill - KC8QOD,  Joe Herrick - WD8BGW, Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ, Jeff McKinney - KC8KIX, Alan Looney - AC8RY, John Wagner - N8CD and John Kocher - N8ZXB. This event provided 68 hours of community service.


Timken Steel Grand Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

 (Aug 3, 2014) ...  The Timken Steel 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 several other area radio clubs. For over 37 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 nearly 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 Joanna James,  realized the limited range of their commercial radio's and she 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 Pete Trumper.

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 again this year by Drew Felberg who was in charge of all parade marshals positioned throughout the parade route. Shadowed by a ham liaison Bill Maurer, KD8LCS, he monitors the condition of the entire route thanks to our network of radio operators. As spacing became an issue, Ron 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-nine 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 assisted by former County EC Dave Beltz, WD8AYR. 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 remained  Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB . 

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 tenth 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 2014 Timken 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 Joanna James 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.

DEMARSHALLING  COORDINATOR:  Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB.

PARADE COMMITTEE & TV SUPPORT: Team Leader Terry Russ - N8ATZ and Bill Maurer - KD8LCS.

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS:   Dave Selby - KC8WVH, Fred Howe - KB8MMF, John Wagner - W8JJW, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Tony Casebolt - KD8UXK, Bill Treacle - KD8TKX, Don Wade - W8DEA, Perry Warstler - N8VXQ.

North Route:  Danny Newport - KG8RV, Brian Nichols - KD8IKZ, Perry Ballinger - W8AU, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Roger Grey - W8VE, Dotty Moriarty - KD8DQU, Pat Quinlon - KA8DAL, Jeff Gortney - KC8CFM, Ted Forex - N8EIG, Tom Steele - KD8JRK, Ted Faix - KB8PRK, Jason Stroll - KC8LIN, Jim Mulvanne - KD8REA, Deb Conklin - KD8DEB, James France - WA8HHO, and Tom Gill - KC8QOD.

DISPERSAL Team Leader:  Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB,   Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill,  Leonard Johnson - N8XPI, Tim France - WB8HHP,  Frank Koby - N8SGS, and Bruce Brown - KC8RKS.  

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


HOF Community Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

 (Jul 30, 2014) - -     Under a rare cool July afternoon, 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 27th.

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 nearly 125 parade units making up this years parade. Using a voice relay from Bill Maurer, KD8LCS who relayed the exact line up to Tom, KC8QOD and Charlie Scherger, KB8STV who then sent 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 15th year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance.

This year 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 Assistant EC Mike Lackney, KB8MIB keeping a close eye on the weather radar for us as the storm front moved into our area. Cleveland NWS established a Tornado Watch about 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. Thankfully, the worst of the weather turned south away from the main route and the parade started on time. Chris Gumpp, Assistant Director of the Canton Chamber of Commerce was thankful we were able to provide timely and accurate weather information. Safety for both the participants and spectators is always a top priority during all Festival events and amateur radio operators can always be counted upon to provide this safety service. 

Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, is 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. Fortunately due to cooler weather this year, there were no medical issues. Mike Palmer, KD8ENV acted as Medical Liaison in the staging area.  Captain Ray Friedman of the Canton Fire Department appreciated our efforts in support of the medical units.

Community Parade General Chairman Carol McLaughlin expressed her heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Carol, "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 staging and logistical support crew included Bill Maurer - KD8LCS. TV production support included  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  Tim France - WB8HHP in demarshaling.  Igor Nikishin - K8INN and Tony Casebolt - KD8UXK provided reports 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 !


 

Challenger Baseball Tournament
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

 (UPDATE JUL 22) (Jun 19, 2014) - -  Members of the Massillon Amateur Radio Club provided Safety & Support Communications for the 2014 Challenger Baseball Ohio Tournament Games held on Sunday, July 20th. The event was held at the Hoover Community Recreation Complex in N. Canton.

Challenger Baseball is the Special Needs division of Little league. Each year the Challenger leagues across the state come together for their annual State Tournament. This years event was held in N. Canton and Amateur Radio was honored to be part of this important tradition.

Throughout the day, we provided support communications by monitoring game activity at the nine fields used for the event including one held off site at the First Christian Church on Market Avenue. At the conclusion of each game, trophy's were awarded to all players by Ohio State Troopers coordinated by amateur radio. We also provided close communications with several event coordinators including Event Director Bonnie McClellan. Net Control was established using our ARES Comm Trailer.

Safety was also an important part of this event as radio communication was used several times for medical incidents.

Event Director Bonnie McCellan expressed her deepest thanks for the assistance we provided during the games, the first time amateur radio support was used during this event.

Eight operators supported this event who included: Don Wade - W8DEA;  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU;  Chris Wetzel - KD8TNF;  Pat Quinlan - KA8DAL;  Bill Maurer - KD8LCS;  Mike Palmer - KD8ENV;  Tom Gill - KC8QOD;  and county EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ. Thanks also to Chris's XYL JoAnn and daughter Julie who also assisted during the day event.


 

Area Hospital Drill
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

 

(May 3, 2014) - -  The Alliance Amateur Radio Club provided backup communications for Alliance Community Hospital during a wide area drill on Thursday, April 24th. The drill simulated storm damage that resulted in a major power outage at the hospital. The AARC established an emergency net on the club's 145.37 Repeater and began taking check-ins.

 

Don Whitaker, K8OMO reported to the hospital while net operations continued on the repeater. Nine volunteers came up on frequency including a representative from Great Lakes Search & Rescue. In all, 39 hospitals participated in the drill.

 

The Stark County EMA office monitored the drill with Stark Co EC Terry, N8ATZ standing by during the drill.

 

The following amateurs participated in the drill, K8OMO; WA8SHP; KD8RUQ; KC8SUI; N8GOB; KD6MPN, KD8JRK; KC8SUI and KD8YVF.
 


Massillon Holiday Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

(Dec 1, 2013) - - The MARC just finished assisting with the 59th 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 46 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC.

Parade Chairman Don Harwig 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, Bud Harvey - WA8KWD, Steve Hall - KD8ACF, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Bill Maurer - KD8LCS, Don Wade - W8DEA, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Bill Treacle - KD8TKX, Gary Kline - WC8W, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Dale Storey - KB8LWP, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Anne Ballinger - N8GAF, Joe Herrick - WD8BGW, Robin Markland - N8EBS, Russ McMahen - N8PII and Terry Russ - N8ATZ. This event provided 72 hours of community service.


MARC Assists With Annual MS Walk
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

(Apr 28, 2013) -- Saturday, April 27th marked the official opening of the 2013 public service season as members of the MARC again assisted with the annual Spring MS Walk in Massillon at the Massillon Recreation Center.

Sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, communications volunteers staffed rest stops and provided safety and support communications for this years event. Communications was also maintained between the transfer busses and the Recreation Center.

EComm 1, the clubs Emergency Communications Trailer was stationed at the Rec Center and provided Net Control operations for the Walk. The weather was a beautiful spring day with warm temperatures that brought out record walkers for this years event. Nearly 400 participants supported this years walk. Local MS Walk Coordinator Dick Kulick expressed his sincere appreciation to all of the amateur volunteers for their continued assistance year after year. The overall event went very well with only a few needing transport back to the Recreation Center.

The following volunteers assisted with this years MS Walk. Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Bill Treacle - KD8TKX with wife Shirley, Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ, Igor Nikishin - K8INN and Carl Cunert. This event provided 40 Community Service Hours.

Part of the 2013 MS Walk Crew. Left to right Jim- WA8GXM, Don - W8DEF, Tom - KC8QOD, Wade - WD8MIU and Rick - KD8NYZ Bike Rover


Radio Operators Assist With Tour de Cure
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

 (Jun 30, 2013) --  On Saturday, June 29th, members of the Stark Co ARES & Massillon Amateur Radio Club provided communications assistance to the Summit Co ARES with the annual Tour de Cure Bike Ride.

Sponsored by the American Diabetes association, the Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held nationwide to benefit the ADA. Amateur Radio is a strong supporter of this event held in Summit County by providing safety, support & logistics communications for the over 1,000 riders that participated in this years event.

Stark County provided four volunteers to assist with this ride. They included EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ SAG Vehicle support; Wade Huthmacher, WD8MIU and Ron Hendershot, KA8FTP Motorcycle Route patrol, and Rick Fligor, KD8NYZ, Bicycle patrol along the Bike & Hike Trail.

We are glad to report only a few minor medical issues were experienced along with the normal bike breakdowns for this years ride.

Summit Co EC Dennis Conklin, AI8P along with Tour Ride Logistics Coordinator Walt Heeney expressed their deepest appreciation for amateur radio's support of this important fundraiser. The American Diabetes Association's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all persons affected by diabetes.


ARES Assists With COOL Event
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

   (Jun 5, 2013) - - - On Saturday, June 1st, members of Stark County ARES which included amateurs from both Massillon and Alliance Amateur Radio Clubs provided communications support for this years COOL Event.

COOL stands for Community Outreach Of Love and is a collaboration of many area churches all sharing a common goal: to facilitate physical and spiritual impact to the community. On Saturday, nearly 1,800 volunteers and 15 amateur radio operators completed their goal in the Southwest section of Massillon.

Radio operators were located at strategic blocks to provide support communications as resources and materials were transported to the over 250 individual homes in the neighborhood. Net Control was handled using our ARES Trailer located at 7th Street and Walnut Road, the staging area for this years event.  My thanks to Mike, KD8ENV for the use of the trailer and acting Net Control for the event and to the Massillon ARC for the use of their generator.

Event Director Cindy Mandrell and Communications Coordinator Cathy Storey, KC8EUC both expressed their deepest appreciation for the long day's support to this community project. Throughout the day, radio operators provided communications to help move manpower and materials to complete the project tasks at the many homes on this years list.

We also recognize and appreciate the service of the following amateur radio operators:

Tom Steele - KD8JRK, John Myers - KD8MQ (both from the Alliance ARC), Bill Treacle - KD8TKX, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Russ McMahen - N8PII, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Bill Maurer - KD8LCS, Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ, Don Wade - W8DEA, Danny Newport - KG8RV, Ron Kuhn - KC8LAB, Bruce Brown - KC8RKS, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, and Cathy Storey - KC8EUC. 

Wade, WD8MIU (L) and Mike, KD8ENV as Net Control in the ECOMM Trailer


Comm Coordinator Cathy, KC8EUC and Danny, KG8RV review assignments


The Salvation Army Provided water and support during the day.


HOF Timken Grand Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

     (Aug 12, 2013) -- The Timken Company 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 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 several other area radio clubs. For over 36 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 16 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 John Fehrenbach also a licensed radio operator under the callsign of KD8IGB,  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 over two mile parade route.

Again 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 and 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 John Fehrenbach.

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 again this year by Drew Felberg who was in charge of all parade marshals positioned throughout the parade route. Shadowed by a ham liaison Bill Maurer, KD8LCS, 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.  Thirty 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 in addition to Wade Huthmacher, WD8MIU. This provided a link to both Emergency Medical Service and Police personnel.  

Parade Dispersal has become an increasingly complex segment of the Grand Parade in recent years. This years responsibility for as  Dispersal Communications Coordinator was Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB . 

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 ninth 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. A special thanks for these additional volunteers, provided through our Mutual Aid pact with neighboring county ARES.   

The 2013 Timken 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 John Fehrenbach and Communications Coordinator Wade Huthmacher – WD8MIU 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 Chairman John Fehrenbach was 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 Assistant 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 Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.

DEMARSHALLING  COORDINATOR:  Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB.

PARADE COMMITTEE & TV SUPPORT: Team Leader Terry Russ - N8ATZ and Bill Maurer - KD8LCS.

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS:   John Wagner - W8JJW, Dave Selby - KC8WVH, Bill Treacle - KD8TKX, Dan Anastis.

Team Leader: Dottie Moriarity - KD8DQU, James Andrews - KD8VT, Karen Andrews - N8HUC, Jennifer Andrews - KB3QXB, Kristen Andrews - KB3QQV, Brian Nichols - KD8IKZ, Justin Corner - W8JKC, Steve Simon - KD8SPF, Danny Newport - KG8RV, Pat Quinlan - KD8DAL, Dale Storey - KB8LWP, Ted Forex - N8EIG.

Team Leader: Robert Keller - AC8GE,  Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ, Tom Steele - KD8JRK, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Don Wade - W8DEA, Dennis Conklin - AI8P, Deb Conklin - KD8DEB.

DISPERSAL Team Leader:  Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB,   Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill,  Leonard Johnson - N8XPI, Tim France - WB8HHP, James France - WA8HHO, Frank Koby - N8SGS, Jeff Gortney - KC8CFM and Bruce Brown - KC8RKS.  

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


HOF Community Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ -  Emergency Coordinator

 (Jul 31, 2013) - -     Under a rare cool July afternoon, 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 28th.

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 nearly 125 parade units making up this years parade. Using a voice relay from Bill Maurer, KD8LCS who relayed the exact line up to Tom, KC8QOD and Ralph, K8HSQ who then sent 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 13th year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance. With summer popup thunderstorms an ever present possibility, we also monitored Cleveland NWS Weather Radar in case of severe weather. 

Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, is 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. Fortunately due to cooler weather this year, there were no medical issues. Mike Palmer, KD8ENV acted as Medical Liaison in the staging area.  Captain Ray Friedman of the Canton Fire Department appreciated our efforts in support of the medical units.

Community Parade General Chairman Bernie Bresson expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Bernie, "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 staging and logistical support crew included Bill Maurer - KD8LCS. TV production support included  Tom Gill – KC8QOD, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ 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  Dale Storey - KD8LWP with the Red Cross in demarshaling,  Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Dottie Moriarty - KD8DQU, Juanita Roush - KC8CQC, Diana Oneacre - AD8E, John Fehrenbach - KD8IGB and Tim France - WB8HHP  along the route.

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


Ralph Bugg, K8HSQ relayed lineup changes to TV Production

Tom Gill, KC8QOD (Net Control) and Ralph staff the Comm Trailer

Our Comm Trailer provides a perfect Net Control Center


MARC Assists With Holiday Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Nov 20, 2012) --- The Massillon Amateur Radio Club just finished assisting with the 58th 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 Ralph Bugg – K8HSQ 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 45 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC.

Special thanks to the following club members for their assistance with this years parade. They are: PARADE ASSEMBLY- Perry - W8AU Communications Coordinator, Bob - N8KXO, Steve - KD8ACF, Bud - WA8KWD, Gary - WC8W, Anne - N8GAF, Robin - N8EBS, Tom - KC8QOD, Dan - N8DZM, Ralph - K8HSQ, Terry - N8ATZ, and Jeremy - KB8VHL.

As PARADE MARSHALLS - Charlie - KB8STV, Bill - KD8TKX, Wade - WD8MIU, Steve - KB8VHI, Dale - KB8LWP, Igor - K8INN, and Sarah - KC8ZCS. Handling TV Production interface was Joe - WD8BGW. Several volunteers handled both parade assembly and parade marshall duties. This event annually provides nearly 100 hours of community service to the city.


Akron Roadrunner Marathon
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Sept 30, 2012) -----  Several members of the Stark County ARES provided mutual aid communications support for this years Akron Roadrunner Marathon handled by the Summit Co ARES.

This large scale public service event involved nearly 10,000 runners and nearly 35 amateur radio operators providing safety & support communications throughout the entire 26 mile course.

Communications Coordinator & Summit Co ARES Emergency Coordinator Dennis Conklin, AI8P reported the Marathon went very well with only minor medical problems reported. Marathon officials were very pleased and appreciative for the continued support provided by area radio operators who have been an important part of the Marathon since it's inception.

Stark Co ARES also appreciates the following amateurs who assisted with this years event. They were: Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU; Terry Russ - N8ATZ,  and Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ.


HOF Festival Concludes With Timken Grand Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Aug 12, 2012) -- The Timken Company 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 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 several other area radio clubs. For over 35 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 15 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 John Fehrenbach 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 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 over two mile parade route.

Again 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 and 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 John Fehrenbach.

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 this year by Drew Felberg who was in charge of all parade marshals positioned throughout the parade route. Shadowed by a ham liaison Bill Maurer, KD8LCS, 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.  Thirty 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 Assistant EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ maintained communications with the Parade Chairman  in the Parade Communications Center in addition to Wade Huthmacher, WD8MIU. This provided a link to both Emergency Medical Service and Police personnel.  

Parade Dispersal has become an increasingly complex segment of the Grand Parade in recent years. This years responsibility for as  Dispersal Communications Coordinator was Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB . 

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 seventh 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. A special thanks for these additional volunteers, provided through our Mutual Aid pact with neighboring county ARES.   

A first for this Timken Grand Parade this year was the fact that it was under the direction of amateur radio operator, Chairman John Fehrenbach - KD8IGB.  John knows first hand the great asset amateur radio is to the parade and was also appreciative of our commitment to the Festival year after year. 

The 2012 Timken 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 John Fehrenbach and Communications Coordinator Wade Huthmacher – WD8MIU 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 Chairman John Fehrenbach was 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 Assistant 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 Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.

DEMARSHALLING  COORDINATOR:  Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB.

PARADE COMMITTEE & TV SUPPORT: Team Leader Terry Russ - N8ATZ and Bill Maurer - KD8LCS.

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS:   John Wagner - W8JJW, Fred Howe - KB8MMF, Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Don Wade - W8DEA, David Selby - KC8WVH, Tom Fox - KI4QQQ, Edwin Sarver - KD8MED, Brian Nichols - KD8IKZ, Wayne Baillargeon - WB1WMB.

Team Leader: Dottie Moriarity - KD8DQU, Jacob Corner - KD8GPM, Les Peine - K8CP, Justin Corner - W8JKC, Joe Herrick - WD8BGW, Dale Storey - KB8LWP, Steve Simon -  KD8SPF, Pat Quinlan - KD8DAL and Ted Forex - N8EIG.

Carl Team Leader: Robert Keller - AC8GE,  Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Tom Steele - KD8JRK, Dennis Conklin - AI8P, Amanda Conklin - KD8FAV, Deb Conklin - KD8DEB, and Bruce Brown - KC8RKS

DISPERSAL Team Leader:  Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB,   Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill,  Leonard Johnson - N8XPI, Tim France - WB8HHP, James France - WA8HHO, and Frank Koby - N8SGS.  

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


HOF Community Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Aug 4, 2012) -- Under a warm summer sky with the temperatures a sultry  85 plus degrees, 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 29th.

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 nearly 125 parade units making up this years parade. Using a voice relay from Bill Maurer, KD8LCS who relayed the exact line up to Tom, KC8QOD and Ralph, K8HSQ who then sent 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 12th year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance. With summer popup thunderstorms an ever present possibility, we also monitored Cleveland NWS Weather Radar in case of severe weather.  

Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, especially considering the warm and humid conditions of this years parade was 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. Fortunately very few minor medical emergencies occurred mostly due to the warm temperatures. Mike Palmer, KD8ENV acted as Medical Liaison in the staging area.  Captain Ray Friedman of the Canton Fire Department appreciated our efforts in support of the medical units.

Community Parade General Chairman Bernie Bresson expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Bernie, "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 staging and logistical support crew included Bill Maurer - KD8LCS. TV production support included  Tom Gill – KC8QOD, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ 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  Dale Storey - KD8LWP  and Igor Nikishin - K8INN along the route.

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

Terry Russ - N8ATZ
Assistant EC, Stark Co ARES
2011 Community Parade Communications 


ADA Tour de Cure Report
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (July 4, 2012) ---  On Saturday, June 30th members of Stark Co ARES, Massillon, Canton and Alliance Amateur Radio Clubs assisted the Summit Co ARES with the annual American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure Ride.

The Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 44 states. During the 2011 rides, more than 55,000 cyclists raised more than $18 million to support the mission of the American Diabetes Association. Amateur Radio is proud to support our community and these events by providing both logistical and safety support communications throughout the course.

Amateurs were stationed along the multiple rides and at several rest stops monitoring rider flow and safety in the event medical assistance was needed. Net Control was located at the Start line at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Stow with all communications on the 444.55 MHz Summit Co ARES Repeater System.

Stark County provided seven volunteer operators for the event through our ARES Mutual Aid program. The event went very well for the cyclists with only a few bike breakdowns and no major medial situations.

ADA Ride Coordinators and Summit Co EC Dennis Conklin, AI8P expressed their sincere appreciation for all the amateurs who assisted with this annual ride.

Stark County volunteers were Dan Anastis - N8DZM; Terry Russ - N8ATZ; Bill Maurer - KD8LCS; Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ; Tom Steele - KD8JRK; Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU and Ron Hendershot - KA8FTP.

 

We Ride!

The Tour de Cure Start Line

The Rest Stops Were Always Busy Places !


Canton Marathon Update
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

     (July 1, 2012) -- On Sunday, June 17th Amateur Radio Operators from Stark and Summit County combined their efforts to provide communications support for the inaugural Canton Marathon.

Organization for this event began over nine months ago and marathon organizers were eager to have amateur radio support for this high profile community event.

After several meetings with marathon organizers we were requested to provide both logistical and runner safety communications support, a function we have performed at similar events.

Thanks to a great volunteer turnout, we provided operators at each mile marker for all three legs of the marathon, the 10K, half and full marathon.

Throughout the event, amateurs provided status reports on runner volume back to the command center at Canton's Fawcett Stadium. Net Control was also stationed at the stadium using the Massillon ARC's Emergency Communications Trailer. We also relayed information on supply status for the various Aid stations provided throughout the course.

The twenty-six mile course size required the use of multiple repeaters to ensure solid coverage. Both the Stark Co ARES Repeater on 147.12 Mhz and the Massillon ARC Club Repeater on 147.18 Mhz were used that both provided excellent coverage of the course. This also marked the first time that tactical callsigns were used to facilate communications with the various course locations.

The event lasted about five hours during which time operators kept a watchful eye on runner progress and assisted with a few minor medical situations.

Marathon organizers were very impressed by our professional communications and many times we provided runner updates much faster than they could get by cellphones.

Race Director Rob Steinberg expressed his sincere appreciation and thanks for the support we provided for the Marathon. While there were a few gliches during the event, we plan a critique meeting to better prepare for next years event.

Our thanks to the following volunteers for their assistance during this years Marathon.

Massillon ARC...  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU; Terry Russ - N8ATZ; Don Wade - W8DEA; Mike Palmer - KD8ENV; Gary Kline - WC8W; Dan Anastis - N8DZM; Don Finley - W8DEF; Pat Quinlan - KA8DAL; Ted Armstrong - K8TWA; Jerry Larocca - KF8EB; Tom Gill - KC8QOD; Joe Herrick - WD8BGW; Rick Fligor - KD8NYZ; Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ and Jim Farriss - WA8GXM.

Canton ARC .....   Dottie Moriarty - KD8DQU; Eddie Kee - KC8HUU; Noah Kee - KD8SBS; Diane Miller - KC8HUV.

Alliance ARC....  Ben Davis - KD8KMQ; John Myers - KD8MQ; Allen Dick - WI8T; Don Whitaker - K8OMO; Mike Collins - KD8RUQ; and Tom Steele - KD8JRK.

Summit Co ARES....  Dennis Conklin - AI8P; Deb Conklin - KD8DEB; Amanda Conklin - KD8FAV; and Bruce Brown - KC8RKS.

Also  John Fehrenbach - KD8IGB; Fred Howe - KB8MMF and Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB. 

Summit Co EC Dennis Conklin, AI8P (L) and Joe Herrick, WD8BGW ran operations from the MARC Communications Trailer


MARC Assists With MS Walk
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (April 28, 2012) -- Saturday, April 28th marked the official opening of the 2012 public service season as members of the MARC again assisted with the annual Spring MS Walk in Massillon at the Massillon Recreation Center.

Sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society communications volunteers staffed rest stops and provided safety and support communications for this years event. Communications was also maintained between the transfer busses and the Recreation Center.

EComm 1, the clubs Emergency Communications Trailer was stationed at the Rec Center and provided Net Control operations for the Walk. A cold day did not deter the nearly 400 participants this year. Local MS Walk Coordinator Dick Kulick expressed his sincere appreciation to all of the amateur volunteers for their continued assistance year after year.  The overall event went very well with only a few needing transport back to the Recreation Center.

The following volunteers assisted with this years MS Walk. Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Jeff Gortney - KC8CFM, Sam Swisher - N2TJX, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Don Wade - W8DEA, Ted Armstrong - K8TWA, Dan Anastis - N8DZM and Russ McMahen - N8PII. Future ham Dan Fouts also provided support.  This event provided 44 Community Service Hours.


Massillon Holiday Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Dec 3, 2011) --  The Massillon Amateur Radio Club just finished assisting with the 56th Annual Massillon Holiday Parade which brings to a close the club’s public service season. A full wrap-up will be posted later from event Communications Coordinator Perry – W8AU. Again this year we were asked to support two major areas of the parade, staging of the nearly 100 units that comprised this year’s parade and Parade Marshals that helped keep order along the parade route.

Perry reported 24 volunteers which included club members and family & friends who also helped as parade marshals. The list comprised Perry - W8AU; Robin - N8EBS, Steve - KD8ACF; Mike - KB8ZN; Joann - AB8DM; Igor - K8INN; Anne - N8GAF; Don - W8DEA; Bob - N8KXO; Jim - WA8GXM; Terry - N8ATZ; Dan - N8DZM; Robert - AC8GE; Bud - WA8KWD; Tom - KC8QOD; Linda - K8MOO; Don - W8DEF; and Charlie - KB8STV. We also thank a few non-hams and family friends John; Diana and W8DEA's daughter. Nice job everyone as we continue to support one of the longest running public service events handled by the Massillon ARC !. 


Stomp The Grapes Marathon
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Nov 13, 2011) --  On Saturday, November 5th members of the Massillon, Alliance and Portage Amateur Radio Clubs combined forces to provide communications support for the Annual Stomp The Grapes Half Marathon in Hartville, Ohio. This years event took runners on a scenic course around the Hartville countryside including historic downtown Hartville and over to the famous Hartville Fleamarket.

Good weather made for a strong turnout as over 1,000 participants joined for this years marathon. Amateurs provided safety and support communications by staffing five water stops, relay points and several last minute potential trouble spots along the course. APRS was also utilized to track the trail vehicle which was following the last runners. Several water stops also had APRS support. This worked very well thanks to a portable Gateway station that had been put in place prior to the event.

Net Control was located at the race start at Maize Valley Winery using the Massillon ARC's Emergency Communications Trailer which gave us multiple communications capability.

Race Director Terry Lewis was very impressed with our communications, especially our ability to track the end of the race using APRS. This provided a real time track of the race end which was monitored by computer from inside the trailer.

The race was very successful with nearly all participants finishing safely. Race officials would like to thank all the amateur volunteers for their support again this year with this popular community event. Amateur radio received great exposure during the marathon. At the conclusion, all runners and volunteers were treated to a post race party at the Winery.

Communications Coordinator Terry Russ, N8ATZ of the Stark Co ARES also thanks all the volunteers who support this event. They were:  John Myers - KD8MQ; Ben Davis - KD8KMQ who together provided the APRS equipment; Tom Gill - KC8QOD; Tom Steele - KD8JRK; Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU; Jim Farriss - WA8GXM; Gail Wands - WB8VNO; Ted Wands - WD8CVH; Richard Humpolick - KD6MPN; James Korenz - N8PXW and Don Whitaker - K8OMO.

 

The Start Line

John, KD8MQ monitors APRS 


AARC Assists With Castle Run
John Myers, KD8MQ - Alliance ARC

  (Sep 11, 2011) -- On September 5th members of the Alliance Amateur Radio Club provided safety & support communications for the annual Rotary Castle Run held in Alliance. Amateurs were stationed at key points along the 10K run to monitor runner movement. APRS was also utilized to provide a visual overview of the tail runner for event coordinators.

The event was a success with race officials very appreciative for amateur support. The following amateurs participated in this event. John - KD8MQ; Ben - KD8KMQ; Richard - KD6MPN; Don - K8OMO; Steven - K8SRR; Frank - WA8WHP and Tom - KD8JRK.


HOF Festival Concludes With Timken Grand Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Aug 13, 2011) -- The Timken Company 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 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. For over 34 years, amateurs have provided communications services for this event that will total nearly 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 400,000 spectators watched the parade and behind the scenes lies a core of amateur volunteers many of which have over 15 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 Eric Stasiowski noted that the commercial radios range was limited 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 145.11 Repeater also covers the area very well and stood ready as 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 over two mile parade route.

Again 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 and 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 Eric Stasiowski. 

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 this year by Dave Felb who was in charge of all parade marshals positioned throughout the parade route. Shadowed by a ham liaison Bill Maurer, KD8LCS, 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 Assistant EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ maintained communications with the Parade Chairman Eric Stasiowski  in the Parade Communications Center . This provided a link to both Emergency Medical Service and Police personnel.         

Parade Dispersal has become an increasingly complex segment of the Grand Parade in recent years. Continuing in his role as  Dispersal Communications Coordinator was Wade Huthmacker - 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 seventh 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. A special thanks for these additional volunteers, provided through our Mutual Aid pact with neighboring county ARES.  This year’s team included seven volunteers.  

Another first for Amateur Radio involvement in the Grand Parade was the was the announcement that John Fehrenbach - KD8IGB was named as the Parade Vice Chairman. John knows first hand the great asset amateur radio is to the parade and was also appreciative of our commitment to the Festival year after year. 

The 2011 Timken 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 Eric Stasiowski and Vice Chairman John Fehrenbach  Communications Coordinator Wade Huthmacher – WD8MIU 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.

As the parade has grown, so has our level of participation and commitment that has helped to ensure a successful and safe event for the citizens of Stark County. Parade Chairman Eric Stasiowski  was 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 Assistant 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

DEMARSHALLING  COORDINATOR: Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.

PARADE COMMITTEE & TV SUPPORT: Team Leader Terry Russ - N8ATZ,  Bill Mauer - KD8LCS and Don Wade - W8DEA.

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS:  Team Leader: Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB,  John Wagner - W8JJW, Dave Kaltenborn - N8BKC, Greg Gary - WB8YYS, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Barry Heiks - AB8YE, Sue Heiks - K8STH, Buddy Channell Jr - N8WSK, Jeff Gortney - KC8CFM, Edwin Sarver - KD8MED

Team Leader: Dottie Moriarity - KD8DQU, Jacob Corner - KD8GPM, Steve Pomesky - KB8TPH, Justin Corner - W8JKC, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Dale Storey - KB8LWP, Ted Forex - N8EIG, Sam Eberling - KC8ETZ

Carl Cunert - AB8CC,  Ted Armstrong - K8TWA, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Tom Steele - KD8JRK, Dennis Conklin - AI8P, Amanda Conklin - KD8FAV, Deb Conklin - KD8DEB, and Bruce Brown - KC8RKS

DISPERSAL Team Leader:  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU,   Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill,  Leonard Johnson - N8XPI, Tim France - WB8HHP, James France - WA8HHO, and Robert Keller - AC8GE.  

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


HOF Community Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Aug 2, 2011) -- Under a warm summer sky with the temperatures a sultry  85 plus degrees, 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 31st.

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 nearly 125 parade units making up this years parade. Using a voice relay from Bruce, KB8SAF who relayed the exact line up to Tom, KC8QOD who then sent 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 eleventh year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance. With summer popup thunderstorms an ever present possibility, we also monitored Cleveland NWS Weather Radar in case of severe weather.  

Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, especially considering the warm and humid conditions of this years parade was 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. Fortunately very few minor medical emergencies occurred mostly due to the warm temperatures. Mike Palmer, KD8ENV acted as Medical Liaison in the staging area.  Captain Ray Friedman of the Canton Fire Department appreciated our efforts in support of the medical units.

Community Parade General Chairman Brad Longbrake expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Brad, "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 staging and logistical support crew included Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF. TV production support included  Tom Gill – KC8QOD 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  Cathy Storey - KC8EUC,  and Igor Nikishin - K8INN along the route. Demarshalling was staffed by Dale Storey - KB8LWP.

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

Terry Russ - N8ATZ
Assistant EC, Stark Co ARES
2011 Community Parade Communications 


MARC Display at Ohio Safety Fest
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (July 2, 2011) -- On Saturday, June 4th, the Massillon Amateur Radio Club participated in the Annual Ohio Safety Fest held at Clay's Park Resort.

Ohio Safety Fest is an outdoor festival highlighting safety, crime prevention, police, fire, and other safety related department partnerships with the community via informational booths, displays, interactive activities and educational seminars.

The MARC has provided support communications for many public safety departments during our eighty year history and have been an active part of our community that entire time and we were pleased to have been invited to take part in this annual safety fest by event organizer Chuck Maier.

Our display was centered around our Emergency Communications Trailer (EComm 1) along with several informational displays depicting the many facets of our great hobby. Along with a working HF and VHF station, we also demonstrated Winlink Digital Communications, ATV and had a working CW practice station that was popular with the many children that stopped by our table. Literature on Ham Radio, the MARC and our Skywarn Spotter program was also available to the public.

The day was a busy one for the club volunteers who staffed our display. Thanks to club member Ralph Bugg, K8HSQ, we have lots of pictures covering our participation in Safety Fest. Click Here to check them all out.

A special thanks to all the members who helped make this event a big success !


June Public Service Activity
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

(July 1, 2011) --  June was a busy month for public service events with the club participating in the COOL Event in Canton and the Annual Summit County Tour de Cure Ride.  

The COOL Event was held on Saturday, June 4th in Canton. In my absence, Mike Palmer, KD8ENV supervised our participation in this event. Amateur Radio operators provided support communications for this event.  

The COOL Event was a community cleanup program involving nearly 45 area churches and 2,000 volunteers who spent the day cleaning and repairing homes in Canton’s southeast side. For the second year, amateur radio operators took part in this important community event by providing communications & logistical support to event coordinators. Weather is always a concern for outside events and our Skywarn operators also provided updates on any potentially serious weather during the day’s activities.  

Seven operators participated in the COOL Event. They were, Mike Palmer – KD8ENV, Steve Hall – KD8ACF, Dale Storey – KB8LWP, Bill Maurer – KD8LCS, Tom Steele – KD8JRK, Richard Fligor – KD8NYZ, and Cathy Storey – KC8EUC. The event was organized by Cindy Mandrell who was very appreciative for our assistance and is looking forward to working with us again next year !.  

On June 12th amateur operators from Stark County also provided communications support to Summit Co ARES for the annual ADA Tour de Cure Ride. Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held all over the United States to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The Summit Co Ride was centered at Blossom Music Center and involved over 30 radio amateurs who were located at intervals around the three major rides to provide safety and support communications for event coordinators. The ride was very successful with only a few broken bicycles needing brought in at the end of the day.  

Providing mutual aid support, Stark Co ARES had seven volunteers assisting with the ride. They were; Carl Cunert – AB8CC; Assistant EC Terry Russ – N8ATZ; Mike Palmer – KD8ENV; Bruce Brown – KC8RKS; Richard Fligor – KD8NYZ; Bill Maurer – KD8LCS and Wade Huthmacher – WD8MIU. Summit Co ARES EC Dennis Conklin – AI8P and volunteer coordinator Walt Heeney – N8LJM thanked all the volunteers from Stark Co for assisting with this important community event.


Stark County MS Walk
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

Walk MS Badge 2    (May 8, 2011) -- Saturday, April 30th marked the official opening of the 2011 public service season as members of the MARC again assisted with the annual Spring MS Walk in Massillon at the Massillon Recreation Center.

Sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society communications volunteers staffed rest stops and provided safety and support communications for this years event. Communications was also maintained between the transfer busses and the Rec Center.

EComm 1, the clubs Emergency Communications Trailer was stationed at the Rec Center and provided Net Control operations for the Walk. This years walk was blessed with near perfect weather resulting in nearly 400 participants this year. Local MS Walk Coordinator Dick Kulick expressed his sincere appreciation to all of the amateur volunteers for their continued assistance year after year.  The overall event went very well with only a few needing transport back to the Rec Center.

The following volunteers assisted with this years MS Walk. Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Scott McCamish - N3JJT, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Igor Nikishin - K8INN; Jim Porter - KA8PBA; Robert Keller - AC8GE; Tim France - WB8HHP and son James - WA8HHO. This event provided 52 Community Service Hours.


Massillon Holiday Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Nov 25, 2010) -- The Massillon ARC has just finished assisting with the 56th Annual Massillon Holiday Parade which brings to a close the MARC public service season. We had another great parade with terrific club participation. 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 – 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 Kickoff 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 43 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC.

Special thanks to the following club members for their assistance with this years parade. They are: Charlie - KB8STV, Anne - N8GAF, Perry - W8AU, Linda - K8MOO, Don - W8DEF, Igor - K8INN, Tom - KC8QOD, Dan - N8DZM, Jim - WA8GXM, Terry - N8ATZ, Mike - KD8ENV, Steve - KD8ACF, Scott - N3JJT, Tom - WD8MBE, Sarah - KC8ZCS, Carl - AB8CC, Jason - KC8LIN, and Wade - WD8MIU. Club member Joe Herrick - WD8BGW also assisted in the parade both as a radio operator and in his full time job as Captain of the Massillon Police Department. This event annually provides over 80 hours of community service.


Stomp The Grapes Marathon
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Nov 14, 2010) -- Members of both the Alliance Amateur Radio Club and Stark Co ARES provided communications support for the annual Stomp the Grapes Half Marathon held this year on Saturday, November 6th at Quail Hollow State Park near Hartville.

Race Director Terry Lewis was very concerned with part of the course where bus traffic, marathon runners and park guests would be sharing a narrow access road and needed communications coordination to maintain runner safety. His first thought to handle the job was amateur radio operators.

Although communications is our specialty, amateurs could provide exactly what Terry needed by monitoring runner movement, bus flow that was used to ferry marathoners back to the stark line, and full logistical support for race officials. A tall order that we were able to fill. Operators were posted at dangerous intersections along the main access road with others handling the return route bus coordination. 

Although the weather was cold and damp, over 1,000 participants took part in the Half Marathon and radio operators made for a safe & successful event. Race Director Terry Lewis was extremely impressed and commented several times on the professionalism he observed from our operators and he fully intends to include Amateur Radio in all future marathons he directs. After the event all volunteers were treated to light snacks and beverages provided by Maize Valley Winery.

A special thanks from the Stomp the Grapes Half Marathon staff and Assistant EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ for the assistance provided by area Amateur Radio Operators. The following amateurs participated communications support for this year event: Tony - KD8BBK, Ben - KD8KMQ, Tom - KD8JRK, Tom - KC8QOD, Dale - KB8LWP, Cathy - KC8EUC and Terry - N8ATZ as Communications Coordinator. 

The Communications Crew for this years Half Marathon.


Stark ARES Assists With Summit Co ARES SET Drill
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (Oct 27, 2010) -- Several members of the Stark County ARES participated in a weekend drill sponsored by the Summit Co ARES. Sumco-ARES had been requested by county EMA and Red Cross to test their ability to intercommunicate using simplex operation to various support agencies. The purpose was to simulate a power outage that would also knock out amateur repeaters which are usually used to support our Public Service activities. As part of this exercise, they were requested to relay results of the test to agency officials, the National Weather Service Office in Cleveland and the State EMA Office in Columbus.

To assist with this effort Stark County ARES was requested to use our Winlink Digital Relay system to send this information. These operations took place at Mercy Medical Center using our equipment installed in the Emergency Department. 

While it was difficult to hear the stations in Summit County via simplex, we were able to copy the test messages and were given the information to relay them via our Winlink system to the various public safety agencies.

Some areas were identified that need enhancing in order to be better prepared but in all we were able to complete the test with solid results. Summit Co ARES Emergency Coordinator Walt Heeney, N8LJM was very appreciative for our assistance during this drill as was event organizers. 

Assisting with this drill was Assistant EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ, and ARES members Don Wade - W8DEA and Dale Storey - KB8LWP.


Stark ARES Assists With Akron Roadrunner Marathon
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Sept 26, 2010) -- Several members of the Stark County ARES provided mutual aid communications support for this years Akron Roadrunner Marathon handled by the Summit Co ARES.

This large scale public service event involved nearly 10,000 runners and nearly 35 amateur radio operators providing safety & support communications throughout the entire 26 mile course.

Communications Coordinator & Summit Co ARES Emergency Coordinator Walt Heeney, N8LJM reported the Marathon went very well with only minor medical problems reported. Marathon officials were very pleased and appreciative for the continued support provided by area radio operators who have been an important part of the Marathon since it's inception over five years ago.

Stark Co ARES also appreciates the following amateurs who assisted with this years event. They were: Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Justin Corner - W8JKC and Bruce Brown - KC8RKS.


AARC Assists With Multiple Events
John Myers, KD8MQ - President, AARC

  (Sept 20, 2010) -- The Alliance Amateur Radio Club provided communications assistance for multiple events during September including the Rotary Castle Run on Sept 6th. The Run consisted of a 2 mile and 10K Run. Using both voice and APRS Tracking, the club provided both safety & support communications for the event. Six amateurs provided 16 community service hours to the community. Those assisting were KD8MQ - John Myers, KD8KMQ - Benjamin Davis, KD6MPN - Richard Humpolick, K8OMO - Don Whitacre, K8SRR - Steve Randlett and KD8JRK - Thomas Steele.

In addition the club provided communications assistance with the 1st Annual YMCA Strides for Strong Kids 1K/5K Walk on Saturday, Sept 18th. The Run was through the Alliance side streets with amateurs providing both safety & logistical support for the participants.

The third event utilized APRS to track runners using both a lead & tail vehicle each equipped with APRS tracking equipment. The location data was then relayed to the race director. Five operators participated in this event providing eight hours of community service. They were KD8MQ, KD8KMQ, KD6MPN and KD8JRK.


Carnation Triathlon Report
John Myers, KD8MQ - President AARC

  (Aug 31, 2010) -- The Alliance Amateur Radio Club provided support communications for the Annual Carnation Triathlon on Sunday, August 15th.

This was the 25th running of the Carnation Triathlon/Duathlon, which traditionally closes out Alliance's Carnation Festival Celebration. Members of the club provided communications for almost, if not all of those events.

The Trithlon consists of a 900 meter swim, a 25 mile bike ride, and a 10K run. The bike route had several challenges and radio operators were positioned at trouble areas. Operators were also leading and tailing both the bike and run routes.

This year's event also marked the first use of APRS to track the location of the leading & tailing participants. Other issues handled by radio operators including missing volunteers that were relayed back to the race director.

Race coordinators were appreciative of the assistance provided by local Amateur Radio Operators. Volunteers assisting with this event were John Myers - KD8MQ; Sam Eberling - KC8ETZ; Richard Humpoliek - KD6MPN; Don Whitaker - K8OMO; Howard Miller - K8DXR; Benjamin Davis - KD8KMQ; Steven Randlett - K8SRR; Thomas Steele - KD8JRK and Gerald Razaieski - K8CAT.


HOF Festival Concludes With Timken Grand Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Aug 14, 2010) -- The Timken Company 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 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. For over 33 years, amateurs have provided communications services for this event that will total over 250 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 400,000 spectators watched the parade and behind the scenes lies a core of amateur volunteers many of which have over 15 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 Eric Stasiowski noted that the commercial radios range was limited 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 145.11 Repeater also covers the area very well and stood ready as 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 over two mile parade route.

Again 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 and 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 Eric Stasiowski. 

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 again this year by Jennifer Martin who was in charge of all parade marshals positioned throughout the parade route. Shadowed by a ham liaison Bill Maurer, KD8LCS, she monitores the condition of the entire route thanks to our network of radio operators. As spacing became an issue, Jennifer 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.  Thirty-one 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 Assistant EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ maintained communications with the Parade Chairman Eric Stasiowski  in the Parade Communications Center . This provided a link to both Emergency Medical Service and Police personnel. On several occasions, Amateur Radio was called upon to provide support communications to the Demarshalling area when their commercial radios failed.        

Parade Dispersal has become an increasingly complex segment of the Grand Parade in recent years. Continuing in his role as  Dispersal Communications Coordinator was Wade Huthmacker - 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 sixth 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. A special thanks for these additional volunteers, provided through our Mutual Aid pact with neighboring county ARES.  This year’s team included eleven volunteers.  

Another first for Amateur Radio involvement in the Grand Parade was the was the announcement that John Fehrenbach - KD8IGB was named as the Parade Vice Chairman. John knows first hand the great asset amateur radio is to the parade and was also appreciative of our commitment to the Festival year after year. 

The 2010 Timken 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 Eric Stasiowski and Vice Chairman John Fehrenbach  along with Stark County Emergency Coordinator  Dave Beltz - WD8AYE and Communications Coordinator Wade Huthmacher – WD8MIU 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.

As the parade has grown, so has our level of participation and commitment that has helped to ensure a successful and safe event for the citizens of Stark County. Parade Chairman Eric Stasiowski  was 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 Assistant 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

DEMARSHALLING  COORDINATOR: Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.

PARADE COMMITTEE & TV SUPPORT: Team Leader Terry Russ - N8ATZ,  Bill Mauer - KD8LCS and Don Wade - W8DEA.

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS:  Team Leader: Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB,  Ted Faix - KB8PRK, David Kaltenborn - N8BKC, Greg Gary - WB8YYS, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Barry Heiks - AB8YE, Sue Heiks - K8STH, Jamie Walters - W4JNW.

Team Leader: Dottie Moriarity - KD8DQU, Steve Pomesky - KB8TPH, Justin Corner - W8JKC, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Jake Corner - KD8GPM, Robert Schwartz - KD8INV, Danny Newport - KG8RV, Dale Storey - KB8LWP, Russ McMahen - N8PII.

Team Leader Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Carl Cunert - AB8CC,  Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Tom Steele - KD8JRK, Dennis Conklin - AI8P, Amanda Conklin - KD8FAV, Deb Conklin - KD8DEB, and Bruce Brown - KC8RKS

DISPERSAL Team Leader:  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU,   Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill,  Leonard Johnson - N8XPI, David Selby - KC8WVH, John Faby - KC8SPF,  Frank Koby - N8SGS, Bob Keller - KC8FNF, Simplex Net Control Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS, Helen Trompower - KC8ZWG.  

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


HOF Festival Begins With Community Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Aug 4, 2010) -- Under a warm summer sky with the temperatures a sultry  80 plus degrees, 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, August 1st.

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.

Digital packet communications were utilized to synchronize the nearly 130 parade units making up this years parade. Using a voice relay from Bruce, KB8SAF who relayed the exact line up to Tom, KC8QOD who then sent 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 tenth year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance. With the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms, we also monitored Cleveland NWS Weather Radar in case of severe weather.  

Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, especially considering the warm and humid conditions of this years parade was 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. Fortunately very few minor medical emergencies occurred mostly due to the warm temperatures. Mike Palmer, KD8ENV acted as Medical Liaison in the staging area.  Captain Ray Friedman of the Canton Fire Department appreciated our efforts in support of the medical units.

Community Parade General Chairman Brad Longbrake expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Brad, "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 staging and logistical support crew included Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF. TV production support included  Tom Gill – KC8QOD and Jason Stroll - KC8LIN in the TV Production Van.  Net Control was handled by Terry Russ - N8ATZ. Medial Unit support included  Mike Palmer – KD8ENV in staging with  Cathy Storey - KC8EUC, Ken Rothman - WD8ILB and Igor Nikishin - K8INN along the route. Demarshalling was staffed by Dale Storey - KB8LWP.

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

Terry Russ - N8ATZ
Assistant EC, Stark Co ARES
2010 Community Parade Communications 


Tour de Cure Report
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Jun 26, 2010) -- On Sunday, June 13th members of both the Stark County ARES and the Massillon Amateur Radio Club provided mutual aid communications assistance to the Summit County ARES with the annual ADA Tour de Cure bike ride. This years event included over 500 riders breaking previous attendance.  

Communications took several forms including operators strategically positioned at trouble points along the 5 different rides comprising this years ride. Operators also were located with several Medical Transport Units and SAG Units who picked up riders with broken down bicycles or who could not complete the course.

A new facet of this years event was the addition of several motorcycle units all composed of ham radio operators who provided real time information on trailing riders. Controlled tactical nets were used on multiple frequencies each with their own responsibilities. The great weather brought our the record number of riders and only a few minor medical incidents and broken bicycles being the only incidents reported during the entire ride.

Summit County ARES Emergency Coordinator Walt Heeney, N8LJM expressed his deepest appreciation for all the volunteer assistance during this years ride.

Local volunteers included Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Bruce Brown - KC8RKS, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ, Carl Cunnert - AB8CC,  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, and Terry Russ - N8ATZ.


Amateur Operators Support COOL Project 
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (June 9, 2010) -- Stark County amateur radio operators provided both support and logistical communications for this years Stark County COOL Project in the Summit School Neighborhood on Saturday, June 5th. Nearly 1,500 community volunteers representing 30 churches assisted in this neighborhood revitalization project that involved . painting, mowing, landscaping, home repairs and other projects..

Amateur radio provided support communications for this event assisting with volunteer placement, supplies allocation and local team leader coordination.

As the morning operations continued, it was evident that potentially severe weather could pass through the area which could have endangered the many volunteers working throughout the area. Amateurs quickly began monitoring weather radar from our ARES Communications Trailer which had been located at the Summit School Staging Area. Monitoring also began on the Six Meter Skywarn Backbone System in case of Cleveland NWS Activation. While some scattered showers did pass through the area, we were spared any serious weather.

Communications Coordinator Cathy Storey, KC8EUC kept in constant contact with the neighborhood Team Captains advising them of local weather conditions. Event planners were very appreciative of ham radio's support and expressed their thanks.

The following amateur operators participated in this community event. Cathy Storey - KC8EUC, Dale Storey - KB8LWP, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Danny Newport - KG8RV and Assistant ARES EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ.


Annual MS Walk
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Apr 25, 2010) -- Saturday, April 24th marked the official opening of the 2010 public service season as members of the MARC again assisted with the annual Spring MS Walk in Massillon at the Massillon Recreation Center.

Sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society communications volunteers staffed rest stops and provided safety and support communications for this years event. Communications was also maintained between the transfer busses and the Rec Center.

EComm 1, the clubs Emergency Communications Trailer was stationed at the Rec Center and provided Net Control operations for the Walk. Although the event began with morning showers the walk well attended Walk with over 500 registrants this year. Local MS Walk Coordinator Dick Kulick expressed his sincere appreciation to all of the amateur volunteers for their continued assistance year after year.  The overall event went very well with only a few needing transport back to the Rec Center.

The following volunteers assisted with this years MS Walk. Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Scott McCamish - N3JJT, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV,  Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ, Igor Nikishin - K8INN and Don Wade - W8DEA. .This event provided 44 Community Service Hours.


Alliance ARC Take Part in Drill
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (May 23, 2010) --  The Alliance Amateur Radio Club participated in a Mock Disaster Drill in Alliance on Monday, May 10th that involved a simulated tornado touchdown that struck Mount Union College Dorms and the Science Building.

Seventeen victims were transported to area hospitals. The AARC provided support communications for area public safety forces including Police, Fire, Rescue Units and Alliance City Hospital.

The following amateurs participated in the drill, Don Whitaker - K8OMO, John Myers - KD8MQ, Rick Smith - KC8SUI, Tom Steele - KD8JRK and Richard Humplick - KD8MPN. The club used both simplex and their 145.37 Repeater during the drill.


Massillon Holiday Parade Report
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (Nov 27, 2009) -- The Massillon ARC has just finished assisting with the 55th Annual Massillon Holiday Parade which brings to a close the MARC public service season. We had another great parade with terrific club participation. 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 and special thanks to Jim – 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 Kickoff 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 42 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC. A special note regarding this year’s parade, Santa rode in his traditional sleigh instead of a Massillon FD fire truck. Just the way it was many years ago.  

Special thanks to the following club members for volunteering this year. They are; Wade – WD8MIU, Sarah – KC8ZCS, Scott – KC8ZCT, Anne – N8GAF, Jim – WA8GXM, Terry – N8ATZ, Igor – K8INN, Mike – KD8ENV, Steve – KD8ACF, Don – W8DEF, Linda – K8MOO, Scott – N3JJT, Bill – KD8LCS, Dan – N8DZM, Tom – KC8QOD, Russ – N8PII, Tim France – WB8HHP and Communications Coordinator Perry – W8AU. Also assisting us this year from the Summitt Co ARES was Bruce Brown – KC8RKS. This event annually provides over 80 hours of community service. 

Alliance Radio Club Assists in Drill
John Myers, KD8MQ - President AARC

  (Oct 29,2009) -- Members of the AARC with additional support from other local ham operators, participated in a disaster drill on October 18th. Our job was to assist in the relay of information between a crime scene, the "Emergency Room", and the Incident Command Center. 

You'll notice the quotation marks around the Emergency Room. That's because for the purpose of the drill, the ER was the old Pumpers Gym building. 

Several other agencies participated, including, but not limited to: Alliance Community Hospital, the Alliance Fire & Police Departments and Mount Union College. They were working from the Stark County Mass-Casualty Drill.

The scenario for the drill was that an armed woman had taken hostages in one of the Mt Union Dorms.

Once the gun woman was dispatched, and all the victims were accounted for, the all clear was given. Afterward, pizza was provided at the Hoover Price Campus Center. 

The following ham operators participated in the drill: K8OMO - NCS; KD8MQ - Command Center; KD8JRK - Mt Union Fire Station; KD8KMQ and WA8WHP - Simulated ER; KC8SUI - Incident Scene; WB8OQV & WD8BIW - Alliance PD.


Akron Marathon Report
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (Oct 3, 2009) -- Members of the Stark County ARES provided communications support again this year to the Summit County ARES with the Annual Akron RoadRunner Marathon held on Saturday, September 26th.. Walt Heeney, N8LJM, Summit Co EC provided the following recap of the event. 

Jim Marks, the founder of the Marathon, and his staff were extremely pleased with Amateur Radio operators efforts during the Marathon. Also, they were impressed with the Skywarn support provided due to the fear of thunderstorm that were possible during the day. Hams provided live weather radar in the Command Center during the event.

Police and Fire personnel were also impressed with how well ARES operators handled the few medical incidents that occurred during the marathon. 

Nearly 10,000 runners participated in this years Marathon, all under the watchful eye of over 34 radio operators making up this years volunteer roster.

Special thanks to the following Stark County ARES volunteers; Terry Russ, N8ATZ; Carl Cunery, AB8CC; Bruce Brown, KC8RKS; Rex Simmons, NX8G; Bill Mauer, KD8LCS; Igor Nikishin, K8INN and Ralph Bugg, K8HSQ. 

Akron Marathon Command Center Amateur Radio Station


Alliance Carnation Triathlon Report
John Myers, KD8MQ - Alliance ARC

   (Aug 22, 2009) -- The Alliance Amateur Radio Club (AARC) again provided communications support during the Annual Greater Alliance Carnation Festival on Sunday, August 16th. This was the 24th running of the Carnation Triathlon/Duathlon, which traditionally closes out the festival celebration.

The Triathlon consists of a 900 meter swim, 25 mile bike race and a 10K run. AARC stationed operators at strategic points along the entire route tracking the over 100 participants making up this years event.

The event was completed without major incident thanks to the efforts and support of the Alliance ARC. Eight operators participated, providing 31.75 hours of community service. Race officials were very appreciative of the club's continued support of the Festival. "You Guy's Saved The Day", was mentioned by event coordinators many times throughout the day.

The AARC and Stark County ARES thanks the following operators for their support of the Carnation Festival: John Myers - KD8MQ, Samuel Eberling - KC8ETZ, Richard Humpolick - KD6MPN, Don Whitaker - K8OMO, Howard Miller Jr - K8DXR, Ben Davis - KD8KMQ, Rick Smith - KC8SUI and Gerald Rozaieski - K8CAT.  Complete details of the festival can be found on their website at www.carnationfestival.com


HOF Festival Concludes With Timken Grand Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

                                              
    (Aug 16, 2009) -- The Timken Company 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 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. For over 32 years, amateurs have provided communications services for this event that will total over 260 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 400,000 spectators watched the parade and behind the scenes lies a core of amateur volunteers many of which have over 15 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 Don Schneck noted that the commercial radios range was limited 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 145.11 Repeater also covers the area very well and stood ready as 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 over two mile parade route.

Again 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 and Dispersal and Medical Support.

Staging is where it all begins.  Dave Beltz - WD8AYE, with assistance from Terry - N8ATZ,  assist event organizers in setup and arrangement of 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 it’s Dave that will officially start the parade down the route. Terry then moved to the Television area to act as communications liaison to Parade Chairman Don Schneck. 

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 this year by Jennifer Martin who was in charge of all parade marshals positioned throughout the parade route. Shadowed by a ham liaison, she monitored the condition of the entire route thanks to our network of radio operators. As spacing became an issue, Jennifer 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.  Thirty-one radio operators were positioned along the entire parade route to handle this facet of parade operations, nearly twice the number from last year.

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 Assistant EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ maintained communications with the Parade Chairman Don Schneck in the Parade Communications Center . This provided a link to both Emergency Medical Service and Police personnel. On several occasions, Amateur Radio was called upon to provide support communications to the Demarshalling area when their commercial radios failed.        

Parade Dispersal has become an increasingly complex segment of the Grand Parade in recent years. Continuing in his role as  Dispersal Communications Coordinator was Wade Huthmacker - 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 fifth 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. A special thanks for these additional volunteers, provided through our Mutual Aid pact with neighboring county ARES.  This year’s team included twelve volunteers.  

The 2009 Timken 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 Don Schneck and Assistant Chairman Eric Stasiowski  along with Stark County Emergency Coordinator  Dave Beltz - WD8AYE and Communications Coordinator Wade Huthmacher – WD8MIU 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. As the parade has grown, so has our level of participation and commitment that has helped to ensure a successful and safe event for the citizens of Stark County. Eric Stasiowski will move in 2010 to become the parade general chairman and was 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 Dave Beltz agreed: For over thirty years, ham radio operators have been the backbone of the parade, providing the bond that keeps it all running for both the Hall of Fame Committee and the citizens of Stark County."  

Volunteers for this year’s parade include the following operators:

STAGING/COMMUNICATIONS:  David Beltz - WD8AYE

COMMUNICATIONS CENTER : Terry Russ - N8ATZ

Jennifer Martin Shadow - Bill Mauer - KD8LCS.

DEMARSHALLING  COORDINATOR: Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.

PARADE COMMITTEE & TV SUPPORT: Team Leader Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Alan Savage - N8MYE, John Faby - KC8SPF and Bill Mauer - KD8LCS.

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS:  Team Leader: Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB,  Ted Faix - KB8PRK, David Kaltenborn - N8BKC, Greg Gary - WB8YYS, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Barry Heiks - AB8YE, Sue Heiks - K8STH, Jamie Walters - W4JNW.

Team Leader: Dottie Moriarity - KD8DQU, Larry Wade - W8LOO, Steve Pomesky - KB8TPH, Justin Corner - W8JKC, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Jake Corner - KD8GPM, Robert Schwartz - KD8INV, Cathy Storey - KC8EUC, Dale Storey - KB8LWP, Russ McMahen - N8PII.

Team Leader Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Carl Cunert - AB8CC, Rex Simmons - NX8G, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Tom Steele - KD8JRK, Dennis Conklin - AI8P, Amanda Conklin - KD8FAV, Deb Conklin - KD8DEB, and Bruce Brown - KC8RKS

DISPERSAL Team Leader:  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU,   Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill,  Leonard Johnson - N8XPI, David Selby - KC8WVH, Jason Stroll - KC8LIN, Bruce Whiting - KC8VYR, Steve Jones - N8SRJ, Frank Koby - N8SGS, Bob Keller - KC8FNF, Simplex Net Control Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS, Helen Trompower - KC8ZWG.  

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


HOF Festival Begins With Community Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Aug 9, 2009) -- Under a warm summer sky with the temperature a comfortable 80 degrees, 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, August 2nd.

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

Digital packet communications were utilized to synchronize the nearly 130 parade units making up this years parade. Using a voice relay from staging Cathy, KC8EUC and Bruce, KB8SAF who relayed the exact line up to Ralph, K8HSQ  with assistance from Tom, KC8QOD who then sent 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 ninth year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance.

Again this year, we monitored Cleveland NWS Weather Radar in case of severe weather.  

Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, especially considering the warm and humid conditions of this years parade was 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. Fortunately very few minor medical emergencies occurred mostly due to the warm temperatures. Mike Palmer, KD8ENV acted as Medical Liaison in the staging area  Captain Ray Friedman of the Canton Fire Department appreciated our efforts in support of the medical units.

Special thanks to Mike Palmer who provided his the use of his Emergency Communications trailer which was used as command post for both logistical and medical operations during the parade.

Community Parade General Chairman Pete Truemper expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Pete, "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 staging and logistical support crew included Cathy Storey - KC8EUC and Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF. TV production support included Ralph Bugg – K8HSQ with assistance from Tom Gill – KC8QOD and Jason Stroll - KC8LIN in the TV Production Van.  Net Control was handled by Terry Russ - N8ATZ. Medial Unit support included  Mike Palmer – KD8ENV in staging with Dale Storey - KB8LWP and Igor Nikishin - K8INN along the route. Demarshalling was staffed by first time volunteer John Fehrenbach - KD8IGB.

A terrific job from a great crew, thanks again for your support to ARES Community Service !

Terry Russ - N8ATZ
Assistant EC, Stark Co ARES
2009 Community Parade Communications Support


Tour de Cure Report
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Jun 18, 2009) -- On Sunday, June 14th members of both the Stark County ARES and the Massillon Amateur Radio Club provided mutual aid communications assistance to the Summit County ARES with the annual ADA Tour de Cure bike ride. This years event included over 500 riders breaking previous attendance.  

Communications took several forms including operators strategically positioned at trouble points along the 5 different rides comprising this years ride. Operators also were located with several Medical Transport Units and SAG Units who picked up riders with broken down bicycles or who could not complete the course.

A new facet of this years event was the addition of several motorcycle units all composed of ham radio operators who provided real time information on trailing riders. Controlled tactical nets were used on multiple frequencies each with their own responsibilities. The great weather brought our the record number of riders and only a few minor medical incidents and broken bicycles being the only incidents reported during the entire ride.

Summit County ARES Emergency Coordinator Walt Heeney, N8LJM expressed his deepest appreciation for all the volunteer assistance during this years ride.

Local volunteers included Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Bruce Brown - KC8RKS, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ, Carl Cunnert - AB8CC, Mike Engle - KD8FTO, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Richard Ross - KA8ZQH, Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Rex Simmons - NX8G and Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS.


Stark ARES Assists With Airport Drill
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (May 2, 2009) -- Scattered passengers lay injured just north of the taxiway. Medics rushed to their care as flames rose from a severed wing of a downed Boeing 747.

It's a scenario that has been seen on the news numerous times across the country in recent years but fortunately this time, it was just a drill.

Last Wednesday, April 29th, responders from the Stark County ARES along with nearly 450 emergency personnel from throughout Stark and Summit counties, including 120 volunteer victims, participated in a drill simulating an airplane collision over the skies at the Akron-Canton Airport. The drill was part of a federal requirement that airports conduct such disaster drills every three years.

Warning sirens at approximately 10:30 AM marked the beginning of the drill involving more than 50 safety service agencies throughout the region. 

As part of ham radio's quick response capabilities, Stark County ARES was given only one day's notice to assemble volunteers to assist with drill coordinators in logistics support and victim transport for the drill. Working at the request of the Stark County Emergency Management Agency, ARES quickly assembled a response team led by Emergency Coordinator David Beltz, WD8AYE assisting with several aspects of the drill that included shadowing the official observers rating the drill and tracking the over 120 victims that were transported by area ambulance crews to over seven hospitals in Summit County.

Amateurs were also given permission to observe the activities at the scene of the drill to better understand the coordination needed to respond to this type of incident. This valuable training will help prepare our own response capabilities for future events and provide better support to the area's public safety agencies.

EC David Beltz stood by at the quickly assembled Command Post at the Green Fire Station which in an actual emergency would become the Southern Summit County EOC. Ham radio was used to coordinate victim movement to the hospitals and back to staging, while providing continuous reports to the EMA Officials and Incident Commanders monitoring the drill from the Green EOC. Additionally our operators were ready to provide additional support communications for the event should it be needed.

Thanks to an extensive UHF Repeater System in Summit Co that utilizes multiple inputs, we had nearly solid communications throughout the event using mostly hand held radio's. The system is operated by SUMCO, the Summit Co ARES who quickly provided use of the repeater when primary operations on two meters could not provide coverage in the area.

Additional operators staffed check points and the bus transportation used to shuttle victims to the airport disaster site and back from the hospitals taking part of this exercise.

Stark County EMA Director Tim Warstler along with Deputy Director Richard Webber deeply appreciated our quick response for support with very little advance warning. "Stark County ARES has always come through for us," said Richard, "and your performance during this drill continues to show your commitment to our office and the community."

A special thanks to the following operators who changed difficult work schedules to assist with the Airport Drill. Communications Coordinators Dave Beltz and Terry Russ, N8ATZ appreciate your service during this drill. Additional operators were Don Finley - W8DEF, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Matt Kraner - K8MAT, Ted Faix - KB8PRK and Rick Smith - KC8SUI. In all, eight volunteer operators assisted providing a total of 66 hours of volunteer community service.


Stark ARES & MARC Assist With MS Walk
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Apr 27, 2009) -- Saturday, April 25th marked the official opening of the 2009 public service season as members of the MARC again assisted with the annual Spring MS Walk in Massillon at the Massillon Recreation Center.

Sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society communications volunteers staffed rest stops and provided safety and support communications for this years event. Communications was also maintained between the transfer busses and the Rec Center.

EComm 1, the clubs Emergency Communications Trailer was stationed at the Rec Center and provided Net Control operations for the Walk. Great weather made for a very well attended Walk with over 600 registrants this year. Local MS Walk Coordinator Dick Kulick expressed his sincere appreciation to all of the amateur volunteers for their continued assistance year after year.  The overall event went very well with only a few needing transport back to the Rec Center.

The following volunteers assisted with this years MS Walk. Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Linda Finley - K8MOO, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Scott McCamish - N3JJT, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS, Carl Cunnert - AB8CC, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Jack Wade - N8LCS, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ and Rex Simmons - NX8G.This event provided 63 Community Service Hours.


Massillon Holiday Parade 
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Nov 22, 2008) -- The MARC has just finished assisting with the 54th Annual Massillon Holiday Parade which brings to a close the MARC public service season. We had another great parade with terrific club participation. 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 and special thanks to Jim – 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 Kickoff 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 41 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC.  

Special thanks to the following club members for volunteering this year. They are; Wade – WD8MIU, Sarah – KC8ZCS, Scott – KC8ZCT, Gary – WC8W, Anne – N8GAF, Jim – WA8GXM, Terry – N8ATZ, Joe – WD8BGW (providing double duty as both amateur radio communications and his primary role for the Massillon Police Department),  Igor – K8INN, Mike – KD8ENV, Rex – KD8ELX, Steve – KD8ACF, Don – W8DEF, Linda – K8MOO, Jason - KC8LIN, Scott – N3JJT, Carl – AB8CC, Mike – KD8ENV, Charlie – KB8STV and Communications Coordinator Perry – W8AU. Also assisting us this year from the Summitt Co ARES was Bruce Brown – KC8RKS. This event annually provides over 80 hours of community service. 


Stark ARES Assists With Akron Marathon 
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (Sep 28, 2008) -- On Saturday, September 27th several members of the Stark County ARES assisted with the annual Road Runner Akron Marathon. The Summit County ARES, under the direction of Bruce Ferry, AK8B -  Emergency Coordinator handled all primary responsibilities for the event which involved nearly 10,000 marathon runners whose route was modified this year to begin and end in downtown Akron.

In a great outpouring of mutual aid, over 50 amateur radio operators representing 5 Northeastern Ohio radio clubs and ARES Organizations provided both safety and support communications for the marathon. Race logistics covered three major areas, "Shadows" - amateurs stationed with various race officials, keeping them informed of race progress and any problems that arose during the event. "Medical" - amateurs who were positioned with emergency service vehicles, and the American Red Cross. Lastly were "Route" - amateurs who were positioned at one mile intervals of the course who kept a close watch over marathon participants and staffed specified break areas. Three amateur repeaters and several simplex frequencies were utilized to cover the entire route which provided nearly solid coverage throughout the event. Three Net Control stations were necessary to manage the heavy flow of traffic that was generated over the nearly 6 hour event.

In an event of this magnitude, call signs can bog down critical communications. For that reason "Tactical Call signs" were assigned to all radio operators which reflected either their position and/or responsibility for the event. This method did prove to be very efficient way to maintain route communications with the many different radio operators brought together for this event. There is nothing wrong with using this method as long as actual FCC authorized call signs are used at regular intervals. 

The cool morning was perfect for the runners but there were still a few medical situations that were quickly handled by amateur radio operators. 

Race officials were extremely satisfied with the outcome of the days events especially the very professional way all amateurs conducted their responsibilities. The solid public relations we received from participation in this event has once again helped answer the question "Why is our hobby so important ?."  No other hobby can provide the type of service that our can, experienced radio operators that can always be counted on to help their communities.

The 7th Annual Road Runner Akron Marathon is already being organized for 2009 and you can be sure that amateur radio support will be an integral part of the event. If you didn't get the opportunity to assist this year, make sure you consider it next year. It is an excellent way to help prepare yourself  for a communication emergency. 

Summit County Emergency Coordinator Bruce Ferry - AK8B and Stark County Assistant EC Terry Russ would like to thank all of the many amateurs who volunteered to assist with this event especially those from neighboring ARES groups. Special thanks to the following Stark County ARES participants for another outstanding public service event. They were: Terry Russ - N8ATZ,  Igor Nikishin - K8INN, and Rex Simmons - KD8ELX.


HOF Festival Concludes With Timken Grand Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

                                              
  (Aug 24, 2008) -- The Timken Company 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 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. For over 31 years, amateurs have provided communications services for this event that will total over 150 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 300,000 spectators watched the parade and behind the scenes lies a core of amateur volunteers many of which have over 15 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 Don Schneck noted that the commercial radios range was limited 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 last several years, parade officials have used loaned commercial radio's to maintain communications with their committee members.. While this has worked for routine communications, parade organizers have relied on the discipline and experience of amateur operators to handle urgent communications needs and especially medical traffic.

Again year, in a reorganization of parade communications, our responsibilities covered three separate areas, each with it's own control point. These were Staging, Route Communications and Dispersal.

Staging is where it all begins. Under the direction of Parade Communications coordinator Dave Beltz - WD8AYE, with assistance from Terry - N8ATZ,  amateur’s assist event organizers in setup and arrangement of 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 it’s Dave that will officially start the parade down the route. Terry then moved to the Television area to act as communications liaison to Parade Chairman Don Schneck. 

Route Communications then kicks in to assist 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.  

Continuing his role from last year,  Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF headed up his team composed of parade escorts and ham operators. Our responsibility was to assist the escorts and provide constant reports to Bruce on parade spacing. We in turn would advise the escorts to either speed up or slow down the parade pace. 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 Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS, helps to ensure orderly parade radio traffic and maintains overall communications with all parade operations. Fifteen 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.  This year saw a dramatic increase in medical emergencies and radio operators again were called upon to support the EMS in providing communications assistance with this ever present problem area. 

Again this year Assistant EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ maintained communications with the Parade Chairman Don Schneck in the Parade Communications Center . This provided a link to both Emergency Medical Service and Police personnel. On several occasions, Amateur Radio was called upon to provide support communications to the Demarshalling area when their commercial radios failed.        

Parade Dispersal has become an increasingly complex segment of the Grand Parade in recent years. Continuing in his role as  Dispersal Communications Coordinator was Wade Huthmacker - 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 fourth 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. A special thanks for these additional volunteers, provided through our Mutual Aid pact with neighboring county ARES .  This year’s team included fourteen volunteers.  

The 2008 Timken Grand Parade was another great success thanks to the many volunteers including the many amateur radio operators who assisted us again this year. Parade General Chairman Don Schneck and Assistant Chairman Eric Stasiowski  along with Stark County Emergency Coordinator  Dave Beltz - WD8AYE and Bruce Humphrey – KB8SAF 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. As the parade has grown, so has our level of participation and commitment that has helped to ensure a successful and safe event for the citizens of Stark County .

Volunteers for this year’s parade include the following operators:

STAGING/COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR:  David Beltz - WD8AYE

PARADE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER :  Terry Russ - N8ATZ

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR - Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF.

DEMARSHALLING COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR - Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU.

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS:  Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF,  Jim Farriss - WA8GXM,  Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Dan Anastis - N8DZM,  Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB, Dottie Moriarty - KD8DQU, Cathy Story - KC8EUC, Dale Story - KB8LWP, Alan Savage – N8MYE, Jamie Walters – W4JNW and Stephen Pomesky - KB8TPH. 

DISPERSAL:  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Michelle Gill - KC8ZEJ,  Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Denise Gill,  Drew St George - KD8DQX, Bruce Brown - KC8RKS, Jim Sack - N8CUI, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Jim Sacks – N8CUI, Frank Koby – N8SGS, Leonard Johnson – N8XPI, Russ McMahen – N8PII,  Jason Stroll - KC8LIN, Helen Trompower – KC8ZWG, Dave Kaltenborn – N8KBC, Gregg Gary – WB8YYS and Net Control for Demarshalling Rodger Trompower – KA8FTS.  

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


HOF Festival Begins With Community Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Aug 24, 2008) -- Under hot summer skies with temperatures over 90 degrees, 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 27th.

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

Digital packet communications were utilized to synchronize the nearly 130 parade units making up this years parade. Using a voice relay from staging Cathy, KC8EUC and Bruce, KB8SAF who relayed the exact line up to Ralph, K8HSQ  with assistance from Tom, KC8QOD who then sent 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 ninth year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance.

Again this year, we monitored Cleveland NWS Weather Radar in case of severe weather.  Mother Nature was a little kinder to us this year holding off on any rain but not the normally hot and humid July conditions. Parade Chairman Pete Truemper was kept advised of weather during the parade.

Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, especially considering the very warm and humid conditions of this years parade was 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. As expected, numerous minor medical emergencies occurred mostly due to the warm temperatures. Mike Palmer, KD8ENV acted as Medical Liaison in the staging area and also assisted during several medical emergencies that occurred during the parade.  Captain Ray Friedman of the Canton Fire Department appreciated our efforts in support of the medical units.

Special thanks to the Massillon Amateur Radio Club who provided the use of their Emergency Communications trailer which was used as command post for both logistical and medical operations during the parade.

Community Parade General Chairman Pete Truemper expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Pete, "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 staging and logistical support crew included Cathy Storey - KC8EUC and Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF. TV production support included Ralph Bugg – K8HSQ with assistance from Tom Gill – KC8QOD and Jason Stroll - KC8LIN in the TV Production Van.  Net Control was handled by Terry Russ - N8ATZ. Medial Unit support included  Mike Palmer – KD8ENV in staging with Michelle Gill - KC8ZEJ, Dave Beltz – WD8AYE and Igor Nikishin - K8INN along the route and in Demarshalling.

A terrific job from a great crew, thanks again for your support to ARES Community Service !

Terry Russ - N8ATZ
Assistant EC, Stark Co ARES
2008 Community Parade Communications Support


Stark Co ARES Active at Tour de Cure 
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

      (Jun 14, 2008) -- Members of the Stark County ARES provided mutual aide communications assistance to the Summit County ARES by participating in the 2008 Tour de Cure Ride.

Tour de Cure is a series of cycling events held in more than 80 cities nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The Summit Co event encompassed several individual rides ranging from a 25 K easy ride all the way to a 100 K (60 miles!) difficult ride.

Nearly 50 amateur radio operators took part in this major communications event with 4 operators participating from Stark Co ARES. Radio operators provided both logistical and medical support communications, shadowing race officials, riding with Medical Transport Units and many were positioned along the various routes to monitor rider movement. Tactical call signs were used due to the numerous positions covered throughout the route. Communications took place on the Summit Co UHF Repeater System with some areas covered using the Cuyahoga Falls ARC 147.27 Repeater. Some communications problems were noted due to the rolling terrain along the race routes. As with all events, some radio communications procedures need a little fine tuning, that is why we participate in these events to continue to sharpen our skills.    

Summit Co Communications Coordinator Bruce Brown - KC8RKS reported several bicycle breakdowns and multiple medical incidents occurred during the various rides all handled by amateur radio service volunteers. 

Bruce wishes to thank all the Stark County  volunteers for this years Tour de Cure Ride. They included; Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV,  Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ and Terry Russ - N8ATZ.  


MARC Assists With Annual MS Walk 
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

Walk MS  (Apr 29, 2008) -- Saturday, April 26th marked the official opening of the 2008 public service season as members of the MARC again assisted with the annual Spring MS Walk in Massillon at the Massillon Recreation Center.

Sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society communications volunteers staffed rest stops and provided safety and support communications for this years event. Communications was also maintained between the transfer busses and the Rec Center.

EComm 1, the clubs Emergency Communications Trailer was stationed at the Rec Center and provided Net Control operations for the Walk. Great weather made for a very well attended Walk with over 600 registrants this year. Local MS Walk Coordinator Dick Kulick expressed his sincere appreciation to all of the amateur volunteers for their continued assistance year after year. Additionally, we would like to thank Canton ARC member Dale Lamm, NX8J, an adult leader of a Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew for his assistance along with several scouts. They provided great assistance to our communications as well as assistance to many walkers of the event, especially several in wheelchairs. The overall event went very well with only a few needing transport back to the Rec Center.

The following volunteers assisted with this years MS Walk. Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Linda Finley - K8MOO, Gary Kline - WC8W, Tom Phelps - W8TNP, Peggy Phelps - W8PNT, Scott McGill - KC8ZCS, Sarah McGill - KC8ZCT, Tom Gill - KC8QOD, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Joe Herrick - WD8BGW (in his role as radio operator and Captain of the Massillon Police Department), Scott McCamish - N3JJT, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU and Dale Lamm - NX8J.  


Massillon ARC Assists With Holiday Parade 
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (Nov 24, 2007) -- The MARC has just finished assisting with the 53rd Annual Massillon Holiday Parade which brings to a close their public service season. It looked like we had another great parade with terrific club participation. 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 and special thanks to Ralph – K8HSQ for loaning us his pickup to pull 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 Kickoff 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 40 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC.  

Special thanks to the following club members for volunteering this year. They are; Wade – WD8MIU, Sarah – KC8ZCS, Scott – KC8ZCT, Gary – WC8W, Anne – N8GAF, Jim – WA8GXM, Terry – N8ATZ, Dan – N8DZM, Joe – WD8BGW (providing double duty as both amateur radio communications and his primary role for the Massillon Police Department), Ralph – K8HSQ, Igor – K8INN, Don – W8DEF, Linda – K8MOO, Jason - KC8LIN, Scott – N3JJT and Communications Coordinator Perry – W8AU. This event provided over 80 hours of community service. 


Stark ARES Assists With Akron Marathon 
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (Oct 20, 2007) -- On Saturday, September 29th several members of the Stark County ARES assisted with the annual Road Runner Akron Marathon. The Summit County ARES, under the direction of Bruce Ferry, AK8B -  Emergency Coordinator handled all primary responsibilities for the event which involved nearly 8,000 marathon runners whose route was modified this year to begin and end in downtown Akron.

In a great outpouring of mutual aid, over 30 amateur radio operators representing 5 Northeastern Ohio radio clubs and ARES Organizations provided both safety and support communications for the marathon. Race logistics covered three major areas, "Shadows" - amateurs stationed with various race officials, keeping them informed of race progress and any problems that arose during the event. "Medical" - amateurs who were positioned with emergency service vehicles, and the American Red Cross. Lastly were "Route" - amateurs who were positioned at one mile intervals of the course who kept a close watch over marathon participants and staffed specified break areas. Three amateur repeaters were utilized to cover the entire route which provided nearly solid coverage throughout the event. Three Net Control stations were necessary to manage the heavy flow of traffic that was generated over the nearly 6 hour event.

In an event of this magnitude, call signs can bog down critical communications. For that reason "Tactical Call signs" were assigned to all radio operators which reflected either their position and/or responsibility for the event. This method did prove to be very efficient way to maintain route communications with the many different radio operators brought together for this event. There is nothing wrong with using this method as long as actual FCC authorized call signs are used at regular intervals. 

The sunny and cool morning was perfect for the runners but there were still a few medical situations that were quickly handled by amateur radio operators. 

Race officials were extremely satisfied with the outcome of the days events especially the very professional way all amateurs conducted their responsibilities. The solid public relations we received from participation in this event has once again helped answer the question "Why is our hobby so important ?."  No other hobby can provide the type of service that our can, experienced radio operators that can always be counted on to help their communities.

The 6th Annual Road Runner Akron Marathon is already being organized for 2008 and you can be sure that amateur radio support will be an integral part of the event. If you didn't get the opportunity to assist this year, make sure you consider it next year. It is an excellent way to help prepare yourself  for a communication emergency. 

Summit County Emergency Coordinator Bruce Ferry - AK8B and Stark County Assistant EC Terry Russ would like to thank all of the many amateurs who volunteered to assist with this event especially those from neighboring ARES groups. Special thanks to the following Stark County ARES participants for another outstanding public service event. They were: Terry Russ - N8ATZ,  Igor Nikishin - K8INN, and Joe Herrick - WD8BGW.

Bruce Ferry also recognizes the following organizations who provided operators for this event. The Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club,  Pioneer Amateur Radio Fellowship, Summit Co ARES, Stark Co ARES, Massillon ARC, and the Warren Amateur Radio Association.


Stark Co ARES Active At Tour de Cure 
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (Jun 17, 2007) -- Members of the Stark County ARES provided mutual aide communications assistance to the Summit County ARES by participating in the 2007 Tour de Cure Ride.

Tour de Cure is a series of cycling events held in more than 80 cities nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The Summit Co event encompassed several individual rides ranging from a 25 K easy ride all the way to a 100 K (60 miles!) difficult ride.

Nearly 50 amateur radio operators took part in this major communications event with 10 operators participating from Stark Co ARES. Radio operators provided both logistical and medical support communications, shadowing race officials, riding with Medical Transport Units and many were positioned along the various routes to monitor rider movement. Tactical call signs were used due to the numerous positions covered throughout the route. Communications took place on the Summit Co UHF Repeater System with some areas covered using the Cuyahoga Falls ARC 147.27 Repeater. Some communications problems were noted due to the rolling terrain along the race routes. As with all events, some radio communications procedures need a little fine tuning, that is why we participate in these events to continue to sharpen our skills.    

Summit Co Communications Coordinator Bruce Brown - KC8RKS reported some bicycle breakdowns and one minor medical incident occurred during the various rides all handled by amateur radio service volunteers. 

Bruce wishes to thank all the volunteers for this years Tour de Cure Ride. Our local Communications Coordinator Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU also send along his thanks for the Stark County ARES volunteers. They included: Carl Cunert - AB8CC, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Rex Simmon - KD8ELX, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Richard Ross - KA8ZQH, Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ and Terry Russ - N8ATZ.  


MARC Assists With Holiday Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

(Nov 20, 2006) -- The MARC has just finished assisting with the 52nd Annual Massillon Holiday Parade which brings to a close the MARC public service season. It looked like we had another great parade with terrific club participation. 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 and special thanks to Rodger – KA8FTS for loaning us his pickup to pull 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 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 handle some staging activities including TV production control relay duties at the Hall of Fame Festival Kickoff 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 40 years and counting Santa has arrived in the city in no small part thanks to the MARC.  

Special thanks to the following club members for volunteering this year. They are; Wade – WD8MIU, Carl – AB8CC, Sarah – KC8ZCS, Scott – KC8ZCT, Rex – KD8ELX, Gary – WC8W, Anne – N8GAF, Jim – WA8GXM, Rodger – KA8FTS, Terry – N8ATZ, Dan – N8DZM, Joe – WD8BGW, Ralph – K8HSQ, Jerry – KF8EB, Igor – K8INN, Don – W8DEF, Linda – K8MOO and Communications Coordinator Perry – W8AU.  


Multi-County ARES Effort Supports 4th Annual Akron Road Runner Marathon
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Oct 1, 2006) -- On Saturday, September 29th several members of the Stark County ARES assisted with the annual Road Runner Akron Marathon. The Summit County ARES, under the direction of Bruce Ferry, AK8B -  Emergency Coordinator handled all primary responsibilities for the event which involved nearly 6,000 marathon runners whose route was modified this year to begin and end in downtown Akron.

In a great outpouring of mutual aid, over 30 amateur radio operators representing 5 Northeastern Ohio radio clubs and ARES Organizations provided both safety and support communications for the marathon. Race logistics covered three major areas, "Shadows" - amateurs stationed with various race officials, keeping them informed of race progress and any problems that arose during the event. "Medical" - amateurs who were positioned with emergency service vehicles, and the American Red Cross. Lastly were "Route" - amateurs who were positioned at one mile intervals of the course who kept a close watch over marathon participants and staffed specified break areas. Three amateur repeaters were utilized to cover the entire route which provided nearly solid coverage throughout the event. Three Net Control stations were necessary to manage the heavy flow of traffic that was generated over the nearly 6 hour event.

In an event of this magnitude, call signs can bog down critical communications. For that reason "Tactical Call signs" were assigned to all radio operators which reflected either their position and/or responsibility for the event. This method did prove to be very efficient way to maintain route communications with the many different radio operators brought together for this event. There is nothing wrong with using this method as long as actual FCC authorized call signs are used at regular intervals. 

The rainy and damp weather made running a little difficult for many of this years participants causing a few medical situations that were quickly handled by amateur radio operators. Temperatures at the start of the race were only about 47 degrees and did not climb much higher for the remainder of the event.

Race officials were extremely satisfied with the outcome of the days events especially the very professional way all amateurs conducted their responsibilities. The solid public relations we received from participation in this event has once again helped answer the question "Why is our hobby so important ?."  No other hobby can provide the type of service that our can, experienced radio operators that can always be counted on to help their communities.

The 5th Annual Road Runner Akron Marathon is already being organized for 2007 and you can be sure that amateur radio support will be an integral part of the event. If you didn't get the opportunity to assist this year, make sure you consider it next year. It is an excellent way to help prepare yourself  for a communication emergency. 

Summit County Emergency Coordinator Bruce Ferry - AK8B and Stark County Assistant EC Terry Russ would like to thank all of the many amateurs who volunteered to assist with this event especially those from neighboring ARES groups. Special thanks to the following Stark County ARES participants for another outstanding public service event. They were: Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM,  Igor Nikishin - K8INN, and Joe Herrick - WD8BGW.

Bruce Ferry also recognizes the following organizations who provided operators for this event. The Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club,  Pioneer Amateur Radio Fellowship, Summit Co ARES, Stark Co ARES, Massillon ARC, and the Warren Amateur Radio Association.


AARC Assists With 1st Annual Castle Run
John Myers, KD8MQ - Alliance Amateur Radio Club 

  (Sep 9, 2006) --  On Monday, September 04, 2006, the Alliance ARC provided communications in support of the 1^st annual Rotary Castle Run, in Alliance. For the first running of this event, it went very well. All major checkpoints were manned by Hams. An amateur tailed the end of the pack. No incidents were reported. The weather was cool & clear.

The Castle Run consists of a 2 Mile run, followed by a 10 K Run. Contestants entered either on, or the other. The 2 Mile run began at 9 AM, with the 10 K beginning 10 minutes later. 260 registrants were reported with about a 60/40 mix between 10K, and 2 mile contestants. In all, 8 operators assisted with the race, donating approximately 17.8 hours to our community.


The Alliance Carnation Festival Report
John Myers, KD8MQ - Alliance Amateur Radio Club 

  (Aug 23, 2006) --  On Sunday, August 20th , the Alliance ARC provided communications in support of the Carnation Triathlon/Duathlon. This is an annual event, held at the end of our Carnation Festival week. All major checkpoints were manned. The weather was cool & clear. 

The triathlon contestants went into the water at 8:34 AM, for the 1000 meter swim. This was followed by a 26 mile bike ride into Alliance, followed by a 10 K run through the city streets. Hams manned all major intersections, as well as relaying race information to the finish line. 

We had Amateurs in the police car leading the pack, and Amateurs tailing the pack. One runner was picked up, and transported back to the command center, to be seen by ambulance crew, and subsequently was transported to the ER (Possible heatstroke).

Everything went smoothly, with no other incidents reported. In all, 7 operators assisted with this years triathlon, donating approximately 17.5 hours to our community.

The following operators assisted with this event. John Myers - KD8MQ, James Lilley - N8XTJ, Howard Miller - K8DXR, Leslie Young - KC8TAC, Sam Eberling - KC8ETZ, Richard Bontrager - KA8LKQ and Richard - KD8MPN.


2007 HOF Festival Concludes With Timken Grand Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Aug 6, 2007) -- The Timken Company 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 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. For over 30 years, amateurs have provided communications services for this event that will total over 150 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 300,000 spectators watched the parade and behind the scenes lies a core of amateur volunteers many of which have over 15 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 Ed Murry noted that the commercial radios range was limited 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 last several years, parade officials have used loaned commercial radio's to maintain communications with their committee members.. While this has worked for routine communications, parade organizers have relied on the discipline and experience of amateur operators to handle urgent communications needs and especially medical traffic.

This year, in a reorganization of parade communications, our responsibilities covered three separate areas, each with it's own control point. These were Staging, Route Communications and Dispersal.

Staging is where it all begins. Under the direction of Parade Communications coordinator Dave Beltz - WD8AYE, with assistance from Terry - N8ATZ,  amateurs assist event organizers in setup and arrangement of 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 its Dave that will officially start the parade down the route. Terry then moved to the Television area to act as communications liaison to Parade Chairman Ed Murry. 

Route Communications then kicks in to assist 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.  

Continuing his role from last year, this year Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF was headed up his team composed of parade escorts and ham operators. Our responsibility was to assist the escorts and provide constant reports to Bruce on parade spacing. We in turn would advise the escorts to either speed up or slow down the parade pace. This continued to be a daunting task and thanks to amateurs disciplined communications experience, we were effective in minimizing units 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 again this year by Ron Hendershot - KA8FTP, helps to ensure orderly parade radio traffic and maintains overall communications with all parade operations. Sixteen 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.  This years cooler temperatures kept medical problems minor with only several marching band members needing medical attention. 

Again this year Assistant EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ maintained communications with the Parade Chairman Ed Murry in the Parade Communications Center. This provided a link to both Emergency Medical Service and Police personnel.       

Parade Dispersal has become an increasingly complex segment of the Grand Parade in recent years. Continuing in his role as  Dispersal Communications Coordinator was Wade Huthmacker - 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 third 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. A special thanks for these additional volunteers, provided through our Mutual Aid pact with neighboring county ARES.  This years team included eleven volunteers.  

The 2007 Timken Grand Parade was another great success thanks to the many volunteers including the many amateur radio operators who assisted us again this year. Parade General Chairman Ed Murry  along with Stark County Emergency Coordinator  Dave Beltz - WD8AYE   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. As the parade has grown, so has our level of participation and commitment that has helped to ensure a successful and safe event for the citizens of Stark County.

Volunteers for this years parade include the following operators:

STAGING/COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR:  David Beltz - WD8AYE

PARADE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER:  Terry Russ - N8ATZ

NET CONTROL:  Ron Hendershot - KA8FTP 

ROUTE COMMUNICATIONS:  Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF,  Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Linda Finley - K8MOO, Gene Wallace - N2IMK, Kenn Rothman - WD8ILB, Dottie Moriarty - KD8DQU, Cathy Story - KC8EUC, Dale Story - KB8LWP, Dennis Finley - K1FFA and Stephen Pomesky - KB8TPH. 

DISPERSAL:  Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Michelle Gill - KC8ZEJ, Bob Gill - N8DVS, Tom Gill - KC8QOD,  Drew St George - KD8DQX, Bruce Brown - KC8RKS, Jim Sack - N8CUI, Mike Palmer - KD8ENV, Rex Simmons - KD8ELX and Jason Stroll - KC8LIN.  

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

 


HOF Festival Begins With Community Parade
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

  (Aug 1, 2007) -- Under hot summer skies with temperatures over 90 degrees, members of the Stark Co ARES, Canton & Massillon ARC's once again assisted in the opening events of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival by providing communications support for the Community Parade held this year on Sunday, July 29th.

Again this year amateurs provided both logistical support communications for parade staging as well as medical support covering the three EMS units assigned to cover the parade route.

Digital packet communications were utilized to synchronize the nearly 125 parade units making up this years parade. Using a voice relay from staging Cathy, KC8EUC and Bruce, KB8SAF relayed the exact line up to Tom, KC8QOD with assistance from Rick, KC8SUI who then sent 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 eigth year this has been used and is an important aspect of our parade assistance.

Also new this year, we monitored Cleveland NWS Weather Radar in case of severe weather. We were caught a little unprepared last year when a short but heavy thunderstorm occurred just prior to the start of the parade. Thanks to Tom, we used a wireless connection to the internet to monitor weather radar for the entire parade. Mother Nature was a little kinder to us this year holding off on any rain but not the normally hot and humid July conditions. Parade Chairman Gary Bresson was kept advised of weather during the parade.

Our other parade responsibility and perhaps our most important, especially considering the very warn and humid conditions of this years parade was our  role in medical support. Amateurs were stationed with the three Canton EMS units and provided a common communications link to the medical command center in demarshaling area. As expected, numerous minor medical emergencies occurred mostly due to the warm temperatures with several requiring emergency transport. Captain Ray Friedman of the Canton Fire Department appreciated our efforts in support of the medical units.

Special thanks to the Massillon Amateur Radio Club who provided the use of their Emergency Communications trailer which was used as command post for both logistical and medical operations during the parade.

Community Parade General Chairman Gary Bresson expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the radio operators for their assistance. "Your operators are a vital part of this parade", said Gary, "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 staging and logistical support crew included Cathy Storey - KC8EUC and Bruce Humphrey - KB8SAF. TV production support included Tom Gill - KC8QOD with assistance from Rick Smith - KC8SUI and Jason Stroll - KC8LIN in the TV Production Van.  Net Control was handled by Terry Russ - N8ATZ. Medial Unit support included  Bob Gill - N8DVS in staging and his XYL Michelle - KC8ZEJ, Dale Storey - KB8LWP and Igor Nikishin - K8INN along the route and in Demarshalling.

A terrific job from a great crew, thanks again for your support to ARES Community Service !

Terry Russ - N8ATZ
Assistant EC, Stark Co ARES
2007 Community Parade Communications Support


MARC Assists With Annual MS Walk 
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

(May 13, 2007) -- Saturday, April 21st marked the official opening of the 2007 public service season as members of the MARC assisted with the Annual MS Walk at Quail Hollow State Park. Sponsored by the Multiple Sclerosis Society, volunteers staffed rest stops and provided safety & support communications for this years event. Communications Coordinator Jason Stroll, KC8LIN reported an excellent event with no rain or medical incidents for the 300 walkers who took part in this years event. A special thanks to volunteers Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU and Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS who staffed rest stops. Dan Anastis - N8DZM at Lake Elementary School pickup point and Jason MS Walk Coordinator.

The following Saturday, April 28th, the MS Society held their Massillon MS Walk at the Massillon Recreation Center. EComm 1, the club's Emergency Communications Trailer was stationed at the Recreation Center to provide base support for this walk.

As with the Quail Hollow Walk, the club provided Rest Stop support as well as safety & support communications for the event. The weather was a bit damp but it didn't deter the nearly 500 walkers who participated in this years walk. Thanks to Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ and Dan Anastis - N8DZM, APRS was used to monitor walker flow along the trail. Local MS Walk Coordinator Dick Kulick expressed his appreciation to the club for our continual support of this event year after year.

The Walk went well with only a few needing transport back to the Rec Center. Massillon's Event Communications Coordinator Jack Wade - N8LCS also thanked the club and volunteers Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Scott McCamish - N3JJT, Don Finley - W8DEF, Linda Finley - K8MOO, Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS, Wade Huthmacher - WD8MIU, Igor Nikishin - K8INN, Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ, Jack Wade - N8LCS, Gary Kline - WC8W and Tom Gill - KC8QOD. A letter of Appreciation was also received from Jodi Shipley, Marketing Coordinator,  National MS Society thanking the core group of volunteers who assist each year.

The combined walks totaled 82 hours of public service to the community.

The Massillon MS Walk Volunteers


Stark County ARES Readies For Train Wreck
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

(Nov 1, 2005) -- Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Service Coordinators stood ready to activate after a train derailment on Wednesday, October 26th caused the release of a toxic chemical. 

Eight rail cars in the middle of a 56-car train traveling from the Brewster yards to Akron derailed around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway tracks just south of the Kemary Avenue overpass.

Area emergency crews were kept busy cleaning up the 25,000 gallon spill of acetone, a colorless liquid with a distinct smell. This highly flammable substance could have flared up causing a major fire had ignition occurred. Luckily the accident happened in a remote area where the tracks passed through a large cattle dairy farm south of Massillon.

Emergency crews from the Stark County Hazardous Materials Unit and numerous other police & fire departments were on the scene including Tim Warstler, Director of  the Stark County Emergency Management Agency. Warstler noted that the location of the accident, as well as cooler temperatures kept concerns to a minimum.

No evacuations were necessary as a result of the accident although Red Cross responded to support cleanup crews. In the event some evacuations may have been necessary, Stark County ARES Coordinators kept in contact with Tim and was prepared to respond should any communications support have been necessary.


Amateur Radio part of CDREE Exercise
Lori Miller, KC8ONY - Sandy Twp ECO Coordinator

     (Jun 18, 2005) -- The Stark County Chapter of the American Red Cross conducted a Table Top Drill from May 23-25 with amateur radio participating in the event.

Sandy Township Emergency Communications Office coordinator and Stark Co ARES member Lori Miller - KC8ONY actively participated in the drill and submitted the following report to Emergency Coordinator Dave Beltz - WD8AYE.

During the realistic dramatization of the disaster, five amateurs were initially requested to participate with emergency communications and were dispatched to various locations around the affected area. Lori's responsibility included coordinating the amateur radio response during the drill. Our thanks to Lori for actively assisting during this drill and providing this report of the drill.

The Stark County Chapter held this Chapter Disaster Readiness Exercise and Evaluation (CDREE) on May 23-25, 2005. The purpose of the CDREE is used to measure the chapter's readiness in responding to disasters and to develop specific strategies to enhance readiness. This CDREE was a three part process including their Disaster Response Plan, conducting the actual exercise concluding with a discussion and review of the outcome of the event. The CDREE was very useful to the chapter and will benefit them when a real disaster strikes our area.


Damage Assessments Report over 268 Million in Damage in 60 Ohio Counties
Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Feb 3, 2005) -- A joint team of FEMA, Ohio EMA and local officials are continuing to conduct damage assessments in most of the flood strickened areas throughout Ohio. They expect it to take some time to fully complete. The results of the assessments will determine the state's applicability for federal disaster assistance.

During the peak of the flooding ODOT reported that 54 US and State Route closures. During this time, Stark County ARES Coordinators kept in close contact with county EOC Interim Director Tim Warstler in case assistance was needed. Most of the road closures occurred in the southern portion of Stark County and did not involve any long term evacuations or emergency situations.

To assist local coordinators in determining the scale of the flooding, Stark ARES member Jim Farriss - WA8GXM flew over the affected area's including Bolivar, Beach City and Zoarville. Jim owns his own airplane and is a veteran pilot.

With Jim at the controls and accompanied by Assistant EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Dan Anastis - N8DZM and his XYL we made several aerial passes over the three hardest hit areas taking both video and still pictures.

Several pictures are shown below while the rest were forwarded to area officials, the Cleveland NWS and the Ohio EMA Office in Columbus.

The Bolivar Exit off I-77   

The Bolivar Exit off  I-77 was completely submerged for nearly a month.

The Tusc River along I-77

The Tusc River overflowed its banks flooding hundreds of acres

Flooded Side Roads Were A Common Site

Dozens of side roads were impassible due to the high water


GOBA Returns to Stark County -  A Final Report

Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

(July 1 , 2004) -- Imagine this scenario, we have been asked to provide total communications for an entire town of over 3,000 people that is being uprooted and moved 350 miles away. What am I talking about ?  GOBA - The Greater Ohio Bicycle Adventure, an annual, seven day, 50 mile per day circular bicycle tour that is considered to be the second largest event in the country. It is also unique in that it is the largest multiday event in the country that is supported entirely by amateur radio communications. Our volunteers, together with the bicycle mobile amateur radio operators along the route, were a critical link in their emergency, health & welfare support system for this years ride. This years event occurred June 19-26 and began in Medina and ended up their one week later. Using scenic back country roads, the tour passed through Orrville, New Philadelphia, Bolivar, and Wooster.

In an extremely well organized event, two meter nets are established as the riders enter each county. This sets the stage for that days ride as our volunteers as well as the GOBA support staff, most of which are also licensed amateurs, begin the 50 mile toward their next destination. This years GOBA staff included 30 radio operators who are responsible for coordinating all aspects of the weeks event.

On Monday, June 21, the rolling town of over 3,000 riders left camp in Orville eventually making their way into Stark county. The Massillon club's 147.18 repeater served as the net control frequency for the entire day's ride thanks to the repeaters vast coverage pattern and history of dependability. Our responsibility was to provide a net control station, radio operators to staff several medical transport units and finally to monitor several potentially hazardous intersections along the route through Stark county. As the morning unfolded, it became apparent it was going to be a busy day. Soon the repeater was filled with nearly nonstop traffic as various logistical, medical and support communications filled the repeater.

There were two distinct segments active during the ride. First was the GOBA support staff who cover administrative, medical and SAG vehicle coordination. Secondly was the ham contingent from the host county who rode in medical units, guarded dangerous intersections and provided tight net control operations to keep everything running smoothly. I am happy to report that all went extremely well during the day's ride. The MARC's ECOMM Communications Trailer was positioned midway through the route and served as our net control station. Minor medical emergencies, broken down bicycles, lost riders were but a fraction of the traffic that flowed over the repeater during the day. 

A special thanks to the members of the MARC who gave up a Monday to assist with this major public service event. Our logbook indicated nearly 300 entries during the day which worked out to about 43 separate communications per hour or almost one per minute !

A busy day to say the least and a fine job by a great crew. On behalf of Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ - GOBA Communications Director and myself, I would like to thank my dedicated crew for their assistance during this event. They were:   Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Don Finley - W8DEF, Linda Finley - K8MOO, Rodger Trompower - KA8FTS,  Helen Trompower - KC8ZWG,  Ralph Bugg - K8HSQ,  Larry Fierstos - KC8RKU,  Ed Clinger - WA8DRT and Igor Nikishin - K8INN.  A special KUDO's to KC8RKU who assisted with the GOBA ride all week. 

Hat's off to you all for a job well done.


Stark Hams Respond to Superior Dairy Fire

Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Mar 13, 2004) -- Several members of Stark County ARES were called into service during Friday night's fire at Canton's Superior Dairy on Navarre Road.

The fire broke out around 5:45 p.m. and by approximately 8:00 p.m. Stark County Emergency Management Agency Director Rick Alatorre requested activation of the EOC amateur station. The main concern was the threat of explosion of a 5,000 gallon tank of anhydros ammonia. Release of such a large amount of this chemical would have required evacuation of nearby homes and businesses.

By 8:30 p.m. Stark County EC Dave Beltz - WD8AYE had been contacted and activated the EOC station. Contact at the fire scene was maintained with Jim Farriss - WA8GXM of the Western Stark Chapter of the American Red Cross. Additional ARES/Red Cross personnel at the scene were Don Finley - W8DEF and Saundra Becker - N8TZB. Updates between the scene and the EOC continued throughout the evening. 

Rick Alatorre worked into the late evening notifying residents to remain in their homes, close windows and vents, and turn off their heat. Amateurs were ready to assist with establishment of evacuation centers if necessary.

The EOC station remained operational until about 11:45 p.m. when the threat of any release of hazardous materials had passed. Amateur operations at the EOC were terminated at midnight and at the scene until 1:30 a.m.


Red Cross Recognizes Local Volunteers

Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Jan 17, 2004) -- Stark County ARES members who assisted the Red Cross during last July's Stark County Flooding disaster were recognized for their efforts by receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from the American Red Cross. Signed by Mr. Arnold T. Mascelli, Active Vice-President Response, the certificate was presented "In recognition of your valuable service on the Northeast Ohio Flood and Tornado, July 2003 - DR 545." 

The accompanying letter also included the following statistics. This event resulted in more than 600 individuals and families being sustained in a time of crisis. More than 650 volunteers in 9 counties helped provide Red Cross assistance, serve 15,500 meals, and operate 13 shelters, giving 819 affected people a safe, warm place to stay. More than 979 people were also comforted with emotional support.

Congratulations to those ARES members and know that you truly made a difference in the lives of people who needed you. Your priceless gift helped them to begin putting their lives back together.


MARC Assist With Brewster CROP Walk

Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Oct 8, 2003) -- On Sunday afternoon October 5th, members of the Massillon Amateur Radio Club assisted the Brewster United Methodist Church with their annual CROP Walk. Known as the Christian Rural Overseas Program (CROP), is a program that provides interfaith hunger education sponsored by local churches. The Brewster walk is a collaboration of over 11 area churches.

Providing both safety and support communications, club members monitored the walkers as they took to the Towpath Trail, walking from Navarre to John Glenn Cove Park enjoying the fall foliage along the scenic Ohio & Erie Canal Trail. This marks the fourth consecutive year we have assisted with this event.

The club's Emergency Communications Trailer, ECOMM 1, was positioned at John Glenn Park to provide a central point for our communications duties. Additional members were stationed at church registration and along the route to monitor walkers progress. Some Amateur Television was used again this year to monitor vehicle traffic along a busy street used by the walkers.

The walk was completed in about 2 hours with everyone returning safe and sound. A special thanks to the following club members for their support and assistance. Terry Russ - N8ATZ, Don Finley - W8DEF, Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, Igor Nikishin - WB8KEO, Charlie - KB8STV, Don Wade - W8DEA  Gary Kline - WC8W and Ed Clinger - WA8DRT.

Igor took some great pictures of the walk and they are posted on his website. Click Here to check them out !


  

Amateurs Assist In Nationwide Power Outage

Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (Aug 18, 2003) -- Amateur Radio Operators here in Stark County and all around the Northeastern U.S. were again called to duty on Thursday afternoon, August 14th, as a massive power blackout raced through eight states affecting over 50 million people and bringing this part of the country to a standstill.

Hams a Bright Spot During Power Blackout
Courtesy of the ARRL Web

 Hardest hit were metropolitan areas like New York City, Detroit and Cleveland. In New York, residents and commuters found themselves stranded in electricity-dependent elevators and subway or rail cars while visitors ended up stuck at airports, which were forced to shut down. With the cellular telephone system overloaded or out altogether, the incident turned into a test of Amateur Radio's capabilities to operate without commercial power.   Full Story.

--------------------------------------------

Local efforts began at about 4:45 P.M. local time, when Emergency Coordinator Dave Beltz - WD8AYE was notified by Stark County EMA Director Ed Cox that the situation was serious, the counties 911 center was overloaded with calls and could not keep up with emergency traffic. Amateur Radio assistance was immediately needed to provide support communications at the EOC office. 

As news of the widespread power outage spread, it became apparent that communications assistance would be required at various locations throughout the area. Most facilities had emergency power but communications were still greatly affected. The 147.12 ARES Repeater on Mercy Medical Center can draw backup power from the hospitals systems and although most of Western Stark County was in the darkness, the 147.18 Repeater System uses a large battery backup supply that can power the repeater for several days if needed.

An emergency net was setup on the 147.12 repeater with net operations taking place from the EOC office. Tom - KC8QOD and Dan - N8LVO were available to immediately staff the station. Calls for assistance went out for operators to staff all five county hospitals, the Massillon RED Center and both the Canton & Western Stark Chapter of the Red Cross. Communications would also be needed should a relief shelter be necessary. Both repeaters were busy throughout the rest of the day and evening as amateurs handled everything from official EMA Communications to general Health & Welfare traffic for the Red Cross. Operations lasted until about 11:00 P.M. when most power had been restored to our area and main telephone systems came back on line.

Emergency Coordinator Dave Beltz - WD8AYE expressed his appreciation to all amateurs who assisted with this event. 


ARRL Credits Stark Co ARES Flood Assistance

Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

    (Aug 13, 2003) -- The ARRL in their August 13 Web News praised Stark County ARES volunteers for their service to area public safety officials during the late July severe flooding that devastated our area. Click Here to go directly to the story on the ARRL website.

The entire operation involving amateurs lasted nearly 10 days and during that time numerous logs and notes were taken recording the official traffic associated with the event and also lists of the many ARES volunteers who participated. Local ARES coordinators have been able to obtain some of those traffic logs but are still looking for any information obtained during that time. Traffic log sheets, miscellaneous notes or any other relevant information is being requested. If you are in possession of any of this material, please contact David Beltz - WD8AYE, Emergency Coordinator at 330 - 875 - 1505 or by email. You may also contact Assistant EC Terry Russ - N8ATZ, at 330 - 837 - 3091

Once all information is obtained, a complete and formal report will be prepared and submitted to the ARRL for possible use in a future publication.

Late Addition -- An excellent recap of the weeks events through the personal account of Carrol County EC Dan Mutigli - N8LVO currently appears in the August edition of the Carrol Amateur Radio Society newsletter. Dan's personal experiences over that week truly define the role a modern ARES volunteer plays in public service communications. We highly recommend reading this recap. Click Here to read the full story.


RED Cross ECV Assists In Relief Efforts 

Terry Russ, N8ATZ - Assistant Emergency Coordinator

   (Aug 18, 2003) -- When responding to any disaster, communications equipment is no less important to disaster workers than food and water. The ability of relief coordinators to communicate with each other, with Red Cross National Headquarters, with government officials or anyone else in the outside world is critical to assisting disaster victims. In the days after the heavy rains caused severe flooding here in Stark County, when true relief efforts began, telecommunications became a very real issue for the Red Cross.  More ....


MARC Opens 2003 Public Service Season

ms walk  (Apr 10, 2003) -- Sunday, April 6th marked the opening of the 2003 public service season as the Massillon Amateur Radio Club assisted the Multiple Sclerosis Society with the annual MS Walk.

Again this year the walk was held simultaneously at both Quail Hollow State Park in Hartville and at Canal Fulton's Community Park. Serving in our traditional role, amateurs provided both support and safety communications at both locations. Quail Hollow State Park reported about 300 walkers braved the chilly temperatures as well as the parks often muddy spring trails to complete the 7 mile route through the park trails. In Canal Fulton nearly 500 walkers took part in the 6.4 mile trek along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Amateur Radio volunteers staffed both locations at rest stops and bus transportation as well as providing logistical support for event coordinators. The clubs Emergency Communications Trailer was utilized at Canal Fulton serving as Net Control. Several ATV Stations were also in use to monitor shuttle bus movements and trail activity.

MS officials appreciated amateur efforts and all volunteers were presented with very nice MS Walk T-Shirts after the event. Amateur Coordinator Jack Wade - N8LCS also thanks all amateurs for their assistance. Staff at Quail Hollow included Dan Anastis - N8DZM, Jeff McKinney - KC8KIX, Jason Stroll - KC8LIN, Saundra Becker - N8TZB, Rick Garner - KC8LYG and Wes Mast - NV8M. Canal Fulton volunteers included Don & Linda Finley - W8DEF and K8MOO, Charlie Scherger - KB8STV and Terry Russ - N8ATZ.

Click Here for a picture of the Quail Hollow Volunteers
Courtesy of Jason Stroll - KC8LIN

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A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MS WALK VOLUNTEERS

Dear MS Walk Volunteers:

For your 8,000 neighbors who live each day with multiple sclerosis, life is unpredictable - as unpredictable as our Ohio weather. While the weather was a little chilly the weekend of the MS Walk, another 48 Americans were diagnosed with MS. And every hour since, another American has been diagnosed with this chronic, potentially disabling disease of the central nervous system.

On Sunday, April 6, over 4,000 people throughout Northeast Ohio put their best foot forward to help end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis. And volunteers like you were there to make sure every one of their needs was taken care of. The MS Walk would not be such a success without the wonderful volunteers that make it happen.

We are getting closer than ever to a cure and your efforts are helping us get there. THANK YOU !

Sincerely,
Jennifer Hamilton
Director of Development. 


Stark Co ARES Participate In MAP Drill

Another Fire Put Out With Alcoseal!   (Nov 22, 2002) -- The early morning stillness of Friday, November 15th suddenly erupted into panic and destruction as an explosion from Canton's Marathon Ashland Petroleum (MAP) Refinery ruptured a 55,000 gallon rail car filled with propane. This explosion caused a chain reaction that caused several other cars to ignite that were filled with isobutane. Within minutes, peoples worst fears were realized, the potential exists for the deadly release of hydrofluoric acid which could blanket and devastate the city of Canton. 

This scenario was the annual full-scale emergency drill, an event sponsored by the Stark County Emergency Preparedness Agency (EOC) and Marathon Refinery. Representatives of 11 emergency agencies participated in Friday mornings drill including members of the Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

Operating in cooperation with the county EOC, amateurs primary purpose was to provide supplemental communications support between the disaster site, the EOC operations center, and area hospitals. Real life severe weather situations has demonstrated the real benefit of amateur radio's ability to gather important information from various agencies and direct it where needed using trained operators, and Friday's drill again proved how important our communications systems would be in an actual emergency.

Within minutes of the disaster, an ARES net was established on the 147.12 repeater under the direction of EC David Beltz, WD8AYE. Using our established SET training, as members began checking into the net, they were quickly dispatched to the EOC and to each of Stark County's area hospitals where equipment has long been installed in case of emergency. As telephone lines quickly jammed with traffic from concerned residents, the county's Regional Emergency Dispatch (RED) Center was also staffed by radio operators, another lesson learned from past experience.

As the Incident Command Center, massive amounts of information was being collected and disseminated to the County EOC, much of it by amateur radio as other public service agencies handled their own responsibilities. Critical information was needed to by the EOC to insure that all available resources were being utilized where they were most needed, a responsibility also entrusted to amateur radio. Support personnel needed, additional equipment, weather conditions, victim updates all were passed to the proper agency via amateur radio during the four hour drill. Amateurs also assisted the American Red Cross officials as a relief center was established at John Knox Church in case evacuations would become necessary. 

The results of the drill confirmed what area officials have already known for years, that in an actual emergency the volunteer resources of the ARES are an indispensable asset to our Community Disaster Plan. Stark County amateurs have been part of area drills in the past and we will continue to improve our skills by continued participation in drills like this one and other training. Specialized programs, like the ARRL Emergency Communications Certifications have better prepared ARES members to respond to local emergencies and will continue to play an important role in homeland disaster planning.

A special thanks to the following ARES members for their assistance in this years SET/Disaster Drill. Terry - N8ATZ, Jim - WA8GXM and Paul - KB8VAS at Marathon Ashland Refinery, Ed - WA8DRT and Don - W8DEF at Doctors Hospital, Gary - WC8W at Massillon Community hospital, Perry - W8AU at the RED Center, Gary - W8SSB our Red Cross Liaison, and Paul - KB8GSV, Bill - N8PW, John - KC8QPI, Bill - KC8OMX, Todd - KC8KTK, Cathy - KC8EUC, Julius - KD8XD and Ed - W8ATF who were SET checkins.  

Dave Beltz - WD8AYE, Stark County EC.


 

 What if it happens here ? That's the title news line from the Massillon Independent newspaper article of Monday, October 22, 2001 and Amateur Radio is mentioned as part of the cities emergency preparedness plan.

The events of September 11th redefined the meaning of emergency preparedness, both local & national and the Massillon Amateur Radio Club is stepping up our efforts to provide communications support to our community should an emergency occur.

We are fortunate to have a presence in our public service community as we already have permanent two meter stations setup at both Massillon Community and Doctor's Hospital as well as our newest station located at Massillon's Regional Emergency Dispatch Center. This liaison helps to unite us with several local police & fire departments.

Our EComm 1 Communications Trailer has been upgraded continuously over the past several years in preparation for any local emergency. It will soon have a permanent commercial public service radio installed that will provide a direct link with nearly all of our local public service agencies.

Massillon has had a disaster plan loosely in place since 1975 and it has been steadily upgraded each year as possible threats to the city became apparent to local officials. The MARC has been an integral part of that plan almost since that time but over the years our ties to local government slowly faded due to inactivity. 

We have taken part in numerous local practice exercises and drills primarily under the direction of the Red Cross, an agency with whom we have developed a very strong relationship over the years. This would undoubtedly be the focus of our activities in the event of a local emergency, but I can envision an expanded role since the real worth of professionally trained radio operators was demonstrated to the world at both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon disaster sites.

City officials are keenly aware of the fact that any number of both natural and man made disasters could land squarely here in Massillon. Everything from weather related disasters such as tornadoes and floods, disasters such as toxic spills, railroad accidents or even airplane crashes are all possible in our small community. City planners have already stated that all local resources would be taped to assist in a local emergency situation including amateur radio. The real question is ARE WE READY ?

There are presently over 700 licensed amateurs here in Stark County with only about 70 actively involved in emergency communications work. That's about 10% participation which according to ARRL nationwide statistics is about the norm. 

Stark County ARES Emergency Coordinator David Beltz - WD8AYE and myself have long been aware of the need to revise and update our ARES capabilities here in Stark County. We have established 3 major goals for 2002 that we hope will bring us into the next level of the ARES.

(1) Revise and update registration in ARES here in Stark County. Perhaps appoint a local liaison with each of three Stark County radio clubs to assist in this project. Our current records are more than 15 years old and no doubt very outdated. Current information would give us the ability to assess the current capabilities of all amateurs here in Stark County and provide us with a current up-to-date list of those amateurs willing to participate in ARES activities.

(2) Commit ourselves to participation in as many events, drills, SET exercises, etc as possible occurring throughout the year. All exercises provide a means to improve our skills during directed nets and allow us to learn more about the capabilities and more importantly the limitations of both ourselves and our equipment. It also provides a means to interact with the public, which is important to our positive exposure in the community and enhance our skills dealing with public officials.

(3) Establish a formal training program within the county ? This has been discussed off an on for many years. We believe it will come down to those who want the training will have to pursue it individually and at his or her own pace. There are several good training programs available that we would recommend. Go to our ARES Page for full details.

Obtaining training is one thing. It is also important to put that training to good use by volunteering your time to ARES. It is also important that the local ARES coordinators be made aware of all training obtained by area amateurs. This will be compiled into an extensive database so that if an emergency does occur, we will have the necessary information available. 

This subject of training is an important issue. The events of September 11th demonstrated the need for experienced operators available in the event of an actual emergency. Interaction between amateur operators and local public service officials requires experienced, professional individuals who have both the training and discipline to represent the ARES with a strong, positive presence. The day may come when we are organized with a multi-tier structure. Those Front Line Responders would be responsible for direct interaction with community leaders and public safety officials while others would be utilized in support roles during exercises or real emergency situations. Training and experience could make all the difference.

ARE WE READY ? Not yet I think, but with your help we will be !


ARES Activities During 2001

  2001 was a very busy year for amateurs involved in Stark County ARES. From parades to weather watches to gas leaks, area amateurs provided safety and support communications for many local civic organizations as well as public service agencies.

Click Here to review highlights of our activities during last year !


 

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last reviewed/updated on 10/18/09