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Past Public Service News
Friday morning January 25th started off calm for club members Don Finley - W8DEF and Jim Farriss - WA8GXM, that is until their Red Cross pagers activated with news of a missing 75 year old Alzheimer's resident who had been missing for more than eight hours prompted a full scale search effort involving several local public safety agencies including both the American Red Cross and Amateur Radio.
With approximately 60 to 65 personnel from various fire departments including additional support from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, local Police and the Stark County Sheriff as well as the Ohio Highway Patrol involved in the massive rescue effort, Red Cross & ARES member Don Finley - W8DEF was immediately dispatched to the scene to provide Red Cross meal support. Red Cross Coordinator Jim Farriss - WA8GXM also stood ready in case the clubs Emergency Communications Trailer, ECOMM 1, was called into service.
During the height of the search efforts, a Metro LifeFlight helicopter and a Ohio Highway Patrol search plane circled the area while a rescue boat combed the waters and fields surrounding the Tuscarawas River. Other personnel set out on foot or mounted all terrain vehicles.
Thankfully the woman was found unharmed sitting inside a locked vehicle in a local business parking lot. Although Amateur Radio participation was minimal, Navarre Fire Chief Ray Gallaher, incident commander was ready to call out additional amateur support in the event the search continued throughout the evening.
On Sunday, April 22, 2001 members of the Massillon Amateur Radio Club officially opened the public service season by assisting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society with the annual MS Walk. Held again this year at Quail Hollow State Park in Hartville, the day was unfortunately wet & dreary as it lightly showered all morning long. This event, designed to raise both money and awareness for those stricken with this devastating illness depends upon amateur radio to provide both logistical & safety communications for the nearly 600 participants. The showers made for very muddy trails but this did not stop the walkers from having a successful event. Aside from a few who could not complete the 7 mile trail and had to be shuttled back to the beginning, we are glad to report no major incidents during the event.
Amateur coordinator Bruce Putnam - AB8FB and the event organizers want to thank all those amateurs who assisted with this years MS Walk. They were Shelby - N8XEO at the elementary school staging area, Saundra - N8TZB at Quail Hollow house, Rick - KC8LYG, Don - W8DEF and Don - W8DEA manning rest stops, and "trailblazers" Rick - K8RLW, Wes - NV8M, Russ - N8PII, Terry - N8ATZ and Jason - KC8LIN who kept a close eye along the trails for problems. Thanks everyone for a job well done !
On Saturday, May 5th members of the Stark County ARES and Canton Amateur Radio Club assisted Mercy Medical Center with this years 5 K Health Run. Near perfect weather brought our over 500 participants for this years event. Providing both safety and administrative communications support, we are happy to report all went perfect during this short event. Stark County Emergency Coordinator David Beltz - WD8AYE would like to thank the following individuals who participated in this event. They are Cathy - KC8EUC, Brian - N8YQV (who covered the event using bicycle mobile) and Terry - N8ATZ. Thanks everyone for a job well done !
Mother nature kicked up her heels in a late summer thunderstorm Thursday afternoon August 9th as the greater Stark County area was rocked by a series of short but strong thunderstorms passed through the area.
By 5 PM Stark County Skywarn was activated as ARES members were dispatched to the Emergency Operations Center and Mercy Medical Center while a directed net was established on the 147.12 ARES Repeater. Local spotters immediately checked in and began relaying reports of varying weather situations throughout the county. Extensive rainfall was reported as anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of rain was reported by numerous stations.
Wind gusts caused some damage as reports of tree limbs 10 inches in diameter were reported down in several areas. Street flooding occurred in the usual areas in both Perry and Canton Township along both Tuscarawas Street and Whipple Avenue.
Due to the extremely dry ground and the heavy rainfall which fell quickly, the NWS based on Amateur Radio reports issued a Flash Flood Warning for Stark County which lasted until 8:15 PM. The thunderstorms that raced through the area produced damaging winds and lightning that toppled trees and downed utility lines, resulting in widespread power outages to about 10,000 area residents.
Numerous damage reports were relayed to Cleveland NWS via Amateur Radio but thankfully no tornado watches or warnings were issued during the storms fury.
Severe Storm Spotters kept a close eye on the situation until the storms moved out of the county about 7:30 PM.
Thanks to all the volunteers who assisted in this brief but powerful weather situation.
2001 HOF Festival Kickoff Run
Professional Football Hall of Fame week officially kicked off here in Stark County on Sunday - July 29, 2001 with the Kickoff Run. Nearly 1,500 hearty souls braved the early morning air to participate in this 15th annual 10K & 2 Mile Race that opens HOF week here in Stark County. Amateurs participated in general safety communications for this event and were located at various intersections around the course. Communications Coordinator David Beltz - WD8AYE wants to thank the following volunteers who participated with this event, they were Terry - N8ATZ, Paul - KB8VAS, Cathy - KB8EUC and Ruby - KC8AWU.
Under the seasoned leadership of parade Communications Coordinator Cathy Storey - KC8EUC and husband Dale - KB8LWP, several members of the Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Service provided the necessary support and emergency communications that parade officials have grown to count on during our many years of service during this event. This year amateur communications were split into three major areas. (1) Staging parade units, (2) Parade Marshalling and (3) Medical Communications.
Repeating last years role, amateurs used Packet Radio to synchronize the units leaving the staging area and the television production van. This allowed parade officials the ability to make last minute changes to the parade lineup and accurately and easily communicate this information to the production van TV Director without disrupting normal parade communications. Packet Radio was a logical choice for this situation as it allowed the production staff to look at the computer monitor and see exactly what units were leaving the staging area and entering the main parade route. Both the TV crews and parade officials were very impressed with our ability to accurately report this important information. This has made for a very smooth running parade the past two years.
Our second responsibility was again in Parade Marshal communications. Amateurs, placed strategically along the entire parade route, helped to keep the parade flowing on schedule and kept parade officials advised of any problems along the route. Communications have always played an important role here as there are always unavoidable parade delays that must be dealt with.
Perhaps our most important role in any public service event is in Emergency Medical Communications. A punishing sun bore down from a cloudless sky, belying the unusually moderate 78 degree temperature when the parade kicked off at 3:00 PM Sunday afternoon. This type of intense heat can lead to serious medical situations as we learned all to well when one of our own was overcome by the afternoon sun. Quick reactions by fellow amateurs and the emergency medical units prevented what could have become a potentially life threatening situation. Fortunately the remainder of the parade was confined to a few minor heat related problems that were easily handled.
Parade officials wish to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the many amateur volunteers who participated in this years parade. Amateur Communications Coordinators Cathy and Dale Storey also wish to thank the following individuals. They are: Sally - KC8NTG, Paul - KB8VAS, Ruby - KC8AWU, Laurie - KC8ONY, Jason - KC8LIN, Wade - WD8MIU, Juanita - KC8CQC, Barney - AD8E, Diana - AD8Q, Don - W8DEA, Nick - KC8ORW, Steve - KC8RSR, David - WD8AYE, Terry - N8ATZ, Bill - KC8FLT, and Saundra - N8TZB.
Congratulations everyone on a job well done !
On Sunday, August 12th, the Alliance Amateur Radio Club provided communications in support of the Carnation Triathlon/Decathlon. This annual event, held during Carnation Festival week in Alliance, used Amateur Radio for both support and safety communications and was held this year at West Branch State Park.
Amateurs staffed major checkpoints along the race in time for an 8:30 AM start, but the weather had other ideas. Due to severe thunder and lightning on the course, the Race Officials pushed the start time to 9:30 AM.
The hearty racers went into the water at 9:30 AM, for the 1000 meter swim. This was followed by a 25 mile bike ride into downtown Alliance concluded with a 10 K Run through the city streets. Club members manned all major intersections, as well as relayed race information to the finish line. They also accompanied police to maintain communications with local law enforcement.
Communications Coordinator John Myers - KD8MQ reports the following individuals participated with this years race.
Sally - KC8NTG, Jim - N8XTJ, Dick - KA8LKQ, Bill - KC8FLT, Sam - KC8ETZ, Bob - K8RLS, John - N8PLA, Paul - KB8VAS, Ruby - KC8AWU, Mike - KC8PRH and Jason - KC8LIN.
Congratulations to the AARC for a job well done !
Thanks to John Myers - KD8MQ of the Alliance ARC for the above report !
The Hoover Company Grand Parade starts long before all the seats on Cleveland Avenue are filled, before the first float begins its journey, when the sky has yet to change from starlight black to morning blue.
The high school bands are lining up and tuning up, balloon teams are getting last minute maneuver lessons and the many classic cars are getting into position in the staging area.
Behind the scenes assisting with all this blaze of activity are members of the Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Service. For the last 21 years or so area amateur radio operators have provided communications assistance for the Hall of Fame Grand Parade. Again this year our assistance was divided into four major areas: Staging, Parade Route Communications, Medical Support and Dispersal.
Staging is where it all starts. Under the direction of Stark County EC, David Beltz - WD8AYE, amateurs assist event organizers in setup and arrangement of the well over 129 units that made up this years parade. Beginning at about 5:00 AM, this tough job takes till about 7:30 AM, the official start of the parade.
Parade Route Communications then kicks in to assist parade marshals as the many units make their way along the 2.5 mile parade route. Crowd control, seating assistance, media relations, and medical emergencies are but a few of the varied responsibilities of the amateurs assigned to this segment of the parade.
With the thousands of spectators who watch the parade each year, medical support remains one of our most important responsibilities during the entire parade. Amateurs have the unique ability to provide a central communications link to the 12 medical rescue units spread throughout the route. Each one staffed with an amateur radio operator, these units keep a watchful eye over both the parade spectators and participants alike should a medical situation arise.
As units complete the parade, it falls on dispersal to make sure everyone is connected back with buses, parents, etc. Their job is to make sure all parade units finish up safe and sound.
All this occurs under the disciplined flow of John - N8WHH, net control for the parade. Again this year thanks to a superior effort by a dedicated group of amateur operators, we can report another successful Grand Parade.
Dave Beltz - WD8AYE, Communications Coordinator and John Sedlak - N8WHH want to thank all the amateur volunteers for their help and assistance during this years event.
Dave - WD8AYE, John - N8WHH & Terry - N8ATZ
Julius - KD8XD, Jeff - KC8GEW, Dag - W8LVL, Dan - N8DZM, Sally - KC8NTG, Rick - K8RLW, Bruce - AB8FB, Judy - KA8RSQ, Barry - KC8QOE, Tom - KC8FLS, Bill - KC8FLT, Danny - KG8RV, Jason - KC8LIN, Laurie - KC8ONY, Randy - KC8ONX, Barney - AD8Q, Juanita - KC8CQC, Robert - KC8RCQ, Francis - N2IMK & Nick - KC8ORW
Cathy - KC8EUC, Dale - KB8LWP, Ruby - KC8AWU, Todd - KC8KTK, Gordy - K4FID, Don - W8DEA, Diana - AD8Q, Patty - KC8HWG, Harold - AA8BA, Nick - N8DNZ, George - W8AKU (Net Control Medical), and Paul - KB8VAS (Canton Red Cross)
Wade - WD8MIU, Bruce - KB8SAF, Rick - KC8MDZ & Charlie - KB8STV
Congratulations everyone for a job well done !
Dave - WD8AYE
2000 Public Service Report
Saturday & Sunday June 24,25, members of the Massillon, Canton &
Alliance radio clubs provided communications for the MAPS Air Show 2000. MAPS
stands for the Military Air Preservation Society, a group dedicated to the
restoration of vintage military aircraft.
County ARES was busy the afternoon of Friday, July 14th as very severe
thunderstorms passed through the area. A tornado warning triggered the
activation of the Emergency Operations Center at approximately 2:30 PM, with the
storm reaching intensity about 3:00 PM. The tornado warning was issued at 3:02
PM as the storm began to spew dime to nickel to quarter size hail throughout the
area. Several areas reported power outages as well during the storm.
Dave - WD8AYE Stark County Emergency Coordinator
CARC Assists in Chlorine Leak
October 1st at 4:00 AM .... Members of the Canton Amateur Radio Club and
Stark County ARES were quickly called into service during the pre-dawn hours of
Sunday morning to assist the Canton Chapter of the American Red Cross as an
evacuation shelter was established in the wake of a chlorine gas leak from the
City of Canton main Water Treatment Plant on Harrisburg Road.
An annual event sponsored in part by the Brewster United Methodist Church, this years walk was again a collaboration of over 11 area churches. CROP began in 1947 under the wing of Church World Service and was initially known as Christian Rural Overseas Program, with a mission to help Midwest farm families share their grain during post World War II Europe & Asia. Since then it is the name given to community, interfaith hunger education and fundraising events sponsored by Church World Service.
This years walk took place from Navarre into Massillon along the beautiful fall setting of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Because the event continues to increase in both size and complexity, event sponsor Pastor Merlin Kerstetter of Brewster United Methodist Church again asked the club to provide assistance for this years event. EComm 1, the club's emergency communications trailer was positioned at John Glenn Cove park about midway along the route to act as our net control station with additional operators at registration, along the route and with a small church shuttle bus that was used to pick up crop walkers and run them back to the church. Because the walkers had to cross over a busy side road along the walk route, we used Amateur Television to provide a live video feed back to the EComm trailer to monitor car traffic flow and walker safety. Several club members walked the trail to monitor crop walkers and also brought bicycles to ride the route.
Over 150 walkers participated in this event and we are glad to report a safe and enjoyable event for everyone. A special thanks to the following MARC members for assisting with this years event. They were Terry - N8ATZ, Don - W8DEA, Perry - W8AU, Bruce - AB8FB, Linda - K8MOO, Don - W8DEF, Ed - WA8DRT, Jim - WA8GXM and Charlie - KB8STV.
Check out some pictures taken during this years CROP Walk on our Photo Album page. If you would like to learn more about CROP Walk, check out their website at http://www.churchworldservice.org/crop.html
On Saturday, November 17th members of the Massillon Amateur Radio Club participated in the 47th annual Massillon Holiday Parade continuing a tradition that is almost as long. This years parade was over 120 units in size making it the largest and most complex parade to date. Sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association, our responsibilities included safety communications as well as parade line up & coordination of the TV production.
With the increased size of the parade this year, organizing the parade line up has become one of our most important responsibilities as well as assisting with Marshalling duties during the parade. Twenty-one volunteers participated in this years parade, our largest volunteer group ever and thanks to their help we are glad to report that Santa Claus has officially arrived in town !
As in previous years the club has had the honor of showing off our ECOMM 1 trailer in the parade. Modestly decorated to fit the seasonal theme of the parade, it is always heartwarming to see the great response from the citizens of Massillon as we made our way through town. Staffed by club member Mary Marang - KA8KJW and candy bearers Greg Ballinger, Adam Robinson, Chris Gardner and Kyle Finley, the trailer made a fine addition to this years parade.
Communications Coordinator Perry Ballinger - W8AU wants to thank the following club members for their service during this years parade. Assisting with assembly were Saundy - N8TZB and Byron - KF8UN. The Trailer Crew was Jim - WA8GXM, Terry - N8ATZ and Mary - KA8KJW. WHS TV Production liaison Jason - KC8LIN. Assembly and Parade Marshal Duties were Don - W8DEF, Linda - K8MOO, Les - K8CP, Don - W8DEA, Dan - N8DZM, Bob - N8KXO, Rick - K8RLW, Jack - N8LCS, Charlie - KB8STV, Gene - W8KXR, Rick - KC8LYG, Sam - WA8YGR, and Dennis - K1FFA. Club member Joe Herrick - WD8BGW was also in attendance fulfilling his primary role as a member of the Massillon Police Department. A special thanks to everyone for helping out especially our newest volunteers !
The 2004 Public Service Report
THE STARK COUNTY ARES
Stark County ARES has for the past 25 years been under the leadership of Emergency Coordinator David Beltz - WD8AYE. During that time Dave has worked toward the completion of three goals. One, to establish and maintain a team of highly skilled and dedicated radio operators ready to assist our local community. Two, to provide Stark County amateurs with a full-featured, reliable wide area coverage ARES repeater and three, to provide an information link to both amateurs and the community. As part of that effort, each year we hope to provide an annual report detailing the activity of the Stark County ARES. This years report begins below.
Public Service takes on many roles here in Stark County. All year long amateurs are involved in various public service efforts nearly every day. From assisting stranded motorists make an autopatch call, to giving directions to out of town guests to our community, it would be nearly impossible to detail everything that area hams do to help our community. Attendance at club meetings, assisting with Safety Breaks, net participation, Skywarn Spotters and Red Cross involvement are but a few of the many ways our area hams are helping every day. If we were to total-up all the hours spent in service to these areas, we could easily reach thousands of hours of volunteer time each year.
During 2004 the Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Service provided 646 hours of Community Service. This remarkable achievement was again made possible thanks to the total dedication of our ARES volunteers. People who made the commitment to serve their community in a way that no other volunteer organization can achieve.
This impressive record was achieved thanks to two major accomplishments. First we provided support communications for nine (9) major public service events that collectively totaled 530 volunteer hours. This represents an increase of just over 13% from 2003.
Second was our outstanding effort during the summer flooding that devastated our community. For the third year in a row, Stark ARES was called upon to provide critical emergency communications during this natural disaster. We supported both response and relief efforts for the American Red Cross during the three days' following the torrential rains that caused severe area flooding and forced the evacuation of dozens of families from their homes. Our volunteers then assisted with the damage assessment that followed this emergency. This response was under operation of both Central Stark Red Cross and the Stark County Emergency Management Agency. This effort alone accounted for over 100 volunteer hours.
During 2004 we again experienced small increase in local public service participation, the third increase in three years. Our total volunteer time for the year was 636 hours which adds up to over $ 16,000 that our community received in services throughout the year at no cost to our community ! Never let it be said that Stark County ARES is not involved.
2004 also continued our Mutual Aid cooperation with both Summit and Carroll Counties. This multi-county effort provided much needed assistance and provided additional training opportunities for several events. This alliance also demonstrated to area public safety forces that we can work together during emergencies, a key component in Homeland Security initiatives.
Remember to that ARES is more than just random individuals who join together to help out when needed. We are currently over 45 members strong - a team of highly skilled communicators who regularly sacrifice their evenings and weekends in order to provide community assistance. During 2004, sixty-four (64) amateurs were involved in various public service activities. During the Stark County Flood disaster last summer, thirteen (13) amateurs put their lives on hold during the three day effort to assist Federal, State and Local Agencies.
The table below lists our community efforts for 2004 and the total volunteer hours.
The 2004 Public Service Event List
Each year we also recognize those ARES members whose outstanding volunteer spirit continues to carry on the proud tradition of Community Service. Please join me in recognizing the following Top Ten Amateurs for exemplary service during 2004.
The Top Ten Volunteer List
As part of a Homeland Security initiative, nearly every Stark County hospital received a dual-band amateur radio transceiver and antenna system during the year. This was provided by the Department of Health & Human Services HRSA project which is intended to provide amateur radio equipment to every hospital in Ohio and beyond. This will greatly enhance our ability to provide communications between an emergency disaster site and area hospitals.
2004 also saw the establishment of a full amateur station at the newly formed Sandy Township Emergency Communications Office. Thanks largely to the efforts of ARES member Lori Miller - KC8ONY, this communications center is south of Canton and provides a solid base to conduct emergency operations in this area. With Lori appointed as its first Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, we are fortunate to have a highly skilled and dedicated amateur to handle this responsibility.
WHAT'S NEXT ?
Digital Messaging For ARES
One of our main objectives during 2005 working in conjunction with Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator John Chapman - WB8INY is the Winlink 2000 Communications Initiative.
Winlink 2000's primary mission is to provide both local and global digital communications for the benefit, safety and well-being of the user community, anywhere, anytime, anyplace.
It is part of a Nationwide digital system to enhance the communications capability of the ARES.
When completed the system will provide the rapid transfer of emergency traffic between both local and distant Sections, provide flexible access between Sections, be automated as much as possible and interface with commercial communications systems such as conventional telephones and the internet, while not relying on the internet to maintain communications links.
This is a large undertaking involving our existing radio communications systems with several future enhancements. John Chapman will soon appoint a State Coordinator who will then work with local county coordinators to begin building the system. The Stark County ARES has volunteered to coordinate efforts here in Stark County.
By years end we hope to have a fully operational Winlink 2000 communications system in place throughout all of Stark County. Our area hospitals, Red Cross Chapters, the Emergency Operations Center and many other locations will be part of this initiative as well as several portable units that can be field deployed to a disaster site.
More information will be presented to area clubs in the near future as this effort will require both the cooperation and participation of all area clubs.
Mere words will never adequately express our appreciation to the countless hours Stark County ARES volunteers commit to public service year after year. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in community service, you all deserve top honors.
2005 will be just as demanding on our time with the many scheduled public service events we assist with and whatever unforeseen emergencies that will call upon our unique skills.
Homeland Security has added a new responsibility and challenge to our readiness to respond when duty calls. ARRL President Jim Hayney has committed Amateur Radio assistance in support of this new responsibility and Stark County ARES is preparing to meet this new challenge. Continuing participation & training is essential if we are to keep our skill sharp. Skywarn Training Sessions, Red Cross Drills, Simulated Emergency Tests are all on the horizon for 2005.
The ARRL's new introductory level Emergency Communications courses are a great way to develop new skills. Disaster Training Classes offered by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency should also be considered. I hope you renew your commitment to the Stark County Amateur Radio Emergency Service program. We are all needed to maintain the high level of communications readiness expected by our local communities. I can only promise that there will be no rewards except the satisfaction received from knowing we have done our very best to assist our community and carry on the fine tradition of the Amateur Radio Service.
David Beltz - WD8AYE
Prepared by Terry Russ - N8ATZ
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|last reviewed/updated on 12/24/17|
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