ARRL East Bay Section

Archive for August, 2009

HAM TV Website Announcement

Posted by af6aq on 24th August 2009

There’s now a Amateur Radio streaming video site on the web (

Ham Radio TV Events, Communication & Electronics History Webcast With High Speed Internet And Windows Media Player is located at . Providing a dedicated high performance server with plenty of bandwith to the amateur radio community free of charge.

If your amateur radio club or organization or equipment manufacture has amateur radio related digital video to donate, please send a link for downloading to Robert Koch, with the subject line “consideration to be webcast”.

Formats accepted are in english 320 X 240 Windows Media, FLASH, MOV, Mpeg 1, Mpeg 2, and Real Video. at 500 Kbps. or Greater for conversion.

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East Bay SEC Update

Posted by af6aq on 17th August 2009

First let me thank you for your continued volunteer service in support of Emergency Communications. Your commitment and dedication is truly appreciated and has helped to make the communities within our section better prepared for any contingency.

As I am sure you are now aware I have been appointed the new Section Emergency Coordinator for the ARRL East Bay Section and I am sure you are wondering what I bring to the table. In a nutshell, I have a B.A. in Economics and Law form CSU Bakersfield, a Certificate in Emergency Management from Washington University, and have completed ICS 100-400, 700, 800…and a sprinkling of other EMI courses. I most recently served as the Emergency Coordinator – Training, for the Contra Costa County ARES®/ RACES program, and am a Lead Instructor and Incident Commander for the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District CERT program. I am currently working toward completion of the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) credential.

My interest in Emergency Management began 20 years ago while working on the disaster response team of an international insurance company. I was on the ground shortly after the eye of Andrew destroyed south Florida and worked in the field in hardest hit areas around Homestead up through Kendall. I worked the Northridge Quake, along with a handful of severe summer storm events, some with hail the size of softballs. Fast forward to 2005, while watching hurricane Katrina on television, I made a conscious commitment to be better prepared and do what I could to protect myself and family from becoming disaster victims. My first step was to resupply the EQ kit I have kept ever since Northridge. Second, I became a ham radio operator. From there it mushroomed….CERT, ARES®, RACES, ICS, etc….to the point we are at today. So with the bio out of the way, let me tell you a little about where I think we are headed with our ARES organization in the East Bay Section.<

The past few weeks have been an exciting time for the East Bay ARES® community as we are now being looked at nationwide as an example of what a Volunteer Emergency Communications Service can provide to communities and served agencies.

My recent appointment to Section Emergency Coordinator dovetailed nicely with being selected to speak at this year’s National Conference on Community Preparedness sponsored by DHS and FEMA in Washington D.C. The topic of my presentation was ARES® integration into CERT during disaster operations. The presentation was overwhelmingly received by attendees at the conference, and many requests for help were directed toward our CERT team and ARES®/RACES group so that we could help others establish a similar cooperative effort in their communities.  Here in the East Bay Section, ARES® is taking an elevated role in the eyes of many Emergency Management professionals because ARES also provides a national framework, and it has an extremely flexible tasking capability.

The National CERT Office is rolling out a new CERT communications module that will standardize CERT communications capability on a foundational level. They have indicated that they will be working closely with us on training and how to integrate resources such as we are working on here in the East Bay Section, and most notably in the San Ramon Valley. We have a unique and exciting opportunity to show the rest of the nation what a truly outstanding ARES® organization we have here in the East Bay Section.

As a requirement of the served agency, individual ARES® members may be required to take back ground checks in order to fulfill their duties within a served agency. Such a requirement is not precluded by the ARRL, and allows for ARES® members to become registered Disaster Service Workers should the served agency want them to be. Any such requirement will need to be included in the MOU between the served agency and the ARRL, but it supports the direction and vision that we need to embrace as California moves to implement their volunteer mutual aid program in the next few months.

Which brings us to the California State Disaster Corps, as the new SEC, I will be asking you for ideas, concerns, criticisms with solutions, and the vision to help develop a section wide mutual aid “framework” that will fit into the States new Disaster Corp. program. While in D.C., I met with two of the Governor’s directors from CEMA (California Emergency Management Agency, formerly Cal OES) and we discussed how Amateur Radio might fit into this new volunteer (and totally voluntary) mutual aid concept that will be rolled out Statewide in the next few months. ACS which is the EmComm lead for the communications aspect of the project will be adopting the ARRL’s emergency communications basic and advanced courses as the standard for training, and one component of the typing level for statewide EmComm operators. The ability to provide and receive mutual aid on a section level among our 4 districts is the stepping stone to the larger effort of full integration into CEMA’s vision of a statewide mutual aid capability for volunteer organizations. This mutual aid concept using volunteers has already been used in Orange County with their CERT program where CERT was integrated into the CALFIRE ICS during the firestorms of 2007 and 2008. CERT provided critical logistics support during both fires and some CERT volunteers with highly specialized mapping and GIS skills were used in high profile positions within the logistics and planning sections. As emergency communicators we offer specialized and sought after skills that could someday be needed by our professional partners similar to those offered by CERT. ARES®, as evidenced by the response to the presentation in D.C., and the many meetings I had with government officials in our section, is moving in the direction that it appears government wants to be going with regard to auxiliary communications support. As part of California‘s ACS framework, ARES® in the East Bay Section is well positioned to take advantage of its relationship with CERT, Medical Reserve Corps, and Fire Corps. Our goal as a section is to become the leader in regional auxiliary emergency communications.

These are exciting times for ARES® as we now, more than at anytime in the past have been provided with a unique opportunity, and at the behest of our professional partners, to step up and provide the needed and necessary communications support for not only local programs, but for state and federal as well. This is a journey we will all shape together, and I look forward to the road ahead.

In closing, I am currently putting the finishing touches on an ARES®: East Bay Section website. I have made all reporting forms electronic now, so you can just go to the website, and in less than a minute submit your monthly reports. You will also have at your disposal an Emergency Managers Dashboard to get the latest information on incidents nationwide, and eventually any ARESMAT requests. I will also be sending for your review our new Section Emergency Operations Plan. This plan will be SLG 101 compliant and will meet all federal guidelines for emergency preparedness planning. From this plan I would ask that each of you begin gathering the necessary information relevant to your District/County for inclusion as an Appendix to the Section plan. I will brief you more on this topic at a later date.

Once again, I look forward to serving as your new SEC, and am always available to discuss any issues concerning ARES® or EmComm within the Section.

Herbert Cole
Section Emergency Coordinator
East Bay
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio™
Home: 925-831-2910
Mobile: 415-533-5030

Posted in Emergency Communications, Field Organization, Section News | Comments Off on East Bay SEC Update

Call for Ham Volunteers – Sat Oct 24 Contra Costa Bike Event

Posted by af6aq on 14th August 2009

Please contact Mike Pompa, KP6MP, directly at if interested in supporting the following event:

The Cruella Challenge Century bicycling ride is asking for communications support on Saturday, October 24. The main route travels around Mt Diablo, going through Concord, Pleasant Hill, Lafayette, Orinda, the 3 bears, Berkeley, Oakland, Moraga, Alamo and Danville.

I’ve just agreed to coordinate communications, and I expect the jobs to be similar. Logistics will be simpler – only 2 routes. Start/finish will be at Oak Hill Park in Danville.

Looking for net control, SAG drivers, aid station comm and shadows. You know the story. If you can’t work the full day, but can do half, I’ll work it out.

This event is just 2 months away, so let me know ASAP.

Mike KB6MP

Posted in Club News, Public Service, Volunteer | Comments Off on Call for Ham Volunteers – Sat Oct 24 Contra Costa Bike Event

Get on the Air Class – Monday 17th August

Posted by af6aq on 13th August 2009

You got your ticket, now it’s time to have some fun!

Get on the Air

When:        Monday 17th August 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where:       Stardust Place, Alameda, CA 94501
Contact:     David Haycock,
Cost:          Free of course!


  HT Basics
The NARCC 2m band plan
Using repeaters
HT programming basics

This is a practical hands on class.   If you have an HT, bring it along (don’t forget to bring the manual too!).

Looking forward to seeing you then.

David, KI6AWR, Paul, KA6GEM

Posted in Club News, Education and Training, Section News | Comments Off on Get on the Air Class – Monday 17th August

National Preparedness Month

Posted by af6aq on 11th August 2009

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) and it is right around the corner. NPM is sponsored by FEMA’s Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Advertising Council and is designed to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities.

If you haven’t done so already, please register your organization to be a 2009 NPM Coalition Member.  To date, more than 1,600 organizations have committed to promote emergency preparedness during the month of September.  Once you register you will receive access to the NPM Web site where you can find a toolkit that includes templates, resources and tips to assist you with promoting emergency preparedness. You will also find an NPM calendar where you can post your events and see what other organizations are doing in your community.  

You can register to become a National Preparedness Month Coalition Member by visiting To learn more about NPM, visit and click on the NPM banner.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Ready Campaign at

Administrator Fugate Video Message

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate today released a Web video message highlighting the need for the public to be prepared for any emergency.

“Our entire emergency management team has a role to play when it comes to preparing for and responding to the next disaster,” said Administrator Fugate.  “One of the most important parts of that team is the public.  The more prepared the public is now, by getting an emergency response kit, making an emergency action plan, and getting a skill, like CPR, the stronger our emergency response team will be.”

The Administrator’s video can be found on the following websites:

Tips on how to be prepared, including how to make an emergency plan, and what should be in an emergency response kit, can be found at


Ready Campaign . U.S. Department of Homeland Security . Washington, DC 20528 . 202-282-8000

Posted in Press Release, Public Service | Comments Off on National Preparedness Month