KaroEcho Western Hemisphere Operations Center HQ Alpha
OperationS: Working Group
The Operational Working Group designs the functional operating procedures directly relating to principles of efficient flow regarding net operations, portable operations, mobile operations, and message handling operations.
For example OPERATIONS governs how messages are encoded and flow across the KARO-ECHO network. It designs methodologies to handle emergency communications needs of the Kensington/El Cerrito Community when conventional communications services are rendered inoperable and/or overloaded.
OPERATIONS here refers to efficient radio operator procedures, net operations, efficient message handling operation, and best practices, as well as establishing the goals of the training unit (training in the use of batteries, solar back up, the use of automobile charging systems, portable operations, mobile operations, message centers, message formatting, net procedures, and the like). The Operational Working Group should identify and recommend technical improvements and needs including the integration of needed digital communication development for KARO-ECHO. The defacto lead is the KaroEcho EC or his/her appointee.
Join Our Fun Team
Team Lead: Howdy, KE6BEE
More volunteers are needed
Portable Go-Kart equipped on wheels with 50 watt dual-band radio, dual-band gain antenna, 105 AH AGM deep cycle battery, and GMRS radio, antenna, and mast. (Completed May 2019)
Flow Chart from Area ICPs to EOC via ham radio (task completed 3/2018)
Flow Chart from Intra-area FRS stations to the Area ICP (FRS/GMRS) (task completed 3/2018)
Inter-area Flow Chart from Area ICPs to other Area ICPs (facilitates mutual aid such as nurses, doctors, medicine, water, food, personnel, tools, batteries, water, etc.) Facilitated by Ham Radio and/or GMRS. To sum up, the intra-area communication to be provided by FRS and aided by GMRS who can relay to the area ICP. The area ICPs communicate to and from EOC and Fire stations by Ham radio. Inter-Area communications by ham radio by ham radio or GMRS. (task completed 03/2018)
Produce and maintain a one page FRS/GMRS Operations and procedures page. (Completed 04/2018)
Protocols and Procedures: Net control duties and procedures, (task completed, 12/2017)
Develop and practice message handling procedures such as the use of phonetics, pro-signs, obtaining fills, good operating procedures), written message handling, relaying, message center operations and procedures, etc. See Field Operations Handbook (Made Available to All Members)
Develop and install a 3 ring binder containing pencils, erasers, blank paper, forms ICS 213, ICS 209, ICS 214, Simplex frequency list, radio operating manuals, maintenance logs, Net Control log, phonetic alphabet, and the Field Operations Handbook at each Operations Center(Tassajara Park, Harding Park, Hilltop School, the Kensington Community Center, FS 55, FS 51, FS 52, the EOC, and portable Go-Kart(s).
Establish bi-annual Simulated Emergency Tests (SETs) in the SPring and Summer to test readiness and improve best practices skills.
Ongoing Tasks in Progress
Develop and build a digital store and forward communications system at remote sites, and/or at FS 51 or the EOC. (partially completed)
Develop a Shelter, Evacuation Center, and Reunification Health and Welfare message center plan
Develop a parallel GMRS to interoperability message center operational plan at each Communications Hub to interface with our ARS networks
Run a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) at minimum twice a year to test portable message handling and emergency power capabilities.
Develop and run mini-exercises on each Thursday night training nets
Develop and run the training part at the monthly KaroEcho Monday meetings
Update the KaroEcho Disaster Plan
Install additional rooftop dual-band VHF/UHF antennas at Neighborhood Hubs such as park clubhouses that integrate GMRS/Ham portals.
Establish a formal written Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with El Cerrito Fire Department
NET CONTROL OPERATIONS
Fundamentals of Net Control (based on lessons learned since the 2018 SET (by KM6UCF, KE6BEE, and NI6A)
KARO-ECHO Training GUIDE BASED ON THE FOUR LEVELS of SKILL (Short Form)
KARO-ECHO TRAINING GUIDE BASED ON THE FOUR LEVELS OF SKILL (Long Detailed Form)
KARO ECHO Go Kit / Checklist Recommendations. This Go-Kit is based on the above four types of deployment (Level A, Advanced B, Extra C, and MAT Qualified).
KARO/ECHO Simplified three page Jump Kit (Go-Kit) Check-List
Emergency Communications Field Operations Manual and Handbook (Karo-Echo) (Rev 04/2020)
A List of Relevant HF, VHF, UHF SIMPLEX EmComm Frequencies in our area
Written Messaging: How To and Formats
The Role of a Neighborhood District Radio Communications Coordinator (DRCC)
Formal Written Traffic versus Point to Point Verbal Tactical Comms: When to write it down and when not to
Definitions of ARES Message Precedence Designators (Emergency, Priority, Welfare, and Routine)
Comparing ICS-213 Message Form with the ARRL/ARES Message Form (a very short critique)
The KARO-ECHO HYBRID/MODIFIED 213/ARES/RACES MESSAGE FORM in MS Word format
The KARO-ECHO HYBRID/MODIFIED ARES/ICS 213 message form in Adobe PDF (fillible)
Using ICS-213 Form Made Simple (This is the standard ICS form)
ICS-213 (pdf) (fillable PDF) (Word) (This is the standard ICS form)
ICS-213 Fillable. docx (This is the standard ICS form)
A Breakdown of the Standard ARRL/ARES Message Form Made Easy
A Short Example Why We Use the ARES/ICS Modified Message Form
The FOUR Times of the KAROECHO Modified form 213 and a succinct clarification on the use of the word count/check
Radio Relay International Message Form (Fillable and compatible with KaroEcho Format)
Obtaining Fills efficiently in Message Handling (short easy to understand primer)
A Breakdown of the Elements of the ARRL/ARES Standard Message Form Made Simple for Dummies!
Message Handling Best Practices (Very detailed/Advanced)
Using Q signals and Handling Instructions (the HX field in the ARES preamble message form)
FEMA Presentation on How to Utilize Ham Radio During Disasters: Strong Content (March 30, 2021
A nice portable Go-Kit by Benicia Amateur Radio Club (youtube video -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BrHsMfEZT4
A very simple and compact dual band go-kit; but well thought out and complete for 8 hours plus.
ARES (ARRL) Manual http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Public%20Service/ARES/ARESmanual2015.pdf
ARES Field Resource Manual http://www.arrl.org/files/file/ARES_FR_Manual.pdf
ARES Emergency Coordinators Manual (EC Manual) https://www.arrl.org/files/file/Public Service/ECMANUAL.PDF
Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale [https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/mercalli.php ]
Palo Alto amateur Radio Assn. on Choosing a Suitable Battery Based on Characteristics
The IARU EmComm Guidebook -- Very excellent in all regards. Well thought out! The GOLD STANDARD! Thanks to Rod, W6ROD!
Basic Training: An Excellent Beginner's Video for Emergency Net Operations by the Marin Amateur Radio Society