OperationS: Working Group
The Operational Working Group designs the functional operating procedures directly relating to how efficiently 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.
Operational issues go beyond the development, testing, and maintenance of the physical infrastructure (the development and maintenance of hardware, software, portable and fixed emergency power installations, radios, digital equipment, antennas). OPERATIONS here refers to efficient radio operator procedures, net operations, efficient message handling operation, 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.
Join Our Fun Team
Team Lead: Jamuel, KM6HBO
- Hal, KK6NDF
- Jamuel, KM6HBO
- Rob, K6RJM
- Mike, KM6CXI
- 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 65, FS 71, FS 72, the EOC, and portable Go-Kart(s).
Ongoing Tasks in Progress
Develop and build a digital store and forward communications system at FS 71 and/or the EOC.
Develop a Shelter and Evacuation Center 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
- KARO-ECHO Net Script
- Net Operations and Procedures
- KARO/ECHO How to Work a Directed Net (for NCS)
- The Role of a Message Center and Message Center Manager
- 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
- A Jump-Kit Check-List with Extensive Discussion/Explanation
- Battery Emergency Power Operations
- EMcomm Operators Go-Kit (Jumpkit)
- Emergency Communications Field Operations Manual and Handbook (Karo-Echo) (Rev 04/2020)
- KARO-ECHO Disaster Communications Plan
- A List of Relevant HF, VHF, UHF SIMPLEX EmComm Frequencies in our area
Written Messaging: How To and Formats
- 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)
- Using ICS-213 Form Made Simple
- ICS-213 (pdf) (fillable PDF) (Word)
- ICS-213 Fillable. docx
- ICS-309 KE-ARES Fillable Log Form (MS Word)
- 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
- The KARO-ECHO HYBRID/MODIFIED ARES/RACES MESSAGE FORM in MS Word format
- The KARO-ECHO HYBRID/MODIFIED ARES/ICS 213 message form in Adobe PDF
- 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)
A nice portable Go-Kit by Benicia Amateur Radio Club (youtube video -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BrHsMfEZT4
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
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 (excellent in all regards. Well thought out! Thanks to Rod, W6ROD!