Training

Training

If you are the first to arrive on the Echo-Karo net frequency (146.415 MHz), you are the Net Control Station (NCS) until relieved by a more trained and experienced NCS or the Lead Emergency Coordinator. When signs of disaster strike check in to 146.415 MHz and wait for assignment.

Training should be in accordance with our mission statement and best operating practices. First we focus upon the mission, then the operations plan and procedures, and then we then train in refining our skills and abilities. Trainings are best conducted on the air and should be designed by the training facilitator. Before on the air exercises, table-top exercises are useful and should be designed by the Lead Teacher.

FRS/GMRS training should be done adjacent to KARO-ECHO, but not inside of it, simply because FRS/GMRS is a specialized need within CERT, while KARO-ECHO must remain focused on our amateur radio effectiveness. The Karo-Echo Lead Teacher may provide radio operator practice and net procedure guidance and classes, as requested by the CERT coordinator.

Training Work Group Leader duties shall include but shall no be limited to designing and facilitating practice material, table-top practices, on the air drills, and providing individual counseling when needed.

Training Work Group Lead Teacher ________________ Training Work Group Members _____________________

Areas of Training:

Message handling procedures and formats (tactical versus formal/written)

Net Operation and procedures

Net Control Duties and Procedures utilizing a Controlled or directed net

Use of efficient portable operations (emergency/portable power, portable antennas, useful connectors/adapters such as Anderson power connectors, and an emergency Go kit

Use of Prowords, phonetics, and common acronyms (avoiding jargon when possible)

Use of Tactical Callsigns/Designators

Mutual Aid Go Teams and inter-operability

Use of Health and Welfare Traffic

Each Member Should obtain and Maintain an Up-to-date KARO-ECHO Operations Manual

Glossary:

AEC: Assistant Emergency Coordinator. See EC for more.

CERT: Community Emergency Response Team. There are 11 designated areas in El Cerrito and 6 in Kensington, for a total of 17 CERT Areas. See EC CERT map: http://el-cerrito.org/DocumentCenter/View/3358

Directed Net: The Net Control Station (NCS) is in charge of the operation. For routine or priority traffic say break. For emergency traffic say: “break break”. The NCS will say: “station go ahead”. Then identify yourself and list your traffic. The NCS will then give further procedural instructions. For emergency traffic it is best to say, “EMERGENCY” and then the NCS will recognize you. Use “break” for routine traffic and say, “PRIORITY{, for priority traffic.

Duplex: Operation where the transmit frequency differs from the receive frequency. Duplex operation is commonly used in repeater operation as well as in cross band operation.

Simplex: Direct communications where the transmit and receive frequencies are the same.

EC: Emergency Coordinator who is appointed y the executive board. The EC appoints assistants (AECs)

Elmer: Ham radio slang for mentor

EOC: Abbreviation Emergency Operations Center located across from main El Cerrito FD in the Public Safety Building. Each city and county have their own EOCs.

ERP: Effective Radiated Power. Usually calculated by RF output in watts times the gain of the antenna over a theoretical dipole (dBd). EIRP is the effective radiated power using a theoretical isopole (dBi), which is theoretically 2.5 db less efficient than dBd. Examples: 5 watts RF output using a dipole antenna would equal 5 Watts ERP. Using 5 watts RF output a 3 dBd gain antenna, the ERP would be 10 watts.

FRS: Family Radio Service limited to .5 watts on channels 8-15, and 2 watts on ch.1 – 7 and 2 watts on Ch. 16-22. External antennas are not allowed. FRS works well for short distance radio communications within buildings and blocks (line of sight) dpending upon terrain. https://www.fcc.gov/general/family-radio-service-frs

GMRS: General Mobile Radio Service uses channels from around 462 MHz to 467 MHz. The most common use of GMRS channels are for short to medium distance two-way communications using hand-held radios similar to walkie-talkies, base stations, and repeaters. A small base station is one that has an option of an outside antenna and can transmits with no more than 5 watts on channels 1-7, .5 Watts on channels 8-15, and 50 watts on the rest of the GMRS frequencies ( Ch. 16-22) https://www.fcc.gov/general/general-mobile-radio-service-gmrs

OLD FRS/GMRS Channel nomenclature: Please note that the channel designators for GMRS and FRS changed as of September 1, 2017 For example: channel 7 FRS is the old GMRS channel 15 but the frequency is the same 462.7125 MHz. This information may be useful to avoid confusion for those who have older equipment. In the new radios Channels will be designated 1-22 in both FRS and GMRS services.

GMRS and FRS Dual Service Radios:

Many manufacturers have in the past received FCC type approval to market radios that are certified for use in both GMRS and FRS (called dual service radios). Others market FRS only or GMRS only radios.

Radios marketed as "FRS/GMRS" or "dual-service radios" are available from many manufacturers and many retail or discount stores. The manual that comes with the radio, or the label placed on it by the manufacturer, should indicate the service the radio is certified for. If you cannot determine what service the radio may be used in, contact the manufacturer. If you operate a radio under the GMRS rules, you must have a GMRS license. GMRS radios generally transmit at higher power levels. In GMRS 5 watts is typical on channels 1-7, .5 watts on ch. 8-15, and 50 watts on the other GMRS channels). GMRS only radios may have detachable antennas as compared to FRS radios with non-detachable antennas. Hence, GMRS will increase the range of your communications considerably.

Since, November 2017, dual service radios have been discontinued in the US due to new FCC rues mandating radios to be either FRS only or GMRS only. FRS operation does not require an FCC license, if you operate a radio that has been approved for FRS and restrict operations exclusively to the FRS channels with a maximum power of 2 watts effective radiated power (ERP) and with an integral (non-detachable) antenna. In both FRS and GMRS Channels 8-14 are restricted to .5 watt (1/2 watt)

GMRS radios can operate at 5 watts on channels 1-7, 50 watts on channels 15-22, utilize external antennas, and repeater operations.

Ham: A FCC licensed amateur radio operator capable of high power, thousands of channels, and long distance communications.

IC: Incident Commander. Person in charge of the overall operation

ICP: Incident Command Post (Please designate what CERT Area ICP that one is contacting; e.g., areas may have individual ICPs as well as blocks. Please use tactical designators.

ICS: Incident Command System. Used for interoperability to integrate diverse disaster services agencies under a single command (Incident Commander – IC).

KHz: Kilohertz. An frequency abbreviation for one thousand Hertz (cycles per second).

Logistics Net: A net dealing with the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of material, facilities, staffing, and scheduling personnel during a disaster.

MHz: Abbreviation for Megahertz a frequency measurement equal to one million Hertz (cycles per second).

NCS: Net Control Station

OES: Office of Emergency Services often located at the State and county EOCs

Offset: Used by repeaters to demarcate the transmit offset frequency which is either up or down from the receive frequency. Generally the offsets for 2m operation are + or - 600 Hz. For UHF (70cm) the offset is generally + 5 MHz.

PL Tone: Acronym for Private Line. These are sub-audible tones sent on transmit used to access/activate repeaters

Precedences

EMERGENCY—Any message having life and death urgency to any person or group of persons, that is transmitted by Amateur Radio in the absence of regular commercial facilities. This includes official messages of welfare agencies during emergencies requesting supplies, materials or instructions vital to relief efforts for the stricken populace in emergency areas. On CW and digital modes, this designation will always be spelled out. When in doubt, do not use this designation.

PRIORITY—Abbreviated as P on CW and digital modes. This classification is for important messages having a specific time limit, official messages not covered in the emergency category, press dispatches and emergency-related traffic not of the utmost urgency.

WELFARE—Abbreviated as W on CW and digital modes. This classification refers to an inquiry about the health and welfare of an individual in the disaster area, or to an advisory from the disaster area that indicates all is well. Welfare traffic is handled only after all Emergency and Priority traffic is cleared. The American Red Cross equivalent to an incoming Welfare message is DWI (Disaster Welfare Inquiry).

ROUTINE— Abbreviated as R on CW and digital modes. Most traffic in normal times will bear this designation. In disaster situations, traffic labeled Routine should be handled last, or not at all when circuits are busy with higher-precedence traffic.

SAR: Search and Rescue

SET: Simulated Emergency Test

Resource Net: For larger-scale incidents, a Resource Net is used to recruit operators and equipment in support of operations on the Tactical Nets. As an incident requires more operators or equipment, the Resource Net evolves as a check-in place for volunteers to register and receive assignments. Also used to track personnel back and forth safely to and from assignments.

Resource Nets may be combined within and under Logistics (a Logistic Net) unless traffic becomes too heavy. In case of heavy traffic, a new frequency and net control station should be established for an independent Resource Net apart from the Logistics Net. Also see Tactical Net.

Tactical Net: The Tactical Net is the front line net employed during an incident, usually used by a single government or related disaster services agency to handle emergency traffic within their jurisdiction. There may be several tactical nets in operation for a single incident depending on the volume of traffic and number of agencies involved. Communications include traffic handling (written and point to point) and if time permits resource recruiting.

Command Net: As the size of an incident increases and more jurisdictions become involved in the incident, a Command Net may become necessary. This net allows the incident managers to communicate with each other to resolve inter- or intra-agency problems, particularly between cities or within larger jurisdictional areas. It is conceivable that this net could become cluttered with a high volume of traffic. It may also be necessary to create multiple command nets to promote efficiency. For KaroEcho purposes a command net will involve strategic planning and coordination between the EC, AEC, Net Control Stations (NCS), staff, and supervisory personnel.

Triage areas: Locations used to evaluate medial casualties and/or to perform temporary emergency medical treatment if required.

Mentoring (Elmer) Services

KARO/ECHO offers mentoring services to new hams. Common subjects are, but not limited to, radio selection, radio programming, repeater operation, antenna selection and installation, mobile and portable operations, emergency power, and similar. Please feel free to email info@karoecho.net

Both individual instruction and group classes can be arranged. The Elmering Workgroup currently consist of K6FAC (Frank), (K6RJM (Rob), and NI6A (Don). More volunteers are welcome.

Future topics will be emergency power, portable, fixed, and mobile antennas, digital communications, message handling, and best operting practices, and advanced topics. See the KaroEcho Events page for the current curriculum

Training Material

The Critique: Lessons Learned on the September 30, 2018 SET

KaroEcho Sept 30, 2018 SET Broadsheet. Detailed SET Info Sheet Here -- Held in parallel with the KE CERT 2018 Drill

The Role of a Message Center and Message Center Manager

Primer for New Licensed Hams in El Cerrito/Kensington: Getting Started

Recommended Base, Portable, and Mobile Dual Band Antennas for Newbies

Primer on the Pros and Cons of Handheld, Mobile, Portable, and/or Fixed Station Operations

Disaster Communications Primer for El Cerrito/Kensington CERT Trainees

KARO/ECHO Training Goals (Four Progressive levels. This is the Extensive Detailed Long Form)

KARO/ECHO Training Goals (Four Progressive levels) This is the short version in outline form that corresponds to the four types of progressive go-kit/jump-kit Training is based on the four types of deployment (Level A, Advanced B, Extra C, and MAT Qualified).

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

Back-Up Emergency Power Systems for EmComms

The ABCs of Battery Power

Palo Alto Amateur Radio Assn. Presents "All You Ever Wanted to Know about Batteries"

The Battery University: Solid Information on how to take care of any battery

Emergency Communications Field Operations Manual and Handbook (Karo-Echo) (Rev 4/2018)

Karo-Echo Communications Plan

Net Operations Best Procedures

KARO/ECHO Training Manual on How to Work a Directed Net

A List of Relevant HF, VHF, UHF SIMPLEX EmComm Frequencies in our area

WRITTEN MESSAGE HANDLING

Definitions of ARES Message Precedence Designators (Emergency, Priority, Welfare, and Routine)

Message Handling Best Practices (Advanced -- See Chapter 8 of the KARO-ECHO Field Operations Handbook)

Formal Written Traffic versus Point to Point Verbal Tactical Comms: When to write it down and when not to

Using ICS-213 Form Made Simple

ICS-213 (pdf) (fillable PDF) (Word)

ICS-213 Fillable. docx

Comparing ICS-213 Message Form with the ARRL Message Form (a very short critique by NI6A)

A Breakdown of the Standard ARRL/ARES Message Form Made Easy

A Short Example Why We Use the ARES/ICS Modified Message Form

The KARO-ECHO HYBRID ARES/RACES MESSAGE FORM in MS Word format

The KARO-ECHO Hybrid ARES/ICS Message form (as above) but as an Adobe PDF

The Radio Relay International Message Form (Coincidentally identical with the KaroEcho form) FILLABLE

Obtaining Fills efficiently in Message Handling (short easy to understand primer)