From WA2CCN, Wayne Cty EC

Dear Fellow Ham Radio Operators,As an FCC Licensed Amateur Radio Operator I’m sure that you are very much aware of the Public Service activities of Ham Radio Operators during times of emergencies or when disasters occur.  The role of Ham Radio in providing auxiliary communications capabilities to various groups or agencies like local, regional, and national governmental bodies, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Hospitals, etc. during times of need are well known… think of “9/11”, Sandy and other hurricanes – – – and even international disasters such as the tragedy in Puerto Rico.  As licensed Ham Radio Operators, it’s what we do, and the FCC and FEMA have recognized this.The FCC’s Rules and Regulations, Part 97, begins with “Part 97.1, Basis and Purpose” – – -The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles: (a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications. In other words, the single most significant justification for the very existence of the Amateur Radio Service is the role of ham radio as a provider and resource of emergency communications capabilities!  There is tremendous commercial and government competition for the radio spectrum, which is a finite resource – – – and there has got to be some powerful justification for dedicating portions of that valuable spectrum to ham radio operators. With this in mind, it is incumbent upon ALL licensed ham radio operators to voluntarily register to help out in any way they can in case of emergency or disaster situations – – – again, it’s what we do!  One way that you can do this is registering as a member of the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) organization.  ARES membership is open to all licensed Amateur Radio Operators, regardless of license class.  What does “registering as an ARES member” mean?  All it means is that ARES can count on you to help out – in any way that you can – be it personal participation, availability of equipment, whatever, in case of emergencies/disasters, and only IF YOU ARE AVAILABLE TO DO SO.  That’s it!  No requirements for any actions on your part – – – just basic preparedness. Beyond that basic registration, your VALUE to ARES obviously depends on your level of training and experience.  Those with the highest level of training and the most experience might be assigned to leadership roles, traffic handlers, relay stations, on-site liaison, etc., in case of emergencies/disasters.  Others with lesser degrees of training/experience might be assigned to more general activities and support roles. It is the purpose of the ARES of Wayne County, PA (WC-ARES) to provide opportunities for it’s members to participate in training activities (training nets, simulated emergencies, etc.) and gain much needed experience in traffic handling and how to handle emergency communications – e.g., on site, at a Control Station, of even from a home station as a relay. As the EC (ARES Emergency Coordinator) for Wayne County, my role is to act as an “organizer” and “coordinator”, not a “boss” or “manager” or “supervisor” in any way.  I have no authority to require that anybody do anything.  ARES is strictly a volunteer activity, and members are free to participate at any level they want.  However, it IS my job to encourage participation in training and activities that will provide members with the experience necessary to be valuable assets in case of emergency/disaster situations. Having said all this, the bottom line is that I am asking each of you to please consider registering as a WC-ARES member.  To do so, just fill out the online ARES Registration Form and then click “SUBMIT”. Many of you may have already registered as ARES members – – – but, since this is a “fresh start” to WC-ARES, I ask that those of you who had registered before to please re-register again.  Actually, ARES members are supposed to be doing re-registration on an annual basis anyway as your station, frequencies/modes of operation, contact info, etc. may have changed since your last registration.  Also, if you’re not currently active on-the-air, or don’t have equipment, please just register anyway!  Any level of help would be appreciated in an emergency or disaster situation! The current plan is to hold weekly ARES nets for training on traffic handling (using the ARRL’s National Traffic System, or “NTS” and Radio Relay Inc. guidelines).  If a ham can create, relay, receive/deliver messages using ARRL NTS Radiogram forms, that ham can handle any kind of message forms/procedures that any ARES Served Agency may require.  These nets are targeted to take place every Thursday evening at 8PM on the 146.715MHz Repeater (PL = 82.5 Hz), which is located on the 300’ tower at Tanglewood (Tafton – “Sholola Falls”).  ARES Members will be notified when the weekly nets kick-off.  WC-ARES quarterly meetings (Time/Dates/Location TBD) will focus on ARES policies and procedures. Note that ARES is NOT A CLUB!  It is strictly an organization focused on emergency communications capabilities and training.  There’s no “dues” or Club-type parliamentary meetings – – – just training and practice and accumulating experience in traffic handling and emergency/disaster preparedness.  However, those wishing to become involved with an Amateur Radio Club, please go to the Wayne County ARC Web Site at www.w3aro.org for more info. So, who am I ???  My name is Hank Grilk, WA2CCN, and I live in Lakeville – near the northwest corner of Lake Wallenpaupack.   I hold an Amateur Extra Class License and ARRL appointments as VE, TS, ORS, and OES, as well as ARES EC.  At this point I am very active in traffic handling at the EPA Section level (Eastern Pennsylvania Emergency Phone Traffic Net, Assistant Net Manager and Net Control Station) plus 3rd Region, and Eastern Area levels.  Yup, I’m old (!), retired, happily married for 52+ years, been licensed since the 50’s, and am an Engineer (Electronics & Mechanical) by trade.  Frankly, my personal objective is to get ARES of Wayne County up and rolling again to the point where we are capable of offering our services as an auxiliary or supplemental communications resource to various Served Agencies within Wayne County – – – then turn the EC role over to someone younger and with more energy that I have. Organizationally, ARES in the ARRL EPA Section is divided into 5 Districts… Wayne County is in District 3, along with Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike and Susquehanna Counties.  The current EPA Section Emergency Coordinator is W.T. Jones (WN3LIF), who is also the District 3 Emergency Coordinator and the EC for Luzerne County.  Here in Wayne County I’m the EC, and my Assistant EC is Lee Glassman (KC3LEE). These are exciting times for Amateur Radio in general, with new technologies popping up all the time, and we must all be diligent in improving our communicating skills, optimizing our capabilities with core technologies, while at the same time embracing new technologies and pioneering their usefulness in emergency/disaster situations.Any questions?  Please call me. 73, Hank – WA2CCN

Henry G. Grilk                          WA2CCN@ARRL.NET

91 Bear Paw Drive                    Home:  570-390-4215

Lakeville, PA  18438                Cell:     401-651-5670