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Erie County Participates in PA. ARES Disaster Simulation

October 6, 2013

The Pennsylvania statewide ARES simulated disaster drill was held yesterday, on Saturday, Oct. 5. Erie County ARES participated heavily in this drill, as we usually do, with a scenario of a large and devastating tornado being utilized. A voice net was run on the 146.61, 146.82 and 146.70 linked repeaters from the county 911 center. All of the county’s EOC’s and emergency response teams were activated, and teams were deployed to their designated locations, including North East, West County, Hamot Hospital, ;St. Vincent’s Hospital, and ERIE VA teams. Digital traffic was also passed between the various locations, both on 146.58 simplex and on the linked repeaters. We also participated in the Western PA section ARES HF voice, HF digital, and D-star nets.

This drill was one of the most successful we have had in quite some time. The check in number was high, and a number of the participants were hams that were recently licensed, which gave us extra credit in the exercise. The net was organized and efficient, and the digital traffic passed beautifully. Erie county is often recognized as one of the better participants in these drills, and I think we held to that standard on Saturday.

I was the back up Net Control Station assigned early in the net. Our net control then backed out around 45 minutes in, and left me at the helm to give me practice with handling an organized net. I did so quite well, and got well over an hour of net control time. I was told several times that I did very well as NCS, and I certainly hope that is true.

Erie County ARES is a terrific organization, and I am honored to help serve the Erie area. To those hams and scanner listeners among us here, please remember that we hold a weekly emergency training and informational net for the county each Sunday at 9:00 PM local (21:00 hours.) This net is on the linked repeaters of 146.61 in Erie, 146.82 in Waterford, and 146.70 in Union City. All can feel free to check in, and scanner listeners are encouraged to listen and learn. And, of course, if an emergency threatens or occurs in the county, such as a natural or man-made disaster or a severe weather event, listen to these repeaters to hear hams in action to assist. We are amateur radio, and amateur radio pulls through in emergencies!

If you don’t have a radio, you can listen on the W3GV live scanner feed on Broadcastify.

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