Western Pennsylvania Section Emergency Response Plan


Amateur Radio Relay League




When using this plan it is important to remember:


  1. ARES goes into a disaster area only at the request of a served agency, qualified Public Safety Service or with a pre-arranged agreement with agencies requesting our services.


  2. It is not the responsibility, nor function of ARES to organize, direct or coordinate the activities of others. ARES is to provide reliable, coordinated, emergency Radio Communications for served agencies upon request.



  3. The Emergency Coordinator is responsible for ARES operations within his/her county as detailed herein: in the "Operating system" and the "Emergency Coordinators Handbook".


  4. The only Command Decisions made in any situation should be for your ARES group and not that of the agency that your are assisting.


Western Pennsylvania Section Emergency Response Plan







1. Purpose:


The Western Pennsylvania Emergency Response Plan (WPAERP) is a simple written system and guide to provide a uniform operating system within and among counties in Western PA. It is intended to be simple and flexible yet being able to provide for your local needs and support. If followed it will guide you as follows.


  1. WPAERP is designed to assure an orderly and efficient communications system for each county and for communications among counties and the state EOC and with other states if need arises.


  2. WPAERP provides section wide notification/activation system to involve our section wide resources should the need arise. This includes other ARES groups in your district, and in other districts plus the NTS system.


  3. WPAERP includes information to activate the WPA section ARES and NTS to set up whatever operations an emergency would require.


  4. WPAERP provides names, telephone numbers, pager numbers and E-mail addresses and fax numbers for key personnel to facilitate alerting and a phone list for major agencies in each county.


  5. WPAERP is an operating outline that, when used for interagency communications, allows every involved agency to keep abreast of what is occurring within their area.


  6. WPAERP may be supplemented with other ARRL publications but please do not deviate from the system established in the WPAERP.


  7. WPAERP is a system for both large and small-scale operations when emergencies arise. It is not intended to be complicated or specific. It is an operating system on which to base your local emergency plans. It provides a system for obtaining assistance to local areas and for communicating with other counties, the state EOC, and access to the National Traffic System (NTS).


2. Scope:


WPAERP is designed as an operating system for all levels of the Western Pennsylvania Section ARES. It gives specifics for notification of District and Section level officials plus County Emergency Coordinators and there assistant/s. County notifications systems for local ARES personnel should be devised by each Emergency Coordinator to meet their local needs.


3. Distribution:


WPAERP should be copied and distributed by DECís and ECís as required. Every Assistant Emergency Coordinator and key personnel plus the Red Cross Disaster Chairman of each Red Cross Chapter within the WPA Section and the EMA director of each county should have a copy. Copies will be made available to the National Weather Service offices covering the WPA Section; State EOC and to major served agencies.


4. Basis:


WPAERC is based on operating at the county level. ARES Emergency Coordinators (ECís) are appointed at the county level with each EC responsible for one county. For Administrative purposes groups of counties are grouped together to form districts. There are (5) ARES districts in Western Pennsylvania. (South 1) (South 2) (North 1) (North 2) and (Rapid Response Team). Each District has a District Emergency Coordinator (DEC). The responsibilities of the ECís and DECís during emergencies are listed in detail in the County Emergency Coordinators Guidelines (7-1) and the District Emergency Coordinator guidelines (6-1).


  1. Alerting:


  1. When an emergency arises the first knowledge of it is usually at the county level. The immediate response to an emergency is to call up the local ARES members and begin establishing communications. This may be accomplished by whatever system each EC has in place in their county. As soon as this is accomplished the EC should inform their DEC and/or SEC of the situation who will notify the WPA Section Manager that ARES resource has been deployed.


  2. Your DEC and SEC should be contacted by phone or pagers if possible. In the event of any disasters all Counties, the DEC and SEC should monitor 3.983 for updates and information if the local communications are out. For everyoneís assistance the WPASEC roster contains phone numbers, pagers, E-mail address, and Fax numbers and the "List Serve" to facilitate communicating with them when the need arises.


  3. In the event of any widespread communications emergency, every EC, DEC, and the SEC should have an HF station monitoring 3.983 MHz. / 7.272 MHz







Western Pennsylvania Section Emergency Response Plan


District Emergency Coordinator Guidelines


6. DEC Guidelines:


When an emergency exists within the Section or when the SEC, SM or another DEC begin wide area operations the following operations guide will be followed by the DECís.


  1. Each DEC should stay in their district and be ready and available to provide assistance, as requested by the SEC or SM or other DECís if the SEC is not available.


  2. No DEC should leave their district without the express consent of the SEC.


  3. DECís will be responsible for the following:


  1. When there is an emergency in their district each DEC is responsible:


    1. Determining which counties are directly involved.
    2. Notifying the SEC of the emergency and keeping the SEC updated.
    3. Determining which counties are likely to become involved if the emergency spreads.
    4. Finding out the needs of the involved county(s) both immediate and projected.
    5. Notifying the other ECís in the district if the emergency could spread or if assistance could be needed.
    6. Setting up the administrative net (3.983 MHz. / 7.272 MHz) for maintaining communications among affected counties, the PA EMA and other counties and districts as required.
    7. Obtain assistance for the affected area(s)
    1. From other district counties in their district.
    2. Request help from the SEC (to get assistance from other districts).
    1. Work with the SEC and other DECís to insure those operations includes all agencies, groups and government entities that are involved.


  1. When notified of an emergency in another WPA ARES district or another section:


    1. Be ready to assemble assistance from your counties if requested.
    2. Notify your ECís of the possible need to provide assistance to another area.
    3. Maintain communications with the SEC.


  1. Notify the SEC of any changes in your location or any additional means to communicate with you.


  1. Notify the SEC of any changes that would effect contacting you.


    1. Additional or different pager numbers
    2. Cell phone numbers
    3. Fax numbers
    4. Other frequencies being used in your district.


  1. When operations in your area are concluded be sure the following are accomplished prior to securing.


    1. Check with your ECís to make sure all ARES personnel are accounted for.
    2. Pass along our appreciation to all participants.
    3. Be sure all ECís are notified that operations have concluded.


  1. Collect reports from ECís in your district.


    1. Make recommendations for certificates.
    2. File a report with the SEC.




Western Pennsylvania Section Emergency Response Plan


Emergency Coordinator Guidelines


  1. EC Guidelines:


When an emergency exists within the Section or when the SEC, SM or DEC begin wide area operations the following operations guide will be followed by all ECís.


  1. Each EC should stay in their county and be ready and available to provide assistance, as requested by the DEC or SEC if the DEC is not available.


  2. No EC should leave their county without the express consent of the DEC or SEC.


  3. ECís will be responsible for the following:


A) When there is an emergency in their county each EC is responsible:


    1. Determining the extent of the problem and evaluating their manpower needs.
    2. Establish operations on guidelines in the Section Operating System.
    3. Notify your DEC and/or SEC of the emergency.
    4. Establishing operating schedules and request assistance from your DEC if required.
    5. Keep your DEC and the SEC up to date on the situation in your county.
    6. Keep logs and lists of involved amateurs.
    7. When operations are over be sure all amateurs are notified and return home.


  1. When notified of an emergency in another County, ARES District or another Section:


    1. Be ready to assemble assistance from your county if requested.
    2. Notify your AECís of the possible need to provide assistance to another area.
    3. Maintain communications with your DEC and/or SEC.


  1. Notify the DEC and/or SEC of any changes in your location or any additional means to communicate with you.


  1. Notify the DEC and/or SEC of any changes that would effect contacting you.


    1. Additional or different pager numbers
    2. Cell phone numbers
    3. Fax numbers
    4. Other frequencies being used in your county.


  1. When operations in your area are concluded be sure the following are accomplished prior to securing.


    1. Make sure all ARES personnel are accounted for.
    2. Pass along our appreciation to all participants
    3. Be sure all amateurs are notified that operations have concluded



  1. Collect reports from AECís in your county.


    1. Make recommendations for certificates.
    2. File a report with your DEC and the SEC.








  1. Western Pennsylvania ARES Operating System

    The basis for this system is at the County Level. During an emergency, the EC (Emergency Coordinator) or assistant EC or his delegated appointee will establish a County ARES Net station from which amateur operations will be controlled and administered. Next, the EC/AEC will assign each served agency and/or individual area an Field ARES Net station to communicate to the county ARES net and serve as a control for local operations. These Scene ARES net stations would utilize (2) or more frequencies and operators, one for communications with the County ARES net and the other(s) for communications with amateurs working for the served agencies. For organized handling of formal traffic, each county should use one or more Official Relay Stations. These station(s), a part of the National Traffic System are appointed by the WPA Section Traffic Manager and will operate on the traffic nets as the ONLY stations(s) to handle traffic for their County and will interface with the County Net and the Field Net stations. For all operations within the county all "Nets" will utilize one frequency for inter-station communications, while using separate frequencies for operations on behalf of their served agencies or groups. The EC/AEC for each County will assign ALL frequencies used in his/her county and will notify the DEC/SEC of these assignments. In case of conflicts with adjacent Counties, the DEC/SEC will act as a Frequency Coordinator. Simplex VHF and UHF frequencies should be used for these operations whenever possible. This will keep the area repeaters available for use by amateurís shadowing officials or providing wide area coverage for an agency requiring the use of autopatches. All ARES operations within the County will operate under this system.


    The next level to this system is the District. The DEC of each district will maintain operations on the District ARES net frequency (VHF / UHF) or on HF (3.983 / 7.272) during all communications emergencies within the district. The DEC and /or SEC will be in contact with the County Net in each county and also with the SEC and SM at Section Level. All tactical inter-county, inter-district frequencies will be assigned by the DEC/SEC. All NTS frequencies will be assigned by the NTS Net Manager or WPA Section Traffic Manager. Any EC needing help from outside his county will contact his DEC/SEC giving a complete list of the number of operators required, how they should be equipped, where to send them and how long they will be needed. The DEC/SEC will then decide where to get help from and will contact ECís/AECís in these areas to get the required personnel and route them directly to there operating assignments. The DEC/SEC will oversee operations intra-district communications and aid the ECís where needed. At the Section level the SEC and SM will oversee operations Section-wide and coordinate the Districts. All intra-section and inter-section frequencies will be assigned by the SEC or SM. Interaction from Section to Section will be at the Section level unless it is designated by the SEC or SM to District or County level. All Section Communications for the SM, SEC and DECís should be taken to (3.983 / 7.272) or routed via their instructions.


    The above System is Section-wide and will be followed during ALL emergency operations involving ARES personnel. All ECís, Assistant ECís and ARES personnel should be familiar with this System and capable of operating as it prescribes.


  2. Personnel Notification


The following criteria should be observed for all call-ups of ARES personnel. Please be sure to notify ALL the proper people as soon as possible. In the event that a person is not available notify either the alternate or the immediate superior of that person. This is vital to insure proper operation of Amateur Radio during an Emergency.




Public Service Events & Local Drills

Notify local ARES personnel

Emergency in your County

Notify local ARES personnel. DEC and or SEC

Emergency Spreading to adjacent county

Notify your DEC and/or SEC and adjacent county EC

When you need assistance

Notify your DEC and/or SEC*


(*) When requesting assistance you will need to know the following information:

  1. Number of Amateurs required.
  2. How long will assistance be needed (you can estimate this)
  3. What kind of equipment will they need?
  4. What kind of conditions will they be operating in?


3. Logging




All fixed stations operating during an emergency must maintain a complete log of their operations. This log will contain the TIME of each message, the CALL of the contacted station, MESSAGE CONTENT of the message and the DATE(s) of operation. A Copy of all FORMAL TRAFFIC will be kept and become part of the log. Each log sheet will contain the OPERATING CALLSIGN, the location of the station, the call of the operator and be signed by the control operator.


All logs will be kept as part of the ARES records. If an operator requires copies for his/her own log, copies should be made and the originals remain with the ARES records.


4. Station Requirements


4-1 County ARES net stations should if possible, be an existing station that meets the following requirements. They should be located on high ground, be capable of emergency power operations, and have sufficient space to allow at least (2) operators to operate simultaneously. Again, the use of existing station where possible, will save setup time. These stations must be able to operate 3.983 / 7.272 and at least 2 uhf/vhf frequencies and are encouraged to make use of other bands as needed. The EC shall be in direct control of the County ARES net and use it to control all amateur operations within his jurisdiction. Other equipment at these stations should include a complete set of maps and adjoining areas plus emergency supplies deemed necessary. County ARES net stations should be located outside of the disaster area to facilitate access and insure the safety of the operators.


4-2 Field ARES net stations will be set up at the headquarters of each served agency and at local command posts in affected areas. These stations shall be capable of operating on at least (2) VHF/UHF frequencies. One of these frequencies will be used as a link to the county net and other field nets while the other one will be used to communicate with operators assigned to that served agency. (Additional frequencies may be added if needed)


4-3 Official Relay Station should be existing stations that are not in the immediate disaster area. These stations should be adequately staffed and be able to operate on emergency power and must be capable of operating on 80/40 meters and VHF/UHF frequencies. They will maintain communications with the County Net and other agencies as well as other local amateurs who can handle Health and Welfare Traffic. One of the main purposes of the Official Relay Stations is to act as direct links to the SECTION TRAFFIC NETS. During communication emergencies these stations will handle ALL incoming and outgoing formal traffic.


4-4 Section and District Level Stations should be existing stations if possible. These stations will be operating on all HF/VHF/UHF frequencies in their area. Whenever possible there should be back-up equipment for all bands and modes. These stations should be manned as each situation requires and capable of 24 hour operation for extended periods if required.


Western Pennsylvania Section ARES Net



Western Pennsylvania Section ARES Net

Meets every 1st and 3rd Saturday @ 1830 Hrs. Local times.

(Immediately following the Western Pa Phone and Traffic net)

Frequency 3.983 MHz




The Western Pennsylvania Section ARES Net is NOT a traffic net. The net is an administrative and discussions net which is intended for ARRL Section Officials and ARES Leadership Officials (DECís, ECís, AECís) or their assigned representatives. The net is an open forum for these individuals to discuss emergency communications planning in the WPA Section. All are welcome to monitor this net, but you are asked to submit your comments and suggestions through your countyís Emergency Coordinator.


Note this net as of 6/1/98 is open to all ARES members from each of the 33 counties.

Western Pennsylvania Section

Emergency Response Plan

Health and Welfare Traffic Policy




  1. In the first 24 hours following a disaster that interrupts normal communications, WPA Section will observe a total moratorium on incoming Health and Welfare traffic.


  1. County ARES nets should enforce the moratorium on their net session(s) by refusing to list traffic bound for the disaster area if it bears "Welfare" (w) precedence. It is the responsibility of each Net Manager (NM) to see that all of their NCS operators understand this policy.


  2. NCS should periodically announce on the Net that the moratorium is in effect so that all Net participants are aware of this policy


  3. Any WPA station that receives an H & W message bound for the disaster area should immediately service the message back to the originating station, with the explanation, "NO OUTLET IN WPA UNTIL (date)". H&W traffic should not be stockpiled in WPA during the moratorium.


  4. The Section Traffic Manager (STM), the Section Manager (SM), or the Assistant Section Manager (ASM) may lift the moratorium on incoming H & W traffic during the initial 24 hour period if each of three conditions are met:


    1. The STM, SM or ASM judge that the WPA Section Nets are capable of handling the additional traffic load imposed by incoming H & W traffic without adversely affecting their ability to efficiently move messages with higher precedence ("Emergency" or " Priority").


    2. In consultation with the local EC and traffic handlers in the disaster area, the STM, SM or ASM determine that resources are available to receive the incoming H & W messages, deliver them and originate messages in response, all without adversely affecting higher-priority communications in the disaster area.


    3. The STM, SM or ASM advises all Section Net Managers of lifting of the moratorium and of the proper routing of incoming H & W traffic, as determined in consultation with the local EC (or his assignee) or the DEC/SEC and the traffic handlers in the disaster area.


  1. After the initial 24 hour period, the STM (or SM or ASM), the local EC, DEC or SEC and the Net manager of any local NTS Net will jointly decide whether the moratorium should be continued. This situation will be reviewed at 12-hour intervals until the circumstances allow lifting of the moratorium. Only the Section Traffic Manager, Section Manager or Assistant Section Manager may officially lift the moratorium and they will do so by advising each Section Net Manager by radio or telephone.


  2. Any incoming H & W traffic, which cannot be delivered within 24 hours of its acceptance in WPA, should be serviced back to the originating station.






Western Pennsylvania Section

Emergency Response Plan

Health and Welfare Traffic Policy





  1. Following a disaster which interrupts normal communications, it is the policy of the Western Pennsylvania Section that an out going Health and Welfare (H & W) message service for the individuals in the disaster area is a vital function which should be established as soon as possible.


    1. The local Emergency Coordinator (EC) or his assignee, in consultation with the DEC/SEC the STM (or SM or ASM) and local traffic handlers, should act to assign resources to allow the establishment of station(s) to originate outgoing H & W traffic for individuals in the disaster area. This service should normally be offered at temporary shelter(s) established to house or aid the survivors.


    2. In the event that the local EC does not have the resources to allow the establishment of this service, the DEC or SEC will assemble the necessary resources from other counties and will make them available to the local EC or his assignee for deployment.


    3. The outgoing H & W message service(s) will continue in operation until normal communications are re-established, or until the EC determines that there is no further need for the service, and he has so notified the DEC. SEC and STM.


  1. Outgoing H & W messages should be originated so as to speed their transmission throughout the traffic system. The following guidelines are recommended


  1. Texts should be limited to no more than 10 words.


  2. Texts should be standardized as much as possible to allow their transmission in books.


  3. Standardized ARL message texts should be used. Form FSD-244 should be used for originationís, if possible.


  4. Messages that request a reply should NOT BE ACCEPTED.




















Western Pennsylvania Section

Emergency Response Plan

Statement of Cooperation


1. Purpose.


The purpose of this Statement of Cooperation is to outline the resources of Western Pennsylvania Section (WPA) that are generally available for inter-sectional operations during widespread emergencies. It further delineates the extent of the commitment of WPA resources to operations outside of the WPA

Section boundaries.


2. General.


  1. It is recognized that widespread emergencies within WPA Section and in neigboring sections can quickly overwhelm the organic ARES resources. ARES members in the affected areas will be preoccupied with dealing with their own personal situations, and will not be able to respond in ARES operations. Under these circumstances, communications support must come from ARES resources outside of the affected areas.


  2. While WPA Section is prepared to support adjacent Atlantic Division Sections the primary responsibility of its ARES organization is the support of internal WPA Section emergency communications.


  3. ARES resources within all jurisdictions are extremely limited. Thus, over-commitment of these resources is a danger in a widespread emergency. The priorities of support in WPA Section

have been accorded The American Red Cross and the National Weather Service in that order.

Other agencies will be supported as time and resources permit..


3. Resources.


  1. The primary WPA ARES organization available for support of other sections is the WPA Rapid Response Team. This is a trained emergency communications response team of 10 members and

    a Team Leader. Additional personnel could be made available should the need arise.


  2. Control of WPA personnel resources committed to other sections will rest with the WPA Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC).


  3. Personnel from WPA committed to support other sections will not be assigned duties outside of their emergency communications roles. Duties will be closely coordinated with WPA SEC.


  4. The following communications nets within the WPA structure can be committed in support of other section operations if required: (Net Control Stations will be manned by WPA personnel to provide the capability for rapid detachment to WPA emergency duties.)


    1. WPA Section Emergency Net (HF) 3983 kHz (primary) 7272 kHz (alternate)
    2. WPA Phone Traffic Net 3983 kHz
    3. WPA CW Traffic Net 3585 kHz
    4. Local VHF/UHF nets in bordering counties as required.


4. Points of Contact.

The following individuals are the points of contact within WPA Section:


Section Manager Section Emergency Coordinator

William C. Edgar, N3LLR Richard E. Beaver,N3SRJ

22 Jackson Ave 907 Arlington Ave

Bradford, PA 16701 Jeannette, Pa 15644-1906

814-362-1250 724-523-4261



19 October 1995 BERNARD E. FULLER,N3EFN


Taken From Original and Updated 31 March 1998

Western Pennsylvania Section

Emergency Response Plan

Rapid Response Team Operations Plan



The purpose of this plan is to implement Part 97.1 of the FCC regulations:



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:


  1. Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications."


This plan provides formal guidance for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Rapid Response Team in the Western Pennsylvania Section of The American Radio Relay League (ARRL).



It is recognized that widespread emergencies within WPA Section and in neighboring sections can quickly overwhelm the organic ARES resources. ARES members in the affected areas will be preoccupied with dealing with their own personal situations, and will not be able to respond in ARES operations. Under these circumstances, communications support must come from ARES resources outside the affected areas. This plan establishes a mechanism to provide such support from within WPA Section's ARES resources.


  1. Mission


    1. The initial mission is to support emergency operations within WPA during emergencies of a widespread nature. "Widespread" is defined as encompassing 2 or more counties in a 4-hour period.
    2. The on-going mission is to provide training support to county EC's and local ARES organizations within WPA Section.
    3. The Rapid Response Team will act as the cadre force for activating additional teams when such activation is required.
    4. The secondary mission is to support, within capabilities, adjacent Atlantic Division Sections. The primary mission will continue, under all circumstances, to be support of WPA Section emergency response Plan.


B) Command and Control


The channel of control will be:


Section Manager ----- Asst Section Manager (ARES) (planning only)


Section Emergency Coordinator


Team Leader



    1. Under all circumstances, control of the WPA team will remain with the WPA Section Manager and his staff as indicated above.


    2. The deployed Team Leader will exercise on-site control of the team, insure mission accomplishment, and maintain team integrity. Team members will not be assigned to any agency for use in non-communications roles.


    3. The WPA Section Manager, Section Emergency Coordinator, and Team Leader will be responsible for coordination with supported Section Manager (or his appointed representative)

during all phases of the emergency operation.




The Section Emergency Coordinator, with the assistance of the Assistant Section Manager (ARES), will adopt the following principles:


  1. Pre-disaster planning and coordination with other Section Emergency Coordinators in Atlantic Division. Where possible, a written agreement should be concluded between the sections detailing the extent of cooperation.


  2. Development of the team personnel structure based on the following criteria: (DEC's and EC's will not be eligible for team assignment)


  3. Team manning maximum of 10, exclusive of Team Leader.


  4. Prerequisites for team member selection:


    1. General Class license or above for at least 2 years.
    2. Demonstrated ability to copy Morse Code at a minimum rate of 10 WPM
    3. CPR/First Aid certification.
    4. Damage Assessment training (can be completed after selection)
    5. Physically fit as determined by a certified medical examination.
    6. Available for short-notice deployment.
    7. Official Observer training to provide in-depth knowledge of Part 97 and other pertinent regulations.
    8. Sufficient equipment immediately available to accomplish mission.
    9. Complete training at one of the Section-level leadership seminars for EC's.
    10. Complete the Emergency Coordinator's Qualification examination.
    11. Reasonably proficient in digital operating techniques.
    12. Recommended by the local EC and DEC.
    13. Appear before a qualification board consisting of the Section Manager, Assistant Section Manager (ARES), Section Emergency Coordinator, and the District Emergency Coordinator (Team Leader).



  1. The ARRL has written instruments of cooperation with these agencies:


    American Red Cross

    The National Weather Service

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

    The National Communications System

    The Associated Public Safety Officers, Inc.

    The Salvation Army.


  2. The priority of support in WPA Section is to The American Red Cross and The National Weather Service, in that order. Other agencies will be supported as time and resources permit.


  3. These written instruments of cooperation assume the nature of directives in governing WPA Section ARES support.


  4. Copies of these documents are appended to this plan.



  1. The following general principles of net operations will prevail:


    1. Emergency nets are traffic nets. Personnel of the regular WPA Section nets of the NTS are considered vitally important to the Section's emergency nets.


    2. Emergency nets operate in continuous session for as long as the situation demands.


    3. WPA Section Emergency Net (HF): 3983 Khz (+\-) (Primary) 7272 Khz (+\-) (Alternate)


    4. The WPA Emergency Net (HF) will be the primary vehicle for alerting DEC's and EC's to activate ARES plans during widespread emergencies. The Rapid Response Team Leader will designate a member(s) of the team to be responsible for monitoring those frequencies.


    5. Standard practices of NTS net operations will guide all ARES net operations. Traffic handling exercises will be conducted periodically to ensure that all team members are proficient in the recognized procedures.


  1. The primary WPA Emergency Net (HF) operations will be limited to traffic of an operational nature. Message traffic will be diverted to the established CW Net (3585 kHz) and/or WPA Phone Traffic Net (3983 kHz). The emergency net frequency should be kept free of routine NTS message traffic to allow rapid, efficient passage of tactical traffic.


  2. District and County nets are established on assigned VHF/UHF frequencies. The Rapid Response Team should be aware of these frequencies when operating in those areas. Liaison should be established between the Rapid Response Team and County nets.



  1. If the emergency is widespread, but contained within WPA Section, the SEC will alert the WPA SM and SEC's of adjacent sections of the nature and extent of the emergency. At this time, assistance may be requested from non-affected sections if required.
  2. If WPA and another section (or sections) are involved, Section level officials of all involved sections, after consulting, will agree on liaison procedures and the frequency plan best adapted to the circumstances.
  3. WPA Section will cooperate fully with other sections in Atlantic Division upon request, providing assistance with Section net operations or dispatching the Rapid Response Team.
  1. Rapid Response Team Organization.


Circumstances sometimes arise where organized, self-supporting mobile teams of Amateurs are the most effective way to respond to an emergency. They can be quickly sent to a distant location to assist ARES operations or to be the first responders where no local amateurs are available.


    1. It is the responsibility of the Rapid Response Team Leader, assisted by the Section Emergency Coordinator, to recruit a pool of team participants from the Amateurs in the Section and to manage their training and deployment.


    2. A database will be established containing the qualifications, availability, and equipment information of each team member and potential team member. It should include pertinent personal information such as next of kin, address and telephone numbers, type of vehicle and registration number, etc.



    3. The Team Leader's responsibilities include getting all team members to the correct site and keeping in touch with them while they are on duty. Liaison should be established between the team and the SEC. A reliable circuit should be established to provide team members with the ability to remain in contact with their homes.


  1. The READY KIT


The Rapid Response Team should be self-supporting in transportation, food, water, emergency power, and sleeping accommodations in addition to their communications equipment. Each member should prepare his own ready kit and keep it in his vehicle or at a specific place at home where it can be picked up without delay.


The kit should include:


    1. Two changes of comfortable old clothing including socks, shoes, underwear, trousers and shirts.
    2. Outerwears appropriate for the climate and time of year.
    3. Toilet kit of razor, shaving cream, comb,toothbrush and toothpaste, bars of hotel soap, small bottle of shampoo, and an anti-perspirant.
    4. Extra pair of sunglasses and prescription glasses and a durable drinking cup (such as a camper's "Sierra Cup").
    5. Small first aid kit containing normal first aid supplies. Also include sunblock, aspirin, and any prescription drugs required.


An electronics tool kit is an essential part of the ready kit. It should contain:


    1. 12 volt and 120 volt soldering iron and a small supply of solder.
    2. Long-nosed pliers, slip-jaw pliers, diagonal cutters, and a small pair of vise-grip pliers.
    3. Several sizes of screwdrivers of both slot-head and Phillips-head variety.
    4. Spare fuses, small spool of hookup wire, and a pocket-type multimeter.
    5. A pre-cut wire antenna that will work on both 40 and 75 meters. 200 feet of braided nylon cord.
    6. Basic radio kit should include H-Ts, packet equipment, mobile rigs, portable rigs. Spare batteries.



Each team member should be familiar with the Section, District and County emergency communications plans.

The following ARRL publications provide in-depth information applicable to emergency communications operations:


The Emergency Coordinator's Handbook

Public Service Communications Manual

Special Events Communications Manual

The Western Pennsylvania Section Emergency Plan

The FCC Rule Book

The ARRL Operating Manual




1. All conflicts concerning operations under this plan will be referred to the Section Manager for resolution.

2. This plan will be provided to all Atlantic Division Section Managers for their information.

3. Plan becomes effective 1 November 1995.
























N3SRJ Rev. 4 6/01/98


Information contained in this plan is from various ARRL/ ARES documents from within and without the Wpa section