We have been actively involved in emergency communication since the begining, but we have placed more importance on this since 1999, when we set up a local Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) group. In the past five years we have made great strides towards insuring that we are able to provide reliable communications to the various emergency organizations in the surounding areas.
We have had several of our members attent training sessions with the Newfoundland & Labrador Emergency Measures Organization and they have in turn passed the knowledge that they aquired along to the others in the group, making for a better understanding of our role during an emergency. We have also outfitted ourselves with a multitude of equipment necessary to carry out our mandate. Some of which include the following;
In addition to this, we have VHF repeater coverage of the Baccalieu Trail Area from several sites. These sites all have commercial power mains, and battery back-up power connected. Each repeater site is connected to an automatic transfer switch, which will disconnect it from the main power and reconnect it to the batteries should the commercial mains fail. These batteries can maintain the system in operating condition for about 5 days.
For the past while we have set or sites on acquireing a trailer that we can set up as a Mobile Communications Centre (MCC). This unit would house an HF/VHF/UHF communications system, and possibly a VHF repeater, all complete with it's own source of power. In other words, A completely self-contained communications centre.
In keeping with this, we practice our skills every chance we get. Every year we participate in the North American Field Day, a continental excerise in emergency communications. We also operate events like JOTA, GOTA, IMD, Hunting Lions, Canada Day, Education Week, etc... Events such as these are not official excerises, they do however, serve as practice for us, and as you know, practice makes perfect.
For more information about ARES, please contact your