Upcoming Drills with Served Agencies

It’s Spring, which means it’s time for our served agencies to conduct exercises. Please mark two dates on your calendar:

April 26 is the scheduled date of a functional (i.e., tabletop) exercise being conducted by one of our County hospitals. The exercise generally runs from 8 AM to noon. We will need 2-5 ACS members. If you haven’t done one of these, this is a good opportunity to gain experience working with served agencies and see the Incident Command System in action. If we have enough volunteers, we will staff the Amateur Radio station at the County EOC in addition to the hospital. This is a great excuse to play hooky from work and stretch your brain.

Then, on May 3, there will be a large-scale regional disaster drill. We don’t yet have any details on what we might be asked to do, but deployment to multiple hospitals is a safe bet. I understand that this may be a full-scale exercise rather than a tabletop exercise, so there is a strong possibility of deployments to one or more field locations. If there is any possibility of you being available on that day (yes, it’s another weekday), please make the necessary arrangements to participate. You won’t want to miss it.

Because these exercises usually compress the timeframe of events in order to make the most of everyone’s participation, we might receive advance notice of our assignment so we can pre-deploy.  But it is entirely possible that some or all of the exercise scenario might be played in real time, so we will need to be prepared to do whatever might be asked of us.

Upcoming Net Topics

ARES training nets are held on Tuesdays at 2000 local, usually on the MARC 146.955 (156.7) repeater.

wdt_IDDateProgram TypeTopicRadio Officer
71 04/24/2018 Discussion Prep for upcoming exercises TBD
72 05/15/2018 TBD TBD TBD
74 05/01/2018 TBD Recap of April 26 exercise and prep for May 3 full-scale exercise TBD
73 05/08/2018 Discussion Recap of May 3 Exercise TBD

Other Upcoming Events

wdt_IDDateTimeEvent TypeTopic
23 05/03/2018 ??? (potentially all day) Regional Full-Scale Exercise Please make arrangements to participate -- see announcement above
24 05/14/2018 1900 - 2100 MCACS Board Meeting*
18 06/11/2018 1900 - 2100 MCACS Board Meeting* --
15 04/18/2018 1900 - 2000 Armchair Exercise Maryland/DC Section monthly Hospital Radio Net, 3820 kHz. See details below.
22 04/26/2018 0800 - 1200 (approx) Functional Exercise Hospital Mass Casualty Drill - See announcement above
21 05/23/2018 1900 - 1930 Armchair Exercise Maryland/DC Section monthly Hospital Radio Net, 3820 kHz. See details below.

* Board meetings are open to members, but space is limited and time and place are subject to change, so please RSVP with a board member if you would like to attend.


Monthly HF Hospital Nets

Our ARES colleagues in Prince Georges County sponsor a monthly HF Hospital Net on 3820 kHz LSB. Despite the name, all local amateurs are invited to check into the net from your home station. Most hospital EOCs in the DC/Maryland area are not equipped for HF operation. The concept of operations is as follows. In the event that a hospital needs to communicate with an entity outside of VHF/UHF range, the traffic will be passed to a nearby HF-equipped ham via VHF/UHF, then forwarded to the distant entity via HF radio. In other words, the home-based HF station serves as a relay point for the hospital traffic.

We encourage such home-based hospital relay stations to equip themselves with Winlink capability so that record traffic can easily be relayed, but voice-only stations are welcomed to participate.

These exercises are normally scheduled on the Wednesday following the third Monday of the month at 7:00 PM local time. (That’s because the PG ARES group has its monthly meeting on the third Monday of the month.) If the frequency is busy, tune down 5 kHz.