Emergency communications activation in Slovenia

Tilen S56CT has reported the activation of Radio Amateurs in Slovenia on Saturday 9th December after heavy snow caused damage in a small region in Slovenia, Zasavje, affecting about 20000 citizens. Electrical power lines were down and consequently internet and phone networks. A lot of roads were also blocked due to fallen trees.

A large part of the major town, Trbovlje lost electrical power, including the 112 Emergency Call receiving station. Calls from the public were transfered from Zasavje region to the Call receiving station in Ljubljana. Slovenian call centers are also dispatch centres, so this increased their workload dispatching teams outside their normal area.

A few hours after the breakdown operators from the regional Emergency Communications group S50ATR (Trbovlje) organised themselves to offer help with redundancy communications between the centres in Trbovlje and Ljubljana. The Centre in Trbovlje was very happy to accept the help, so Matjaz S57MK and Roman S56HVF immediately went to Trbovlje with enough charged radios for the professional communications, Winlink through a connection to a local radioclub which had a Satellite internet connection and reliable electricity. Also communication through the FM/DMR repeater system was established and has served as a link between Trbovlje and Ljubljana. In Ljubljana the S50ALJ regional team has also been activated to assist the 112 centre  in Ljubljana using the S55DHF FM/DMR wide coverage repeater.

Zasavje region is known for its mountainous terrain and difficult radio coverage. Amateur Radio provides 3 repeater locations in that region along with a packet radio node on a TV tower, Satellite internet at the radio club S59DOR in Trbovlje and of course HF with Pactor, Winmor, etc. for Winlink.

All good examples of the diversity that amateur radio can bring to emergency communications.