Emergency Communications

IARU and USKA represented at CEPT Conference 2009

In a joint effort IARU Region 1 and USKA represented the interests of amateur radio at the 15th CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) conference held in Montreux, Switzerland on 21st and 22nd October 2009.

The conference brought together 124 registered participants from 27 countries drawn from Regulators, Industry bodies and outside observers to share information on Spectrum Management, regulation and future networks. The conference also celebrated the 50th anniversary of CEPT and highlighted the changes taking place in the way CEPT carries out its work in future. One way in which things may positively change is a desire of CEPT to improve arrangements for external participation and particularly to develop engagement with industry, acedemia and consumer groups.

Global Simulated Emergency Test - 14 November 2009

The next Global Simulated Emergency Test ( GlobalSET ) is scheduled for the 14th of November between 1800 and 2200 hours UTC. The time of each exercise changes to allow more stations to participate from around the world as well as recognising that emergencies can happen at any time.

This is an exercise between stations interested in emergency communications and is not a contest. Activity will be concentrated around the IARU Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies which are now incorporated in bandplans around the world.

The details of the exercise will be published on the IARU Region 1 website (www.iaru-r1.org) under the Emergency Communications Working Group section of the site.

Ham radio supports disaster response

A severe tropical storm in The Phillipines and earthquakes in Indonesia have seen radio amateurs providing emergency communications and other relief and recovery assistance. Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) President, Dr Joey Panganiban DU1BP reports that a tropical storm named 'Ondoy' hit the Philippines five days ago creating a tragic calamity with hams swinging into action to help.

DARES provides emergency communications during EU Flooding Exercise

Between 22nd and 25th September 2009 the European Union is sponsoring a major international disaster exercise in the Netherlands called 'FloodEX' involving emergency services from five countries. As part of the exercise a call will be made upon the expertise and skills of radio amateurs who are part of the DARES (Dutch Amateur Radio Emergency Service) foundation.

In the exercise scenario dykes will break in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland due to extreme weather conditions causing a large part of the province to be flooded. Large scale evacuation and rescue operations will take place, while at the same large pumps will be deployed to try to drain the flooded land. 

The scenario is similar to the flooding disaster of 1953 where over 2000 lives were lost in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK and which was the start of emergency communications groups in some countries. To demonstrate the capability of the Amateur Radio Service in providing emergency communications, DARES has organized hundreds of participants in regions, aligned with the Dutch internal Authority boundaries. DARES will be paged by the central emergency call centre of the Dutch National Ambulance Service, over the robust P-2000 pager network. After which participants take up positions near emergency call centres, city halls, evacuation centres and, for example, rescue locations.

GAREC 2009 a success

The fifth Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference, GAREC-2009, hosted by the Japan Amateur Radio League in conjunction with their Ham Fair took place on 24-25 August attended by 29 representatives from 14 countries. The event provided an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas and practical experiences with other emergency communications groups.