Emergency Communications

Radio Amateurs involved in Cyprus forest fire response

Radio Amateurs in Cyprus are currently active in emergency activities tackling the biggest forest fire the island has ever dealt with in the Solea region. Activity is currently using only the VHF band, mainly the local RV48 (R0) and RV58 (R5) repeaters. Hams in and around Cyprus have been requested to keep clear of these repeaters to aid the emergency communications activity.

Fire fighting forces are deployed around the perimeter of the fire. The main fronts of the fire are active, but due to high winds and very high temperatures, the effort to extinguish the fronts seems mammoth. Thick smoke is complicating the task. In addition to the ground forces, a total of 16 aircraft are also operating, with aircraft coming from Israel, Greece and later today France and Italy.

It is estimated that some 20-25 sq km of forest have burned so far, while 4 villages are in grave danger of destruction, as fires are currently located on their perimeter.

Unfortunately two fire fighters have lost their lives in the line of duty, while another 2 are seriously ill in hospital. Cyprus frequently suffers forest fires during its hot summer months, but these are believed to be the first firefighter deaths for years.

Any additional information may be found on the CARS website at http://www.cyhams.org/

Info from Nestor 5B4AHZ

Netherlands/Belgium 'Power Failure' Exercise 8 June 2016

On Wednesday 8th June between 1800-1930UTC Radio Amateurs from the DARES Emergency Group in the Netherlands and B-EARS in Belgium will be taking part in an exercise simulating a Power Outage in the south of the Netherlands and part of Belgium. In the exercise scenario the groups have been requested to provide welfare and secondary communications links between North Brabant ( near Eindhoven ) and the rest of the country.

The exercise will test the ability of the groups to set up a wide area VHF and a HF network on the planned frequencies of 7065 kHz ( Primary ) and 7110kHz ( Secondary ). The 7065 kHz frequency being needed as Novice Licences in the Netherlands ( PD ) are not allowed to operate above 7100kHz. Operations will be mostly voice but Winlink/Digital modes may also be used.

Radio Amateurs are asked to keep those frequencies clear for the time of the exercise.

Full information ( In Dutch ) is available on the DARES website at http://www.dares.nl/nieuws/245-oef-power-outage .

Emergency Communications Activities at Friedrichshafen 2016

24-26 June beings the largest gathering of Radio Amateurs in Europe and also the largest gathering of Emergency Communicators at HAMRADIO 2016 in Friedrichshafen. IARU Region 1 will be hosting a meeting for Radio Amateurs interested in Emergency Communications in Room Rom on Friday 24th June between 1200-1500 local time with the following preliminary programme ( times may change ).

1200-1245 Reports from the IARU regional Emergency Communications Co-Ordinators
1245-1345 Open forum for National Co-Ordinators to report on activities in their countries.
1345-1415 GlobalSET Report and ideas for this year
1415-1445 Open forum on changes to the IARU Emergency Message Procedure
1445-1500 Close and discuss Friedrichshafen next year.

The Working language for this meeting will be English.

On 25th June between 1000-1400 the DARC will be holding their fourth 'Notfunk Universitaet' in Room London. This 'University' will cover a wide range of topics including Crisis Preparedness in Lucerne, Emergency Communications Scenarios and the structure of the THW Short Wave network in Bavaria.

The working language for the Notfunk Universitaet will be German and more information will be available from DARC shortly.

Ecuador Earthquake 16th April 2016

Cesar Pio Santos HR2P reports that following the Ecuador Earthquake on 16th April, an emergency net has formed on 7060kHz LSB for passing messages between Ecuador Radio Amateurs in the most affected areas. Stations in adjacent countries are also monitoring that frequency ready to provide assistance if required.

While Echolink nodes had been the initial source of information from some areas, it is understood some nodes have now been turned off due to energy saving measures.

Radio Amateurs with propagation to South America are requested to keep 7060kHz clear.

Sources: HR2P, OA4BSA, OA4CLU

Emergency Communications Exercise in Portugal - 17 April

Radio Amateurs in Portugal belonging to the Emergency Communications Group REP-SCERA will be taking part in a Civil Protection exercise on 17th April between 0800 - 1200 UTC. The exercise will focus on VHF/UHF frequencies in the Lisbon area but HF will also be used to establish a nationwide communications network, including the Azores.

The IARU Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies 7110 and 14300kHz are expected to be the primary HF frequencies used in this event.

Sources: CT1END, EA9CD