[aprssig] [wl2kemcomm] Help for First Responders

spam8mybrain spam8mybrain at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 18 15:10:28 CDT 2016

The problem here is that the first responder or law enforcement officer would have access to the amateur radio net through their mutual office of emergency management (however that is organized in any given jurisdiction), but how would the families (basically, random citizens) get access to the hams to have their status reported? Unless the families have checked into an official shelter (with an assigned radio operator), they wouldn't even know where to find a ham radio operator, or know that we hams can do that kind of reporting (assuming it's not a HIPPA violation these days to report their status).
Now, if we could encourage the families to have at least one ham in the family (who isn't the first responder), then that ham could check into the nets, report their status, and get updates to their loved ones on the front lines.
Perhaps we should be starting an education campaign in the first responder community to get their families to get involved in ham radio, and cover basic EmComm communications for the family members. Imagine the resource pool we could have, with one ham backing up each first responder on the home front! The question is, how do we wean them off cellphone dependency (since only the most extreme emergencies will bring down the cellphone networks)?
Andrew, KA2DDO 

-------- Original message --------
From: Steve Dimse <steve at dimse.com> 
Date: 10/18/16  1:07 PM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List <aprssig at tapr.org> 
Subject: Re: [aprssig] [wl2kemcomm] Help for First Responders 

No one communication method is the ultimate, the idea is to have as many as possible in the hopes one will work, and APRS certainly fits in. Interesting focus of the original message though, perhaps because here in Florida our most common natural disasters (hurricanes) come with warnings, but here first responders as well as other key workers like in health care are required to provide for their families before the disaster. Even for non-hurricane disasters we were expected to do our jobs first.

Steve K4HG

> On Oct 18, 2016, at 12:07 PM, Bill Vodall <wa7nwp at gmail.com> wrote:
> I suggested APRS as an tool for this situation described below...
> It is often surprising how APRS is not even considered in many EmComm
> situation when it (APRS) seems like such a good fit.
> There's much to be done with the user interface and messaging needs to
> be fixed - but the opportunity is here to provide an awesome useful
> Ham Radio service.
> 10 years ago we had a storm in the Puget Sound region that knocked out
> power for days - weeks for some.  It was during those five long cold
> days that I came to consider APRS as the ultimate Ham communications
> technology.   Today I believe that even stronger...
> 73
> Bill, WA7NWP
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> <wl2kemcomm at yahoogroups.com>
> Date: Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 3:00 PM
> Subject: [wl2kemcomm] Help for First Responders
> To: wl2kemcomm at yahoogroups.com
> I was approached by a Deputy today asking what we (Amateur Radio) had
> to offer to address a problem.
> IF/WHEN we have a big disaster (Cascadia Earthquake/Tsunami), First
> Responders rightfully need to first see to the safety of their own
> families. Only then are they free to attend to their professional
> responsibilities.
> In such an event, phones will be out, both landline and cellular,
> repeaters for Public Service and Amateur VHF/UHF radio will be out,
> and internet other than satellite dish will be out. Much of the County
> communications is by linked microwave.
> Our terrain is rugged, with narrow valleys and many areas where
> simplex VHF/UHF radio just does not reach.
> How are other areas handling this need? How can a Sheriff’s
> Deputy/Firefighter/Police Officer most reliably reach his family for a
> status check to enable him to attend to his job?
> _______________________________________________
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