Saturday, August 25, 2007

Two-Way Radio Workshop Poll

The polled question was "Would a workshop reviewing the basics of using a portable 2-way radio be helpful?" 13 people responded "Yes!", 4 answered "I may be interested" and 7 said "Not Interested." Although this poll is unscientific, it appears there is enough interest to work up a workshop ... we'll let you know when one is scheduled... thanks for participating!


  1. Since CERT training seems to have put aside the notion of a CERT radio system or network, perhaps the class could address the logistics of setting up ad hoc nets of 2 nodes ('walkie-talkies')and 'family' (2-6) units , and unserved phones (phones w/ 'walkie-talkie' feature), so we can make the most of the various devices that might still be usable in our neighborhood, in case of land & cellular loss.

  2. jrb's comment is one topic that needs to be addressed in the class. Another is how to establishing a communication plan to that everyone on a team needs to know what channel to use. On larger incidents having multiple teams engaged at multple sites, each group has their own communication needs, and there also needs to be coordination between teams. It doesn't work when too many people try to use the same channel, so there needs to be a plan. It is helpful to have experienced radio operators monitor more than one device, so that information can be passed between groups, and when necessary, relayed to a public safety answering point via telephone or other means.

    Those licensed in the General Mobile Radio Service may use radios having repeater capability and are allowed to interoperate with Family Radio Service users on the seven channels which are in common with FRS. There are several GMRS repeaters in Fairfax and Arlington which are used by REACT groups, Red Cross etc. These could also be used by CERT personnel who have the proper FCC license and a radio with this capability. Amateur (ham) radio is another option. It would be nice to know how many CERTs we have besides me who are FCC licensed radio users, either GMRS or ham.

  3. Some good points Ed. That information is very dependent on location, especially the use of a CERT link into the county Em.Com.
    I think Derek is trying to integrate a Fairfax CERT member/resource list with the county GIS(mapping), which I think could include that information (if we can provide it), so we could plan how it could be used. I'm pretty sure the county and ARES Em.Plans already have the ham repeaters fully allocated, so we just need to document for ourselves, the coordinator for each repeater, and the kind of traffic we need to pass, so the ham control operators at (A)EOC/PSTOC will be ready to handle it.
    Derek might be willing to add license & special equipment information to the Fx CERT Roster he sent out some months ago.
    For larger ops & exercises, most municipal services are migrating to digital trunked systems, and if CERT bases our training on manually assigned channels (like trunks), we could find ourselves more flexible & compatible during mutual aid events.

    John Birch (KA4YMA)-CERT -Mason District, Fairfax Co., Va - CERT Community blog-site - 703.533.3668


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