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Area hams practice emergemncy scenarios

by Dick Flanagan

On the evening of Monday, Sept. 20, a group of 22 area amateur radio operators (“hams”) held a training exercise to show their ability to provide auxiliary communications for Douglas County in times of emergency.

The scope of this exercise was to provide communications within Douglas County and establish mutual aid links with amateur radio operators outside of Douglas County.

Douglas County Communications Unit Leader Ron Sagen established control of the exercise from a mock emergency operations center (EOC) at the Sierra Front Fire Dispatch Center training room.

A briefing was held and the hams were sent to the following sites:

– Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), Dick Flanagan W6OLD and Melissa Flanagan KK7AA.

– Fire Station 14, Larry Stout KD7BTW.

– Carson Valley Middle School, Mike Burnworth W7MJB.

– Barton Medical Center, Mickey Kriethe K7MIC.

– Staging, Jack Jones KC7OCB and Peggy Carl N7MXC.

– Available for assignment by staging were Dick Creley KJ7UK, LeRoy Clement KA7UIS, Don Wilkinson W7CDF, plus two members of the Minden Civil Air Patrol Squadron, Dale Grosch N6VFZ and Arden Heffernan KD7FPL.

The following hams supplied mutual aid from outside Douglas County:

– Carson City Fire House 1 (Command and Tactical), Allan Bowman KC7BOE.

– Carson Tahoe Hospital, Lynda Allen KD7BTV.

– Carson City Fire House 2 (standby only), JoAnn Paul N7MBM.

– South Lake Tahoe, George Kellogg W6SUV.

– Reno, Matt Parker N7TOD (links to Red Cross and Salvation Army).

– Silver Springs, Al Penaluna N7RAA.

– Tom Kriethe N7PU supplied long-range radio communications for health and welfare.

During the event, Douglas County Communications Unit Leader Sagen called upon the hams to simulate a 911 relay between the EOC and DCSO as the phone line was out for this drill. Hams were also sent from the staging area to a mock traffic accident with major injuries. This involved the simulated use of Care Flight and Barton’s Carson Valley Medical Center.

The communications team of John Susich K7JTS (Command Radio) and Konnie Susich KD7COG (Tactical Radio) provided the Communications Unit Leader with radio links to all of the above units working in this drill.

As this exercise was used as a graduation exercise for the Douglas County Incident Command System (ICS) class and the annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET) for amateur radio, Sheila Clement KA7AJQ (District Four Emergency Coordinator for Amateur Radio Relay League) evaluated the hams in this phase of the event.