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Emergency Communications

1. Emergency Communications are initiated when the governor of the state of Florida declairs a state of emergency or the Activation Level at the Palm Beach County - Division of Emergency Management is raised to Level 1, Full Activation.
2. Emergency Communications Radio Operators
Extending the state/county Emergency Communications Nets into the CERT requires that all radio operators be trained and/or certified in Network Operations and Network Protocols.
Amateur Radio EmComm operators must have ARRL EC-001 training.
  • These courses ARE recognized as a standard among emergency workers.
  • FEMA and possibly other government agencies that fund emergency planning ARE going to require proof that local emergency workers have taken these courses.
  • These courses ARE required for amateur radio operators working in EMCOMM by some agencies, and are good knowledge and can help amateurs better understand the chain of command in emergencies.

Amateur Radio operators
    Under CFR 47 Part 97, a licensed amateur radio operator may only send an Emergency Message ("immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property") as part of an emergency situation.

GMRS Radio operators
    The GMRS net is a Directed Net. Operators on this net need training in Net Operations and Net Protocol

FRS Radio operators
    FRS operators work in small groups within each CERT. Network operations and network protocol do not apply on these radios.

3. FCC Law Regarding GMRS Radios in an emergency situation.
The FCC has authorized a unique effort to operate a system of GMRS radios in Indian Spring in an emergency by the NCA licensee (WQXY657)

4. Directed Network Protocol.
4.1 Communicating with Net Control.
The NCA radio Network-Control will be operating on designated GMRS primary and secondary channels.

Your Tactical Radio Name is the name of your HOA/POA, ie. Estates (not Estates CERT).

You are communicating with Net Control (not Indian Spring CERT or Indian Spring Central or NCA).

4.2. Directed Net Protocol
There is a specific protocol to communicating with a Directed Net:
  1. When communicating on a network, state the tactical name of that you want to contact, "This Is" and your tactical name.{Net Control, this is Briarwood}

  2. You do not transmit until the Net Controller(NC) asks for input [log-ins, emergency messages, priority mesages, routine messages, etc.]
    - or - there is no activity on the net.

  3. Get the NC's attention: transmit "Net Control, this is YOUR TACTICAL NAME".

  4. When ready, the NC will acknowledge your presence and will reply "Go ahead YOUR TACTICAL NAME"

  5. Communicate with NC. Use "OVER" to allow NC to respond. Wait for NC to end their response with "OVER".

  6. When your transmission is complete, end your transmission with "YOUR TACTICAL NAME, OUT or MONITORING or STANDING BY"
4.3. Logging in and out of the communications net.
To maintain proper net protocol and support liability protection, each participating station should log in and out of the net.

You are login to a Directed Net. You only log in/out when your radio is turned on or off. It is not necessary to log in/out when changing radio operators or monitoring radio activity at your station.
    Logging in
  1. Get Net Control's attention: "Net Control, this is your tactical name, over"
  2. Get Net Control's acknowledgement: "Go ahead your tactical name"
  3. logging in at give the time, over"
  4. Wait for Net Control response: ( your HOA/POA name, you are logged in) or repeat the line above.
  5. Your response is: "Net Control. this is your HOA/POA name, standing by , "
    Logging Out -
  1. You contact Net Control: "Net Control, this is your HOA/POA name,logging out at give the time, over"
  2. Wait for Net Control response: ( your HOA/POA name, you are logged out) or repeat the line above.
  3. Your response is: "Net Control. this is your HOA/POA name, OUT , "
4.4. Sending an Emergency Messages. As untrained radio operators it will be your discretion as to what constitutes an emergency message.

If you feel that you must reach the Palm Beach County - Emergency Operations Center by radio during an emergency,

Proper network protocol is:
  1. You contact Net Control: "Net Control. this is your HOA/POA name, I have an emergency message, over".
  2. Wait for net control response: ( your HOA/POA name, proceed with your message) or repeat item 1 above.
  3. You respond: Net Control, message follows
    - deliver you message slowly, with as few words as possible - follow with
    - "End of message. Net Control, please confirm my message, over.
  4. When Net Control correctly repeats your message, say "Message confirmed, your HOA/POA name standing by"
Contact the NCA. You may email the NCA at nca@dseltzer.com or call Dave Seltzer at the number provided in your Indian Spring phone directory

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