Next Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Gwinnett Emergency Operations Center 800 Hi Hope Road, Lawrenceville

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Upcoming Events

March 5, 2017 Metro Atlanta ARES Net, 4:00pm, 146.805+, PL100.
March 28, 2017
ARES Planning Committee Meeting, 6:30pm, Gwinnett Emergency Operations Center, 800 Hi Hope Road, Lawrenceville
March 28, 2017
ARES General Meeting, 7:30pm, Gwinnett Emergency Operations Center, 800 Hi Hope Road, Lawrenceville
Program: TBA

Dog Show Fund Raiser - August 25-28
Location: Atlanta Expo Centers South, 3850 Jonesboro Rd 30354, map
Notes: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
We need your help to have enough folks to do the job from 6:00am until 2:00pm each day. GARS and Gwinnett ARES provide parking fee collection at the parking lot entrance and parking lot supervision for the Cherokee Rose Cluster Dog Show. There is usually a donation for these services, and this is shared between GARS and Gwinnett ARES. Signup here.

Big Peach Sizzler 10K - September  5 (Labor Day)
Location: Chamblee Marta Station to Buckhead Station
Gwinnett ARES has been asked to provide communications support again
this year for the Big Peach Sizzler 10K on Labor Day morning. The event supports Cystic Fibrosis and the run is from the Chamblee MARTA station down Peachtree to the Buckhead Station Shopping Center on the Buckhead Loop. The run kicks off on Monday, September 5th at 7:30am (we will report about 6:30am) and we will be finished before Noon.  Each participant will get an official race t-shirt (just like you ran the race).

This is a great Public Service event for ARES and great training (it will count as a Qualifying Field Exercise). Please signup here. More info for participants will be provided closer to the date.

JailBreak Challenge Obstacle Run - June 4th
Gwinnett ARES has been asked to provide communications support for the Gwinnett Sheriff's Department JailBreak Challenge Obstacle Run on Saturday June 4th from 7am until around 1pm.  We have helped with this event for the last 3 years and it has proved to be a great way to assist one of our served agencies.

The event will be at the Gwinnett County Jail in Lawrenceville just down the street from the EOC.

We will need at least 15 communications volunteers to shadow EMS and Sheriff's Dept. personnel, staff positions at the Start area, posts along the course and the command post.  We will be assisted by Sheriff's Explorers, deputies and EMS personnel. 

Here is the event website:
http://www.jailbreakchallenge.org/

This is a great Public Service event for ARES and great training (it will count as a Qualifying Field Exercise). Please sign up here if you can volunteer for this event. More info for participants will be provided closer to the date.

Deployment Day - April 9th
8:30am - 12:00pm at Harbins Park, 2995 Luke Edwards Rd, Dacula, GA.  Come out and work on your deployment skills.  We will have 3 different workshops where you can learn and get your hands dirty with your fellow ARES members.  Workshop 1 will be working with the ARES Communications Trailer.  Workshop 2 will be on Emergency Power including power poles, generators, batteries, solar, etc.  Workshop 3 will be on antennas.

JailBreak Challenge Obstacle Run - June 6th
Gwinnett ARES has been asked to provide communications support for the Gwinnett Sheriff's Department JailBreak Challenge Obstacle Run on Saturday June 7th from 7am until around 1pm.  We have helped with this event for the last 2 years and it has proved to be a great way to assist one of our served agencies.

The event will be at the Gwinnett County Jail in Lawrenceville just down the street from the EOC.

We will need at least 15 communications volunteers to shadow EMS and Sheriff's Dept. personnel, staff positions at the Start area, posts along the course and the command post.  We will be assisted by Sheriff's Explorers, deputies and EMS personnel. 

Here is the event website:
http://www.jailbreakchallenge.org/

This is a great Public Service event for ARES and great training (it will count as a Qualifying Field Exercise). Please sign up here if you can volunteer for this event. More info for participants will be provided closer to the date.

Deployment Day - April 11th
9:00am - 12:00pm at Harbins Park, 2995 Luke Edwards Rd, Dacula, GA.  Come out and work on your deployment skills.  We will have 3 different workshops where you can learn and get your hands dirty with your fellow ARES members.  Workshop 1 will be working with the ARES Communications Trailer.  Workshop 2 will be on Emergency Power including power poles, generators, batteries, solar, etc.  Workshop 3 will be on antennas.

Dog Show Fund Raiser - August 21-24
Location: Atlanta Expo Centers South, 3850 Jonesboro Rd 30354, map
Notes: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
We need your help to have enough folks to do the job from 6:00am until 2:00pm each day. GARS and Gwinnett ARES provide parking fee collection at the parking lot entrance and parking lot supervision for the Cherokee Rose Cluster Dog Show. There is usually a donation for these services, and this is shared between GARS and Gwinnett ARES. To signup for helping with the Dog Show

Deployable members need to review for Qualifying Field Exercise requirement - All Deployable members need to review their personal activity in the ARES Online Database to confirm that you have met the requirement of participation in two (2) Qualifying Field Exercises to remain Deployable in 2014.  In addition to the ongoing participation requirement for acitivities every 90 days, the additional requirement was added in early 2012 for all Deployable members to participate in at least two (2) Qualifying Field Exercises during the calendar year 2013.

A list of all of the Qualifying Field Exercises for 2013 can be found here.  Please review your records in the ARES Online Database to ensure credit for all events this year.  If you notice any discrepancies, contact your Group Facilitator.

Rick Hillstead, N4RAH, Appointed AEC - Public Health - After 7 years as AEC-Public Health, Mike Reiser has decided to step down.  Rick Hillstead, N4RAH will be replacing him.  Rick has been assisting Mike for a while at GNR Health and the hospitals.  He brings his background with medical device R&D and an  interest in emergency management.

Gwinnett ARES provides communications for Gwinnett Sheriff's Dept Event - On July 27th, the Gwinnett Sheriff's Department had its first annual JailBreak Challenge Obstacle Run.  Gwinnett ARES had 17 volunteers there to man posts around the race course and provide communications to onsite EMS crews.  The ARES Communications trailer was onsite as the event command post and Net Control. 

ARRL Field Day, June 22-23 - Gwinnett ARES will be joining GARS for this annual event. This is a Field Qualifying Event that can help you retain your deployable status. The Field Day location is Sweet Water Park at 800 Bethesda School Rd in Lawrenceville. Setup starts at 8:00am on Saturday. We get on the Air from 2:00pm Saturday until 2:00pm Sunday to contact other hams around the country.

2013 Dacula Memorial Day Parade, May 27th - Gwinnett ARES will be joining GARS to help with this annual event. This is a Field Qualifying Event that can help you retain your deployable status. It is a half day event where we provide hands and feet to marshall the parade participants into some sort of order. It is fun and you meet a lot of local people on a great holiday. We will meet at the Hebron Baptist Church at the corner of Fence Road and Dacula Road. Please be in the parking lot by 0730.It will be over by 1230 or 1300. We will use the portable repeater. 147.045 - 82.5. Please program your ht before you get to the site. Wear your yellow ARES or orange GARS hat. You can contact Earl, AF4FG@arrl.net or Hal, W4IGE@arrl.net by email if you need more info. Come out and join us to celebrate Memorial Day 2013.

Hal Collier, W4IGE, Appointed Emergency Coordinator - After seven years serving as Emergency Coordinator, John Davis, WB4QDX, is stepping down and is looking forward to being a "regular" ARES member.  John has been a tremendous leader and has helped make Gwinnett ARES a strong and growing organization.

Hal Collier, W4IGE, is assuming the role of Emergency Coordinator bringing his experience as AEC - Training.

Jeff Cutchins, AB4HF, Appointed AEC - Training - Jeff Cutchins, AB4HF, is assuming the position of AEC - Training that was vacated as Hal Collier, W4IGE, assumed the role of Emergency Coordinator.  Jeff has done a great job as the Alpha Group Facilitator and he has a lot of great ideas for taking Gwinnett ARES training to a new level.

Robert Powers, K4REP, will be the new Alpha Group Facilitator.

ARES Training Net Changes - The weekly Gwinnett ARES Training Net will undergo significant changes effective February 1, 2013.  The net time moves from 9:00pm (2100 local) to 8:30pm (2030 local) or immediately following the GARS Net if it runs past 8:30.  Instead of the concurrent digital nets using several modes, a digital net will begin immediately following the voice net.  Each week, only one digital mode will be used rotating between FLdigi, Packet, Winlink and D-STAR/D-RATS.

The earlier net time will allow members to finish the evening's net activities earlier.  A new net script can be downloaded here. The Planning Committee continues to focus on developing digital mode capabilities,  By focusing on practice of one digital mode each week on a rotating basis, it will allow stations to focus on one mode per net following the regular voice net without having to switch between several modes while keeping up with voice traffic during the net.

All stations are encouraged to develop and practice digital modes and the separate net will allow more practice and assistance during the digital portion of the net.  A weekly schedule of digital modes can be found here.


Deployable members need to review for Qualifying Field Exercise requirement - All Deployable members need to review their personal activity in the ARES Online Database to confirm that you have met the requirement of participation in two (2) Qualifying Field Exercises to remain Deployable in 2013.  In addition to the ongoing participation requirement for acitivities every 90 days, the additional requirement was added in early 2012 for all Deployable members to participate in at least two (2) Qualifying Field Exercises during the calendar year 2012.

A list of all of the Qualifying Field Exercises for 2012 and a list of remaining exercises to be conducted before the end of the year can be found here.  There have been 12 events so far this year and some additional events are schedule before year end.  Please review your records in the ARES Online Database to ensure credit for all events this year.  If you notice any discrepancies, contact your Group Facilitator.

ARES Participates in GGC Safety Fair - Gwinnett ARES participated in the 2012 Safety Fair at Georgia Gwinnett College.  Law enforcement, fire, public health and safety equipment vendors showcased products ad services for the students and administration at GGC.  ARES setup the Mobile Communications Vehicle to demonstrate emergency communications.  Ryan Duncan (KI4CSM), Hal Collier (W4IGE) and Scott Hartlage (KF4PWI) briought the trailer to campus and talked with visitors and provided information.

Gwinnett ARES has established a strategic releationship with GGC Public Safety, headed by Chief, Terrance Schneider (KF4VSI).  Lt. Cory Hughes (KJ4NHS) organized the event for GGC.  GGC Public Safety recently purchased two Icom IC-92AD handghelds for use by Chief Schneider and Lt. Hughes to communicate with ARES during exercises and emergency events.

2012 Field Day Brings Highest Score - The 24 continuous operating at the 8A Field Day site at Sweet Water Park produced the highest operating point score ever for the joint GARS/ARES Field Day.  GARS_Field_Day_2012_0083The ARES Communications Trailer provided the air-conditioned comfort of the 20m SSB station and provided an opportunity to exercise the vehicle under simulated emergency communications conditions.  A new 6500 watt Honda generator was provided by Gwinnett EMA to provide power for the enitre field operation. Voice and digital operations were included on 80 through 6 meter bands.

Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Proclaim Amateur Radio Week - At the June 19 Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner John Heard and Gwinnett EMA Director, Greg Swanson presented a proclamation declaring Amateur Radio Week in Gwinnett for the week of June 19-23 culminating in the joint GARS/ARES Field Day this weekend at Sweet Water Park.  Commissioner Heard spoke on the value of Amateur Radio preparedness for emergencies and how Gwinnett County is fortunate to have trained communicators available should the need arise.

The Proclamation was presented to Gwinnett ARES Emergency Coordinator, John Davis, and GARS President Kyle Albritton and can be viewed here.  ARES members Ryan Duncan, Norm Schklar and Karen Prescott joined the group on the floor for the presentation. The proclamation can be viewed here.

New Deployable Requirements Presented - Emergency Coordinator, John Davis, WB4QDX, discussed the changes in requirements  to maintain Deployable status at the April meeting.  The changes, approved by the Planning Committee, add requirements to participate in two field activities per year to provide more training opportunities and practice of skills by all members.  The requirements to initially achieve Deployable status remain unchanged, but the additional field participation is added to retain that status.

The addition of participation in field events such as training, exercises and scheduled events such as Field Day and the annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET) provide regular opportunities to practice existing skills and learn new skills through actual use in the field.  Many events will quailfy for field participation credit.

The changes are in effect immediately and participation in earlier field events in 2012 will allow members to meet the requirement.

Planning Committee Reorganization Completed - Following the restructuring of our Response Teams and converting to Member Groups to address the new support requirements for Gwinnett ARES, the second phase of the reorganization is complete.  The Plannijng Committee, which serves as the Board of Directors and strategic leadership for Gwinnett ARES has been restructured to reflect the current needs.

The Planning Committee will now consist of of five Assistant Emergency Coordinators in key positions and the Public Information Officer.  The AEC positions will be Members,  Training, Administration Public Health and a new position for Communications.  The three Member Group Facilitators will be under the responsibility of the AEC - Members.  The Facility leads for each of the three Gwinnett Hospitals and the Public Health Office will be the responsibility of the AEC - Public Health.  The new position, AEC - Communications, will be responsibile for management of the Paging, Nets/Skywarn, Mobile Communications, EOC Facility Lead and the GARS Repeater Liaison.  David Adcock, KA4KKF, has been appointed AEC - Communications.

The new organization represents an evolution of the management structure to address strategic direction, planning and facility support requirements for Gwinnett ARES, but does not affect how ARES deploys for an incident.  The ICS model will still be used to support incidents, exercises and training.  A complete organization chart may be viewed here

John Harmon, N4JCH, Appointed AEC - Members - After four years serving as AEC - Response Teams, Amy Woodrick, KE4IKF, is stepping down to pursue other volunteer activities.  Amy has been a tremendous leader of the Response Teams and will remain active in Gwinnett ARES.

John Harmon, N4JCH, is assuming the new position of AEC - Members, reflecting the new member organization replacing the previous Response Team structure.  John served as the Response Team Leader for the Central team and was recognized for his service in that position in the January meeting.

The Facilitators for each of the new member groups will report to John to provide communications to members an scheduling of personnel for exercises and NCS responsibilities.

New Member Groups Announced - At the November General Meeting, the new member groups were announced replacing the old Response Team structure.  The new groups will have a person designated as Facilitator to communicate with members regularly and be a source for member questions, inquiries and callouts.  All ARES members will be assigned to groups with assignments for exercises, drills and incidents based on personnel and resource availability.

The Net Control schedule will also change with each group having responsibility for a month's nets at a time beginning with the Alpha group in January, Bravo group in February and so on repeating every four months. 

Facilitators for three of the groups have been named with Jeff Cutchins, AB4HF, for the Alpha group, Karen Albritton, KI4HPP, for the Bravo group, and Sandy Jackson, KJ4DRO, for the Charlie group.  A Facilitators for the Delta groups is still needed.  If you are a member of this team and would like to become the Facilitator for you group, please contact John, WB4QDX, or Amy, KE4IKF to volunteer.

A complete list of group assignments can be viewed on the Member Group page.

2011 SET Simulates Communications After Icestorm - While the multi-state Simulated Emergency Test scenario for 2011 focused on communications due to a massive icestorm in the Southeast US, Gwinnett ARES practiced communications support for the county following the icestorm.  Gwinnett Emergency Management Agency asked ARES to simulate commuications at temporary debris collection sites back to the EOC. 

As a part of the county's plan for debris removal following any severer weather event, ARES members setup at designated county parks to communicate truckload and debris volume. Several modes were used to communjicate both regular reports and tactical communications including FM voice, Packet, and D-STAR.


FCC Rules that Amateurs May Participate in Non-Government-Sponsored Drills by Employers - In a Report and Order (R&O) released Wednesday, July 14, the FCC stated that under new guidelines, amateurs employed by non-governmental agencies, such as hospitals, may participate and operate in drills sponsored by their employer. Specifically, the FCC will now permit Amateur Radio operators "to transmit messages, under certain limited circumstances, during either government-sponsored or non-government sponsored emergency and disaster preparedness drills, regardless of whether the operators are employees of entities participating in the drill."


UPDATE YOUR PERSONAL INFO - All ARES members now have access to the Online Member Database to view and keep their personal information up-to-date.  Information such as address, contact numbers, email addresses and license info may be updated by each member.  If you have not received your logon information and password, contact John Harmon, N4JCH.

If you have not registered your contact numbers such as cell phones and PDAs to receive Gwinnett ARES notifications, contact Scott Hartlage, KF4PWI.  Notifications with the Emergency Notification System offers the fastest and most reliable notifications for callouts, weather nets or other important information.


Deployable Status - If you have not completed the required FEMA online courses IS-100 and IS-700, remember that you must complete these two courses along with either the Gwinnett County Basic Skills Test or ARRL EC-001 to receive the Gwinnett ARES ID.  The ID card indicates DEPLOYABLE status and is recognized by Gwinnett County first responders. Contact Jeff Cutchins, AB4HF, AEC for Training for more information or to email training confirmations or test answers at training@gwinnettares.org.


Past Presentations Available - Copies of past presentations are now available for viewing and download on the Training page of the website.