The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a volunteer organization of amateur radio operators. Since 1935, ARES has provided radio communications in North America in times of need.
In these modern times of cellular phones and the Internet, we take instant communications for granted. We forget how fragile our communications systems are. We forget that only one critical piece of communications infrastructure has to fail or become overloaded to render it unusable in times of emergency!
ARES Edmonton has a new UHF repeater up on test at 75 Street and Fort Road.
Find the repeater at 444.675MHz +5.0MHz offset. It will normally operate with 103.5Hz CTCSS tone on the input. It will also normally transmit the same tone of 103.5Hz. i.e. Always transmit PL 103.5Hz and receive of 103.5Hz for general use.
The repeater features an alert function where an activation signal from ARES will cause the transmitted CTCSS tone to shift to 123.0Hz for one minute. During this time, an alert message and brief instructions will be announced over the repeater and further regular messages will be announced during an ARES activation with a 123.0Hz CTCSS tone. So you set your radio for a CTCSS tone of 123.0Hz and you won’t be disturbed except when ARES is activated (and then only for the duration of the alert messages).
This repeater also features a link to the VE6YXR system in Red Deer.
To link, enter DA10*
To unlink enter DA11*
We currently know of a CTCSS issue on the repeater where some radios will not decode the tone all the time. We hope to have that resolved shortly. More information to follow over the coming test period.
Amateur radio operators work behind the scenes in times of crisis
(As published by the Edmonton Journal)
By Alex Migdal, Edmonton Journal July 10, 2013
EDMONTON - Piercing the skyline of the city’s eastern edge is a 60-metre radio tower that transmits voices around the world.
From strangers in Australia to friends nearby, the unassuming white trailer stationed at the tower’s base is a global channel for the 120 amateur radio operators who volunteer for the city’s emergency communication service.
But there’s nothing amateur about these radio operators dubbed “hams.” The label only differentiates commercial radio operators from hobbyists. In fact, the stakes for volunteers can run high.
Notice to Amateur Radio Operators in Alberta, from the Calgary Communications Club.
In discussions with City of Calgary Police and the local RCMP, we have confirmed that there is a marked difference in how law enforcement views the exemption of radio amateurs to the distracted driving sections of the Traffic Safety Act and how radio amateurs view the exemption. Law enforcement thinks the exemption applies only while the radio amateur is engaged in an emergency. Radio amateurs think the exemption applies all the time. Note: if a radio amateur is driving erratically or otherwise contravening the Act, the exemption offers no protection. The exemption simply allows a radio amateur to hold, view, or manipulate an amateur radio (or a microphone connected to such a radio) while driving.
ARES Edmonton highly recommends ICS 100 training for all members.
ICS 100 Training and Examinations are provided free of charge by the Province of Alberta and AEMA. You may take this couse at any time. When registering, if you are an ARES member, please mention your membership during the registration process.
The Incident Command System is a standardized management system used to organize and manage a scaleable response to emergency incidents of any magnitude. ICS 100 (Module 1) is intended as an introduction and overview of the ICS. It is intended for people who may be assigned to incidents in non- supervisory roles and as a prerequisite for students continuing on through other levels.
Proceed to the Table of Contents here.
Download the Course
Please find at the link below the new ICS 100 self-study guide that you can download and print.
The exam is a 25 question written exam with a pass mark of 80%. Individuals who successfully complete the exam will be able to print their certificate.
To take the exam please create an account here http://apsts.alberta.ca/moodle. You will need to register for the Incident Command System 100 course here http://apsts.alberta.ca/moodle/course/view.php?id=3 prior to taking the exam.