Archive for March, 2012

Panhandle RAC and PARC ARES Partnership News

The mission of the Panhandle Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) is to provide the infrastructure and leadership necessary to develop an inclusive emergency healthcare system within Trauma Service Area A. As you may know, the RAC has recently received a Homeland Security grant to establish an emergency communications system at the hospitals here in the Texas panhandle area. The PARC ARES group has been assisting to coordinate and facilitate the RAC in their efforts. At our last ARES meeting we completed the programming and assembly of 17 mobile radios and power supplies. In April, the PARC ARES group is hosting 3 individual 6-hour “Ham Cram” Technician Class licensing study sessions followed by a VE session for potential emergency communicators from each of the panhandle hospitals. We anticipate a long term working relationship with the RAC. There are several opportunities coming up in which ARES members may participate:

  • The RAC has invited ARES members to attend a regional planning meeting on Thursday March 22nd 3:00-5:00 pm at the Northwest Texas Hospital Pavilion Auditorium, 7201 Evans Drive in Amarillo.
  • The RAC is planning an exercise simulating tornado strike in the Pampa and Borger communities which will take place on May 23rd. We may need communications assistance at the hospitals from hams in Pampa and Borger areas. Our SKYWARN storm spotters may piggyback in the exercise as well. More details will be provided very soon.
  • PARC ARES will assist with a monthly communications test in the form of a roll call type net using tactical callsigns on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 8:30 am utilizing the Caprock Intertie linked repeater system. We may need assistance from ARES members to either serve as NCS or to provide communications at the panhandle hospitals in the event that hospital staff are not available. We will definitely need the assistance of hams in the remote areas in the panhandle to begin building a relationship with the outlying hospitals as a POC to ARES for your communities. Please contact us if you can provide assistance.
  • At our regular scheduled ARES training meeting on Tuesday April 10th at 7:30 pm, we anticipate that the RAC will provide CPR and basic first aid training to our ARES members. This should be confirmed within the day or so. More information will be provided as these plans become more concrete.

We look forward to working with the RAC in the future, and ARES will need your help!

Spotter Training Results

We had a great turnout for the SKYWARN storm spotter training last night with the Panhandle Amateur Radio Club (PARC) Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) group with 37 in attendance. As always, NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Krissy  Scotten was well prepared, educational and entertaining. In case you missed the training here’s a schedule for more opportunities:

March Ham Cram Results

This is a QST from KE5ZRT…

I am proud to announce that Amarillo now has two new hams: Armando and Benjamin. Listen for these new KF5*** callsigns on the air soon. Both attended the Ham Cram study session today and both passed the test, resulting in a 100% pass rate for this study session. I want to thank co-instructor Neal Lowe, W5PVI; supporters Dan McCabe, WA8YYE, and Monty Denney, KC5OMK; facilities supporter Bob Sanders, N5TBD; VE John Ashurst, K5FS, and VE liaison Terra Seright, KE5ZRU. Without all of your help these classes simply would not be possible. I am looking forward to the next Ham Cram sessions in April that are scheduled for members of the Panhandle RAC.

73 y’all

KE5ZRT Clear

Training Expectations of ARES and Emergency Communicators

Many ARES groups across the country require the following training of it’s members, however this training is not mandatory for our group at this time, although it is highly recommended. This training will help emergency communicators to be successful in assisting in any scenario whether it is a public service event such as the Bike MS ride or the Tour de’ Cotton bike ride, or an actual emergency or disaster event

Introduction to Emergency Communication (link)

Cost: ARRL Members $50               Non-Members/ Guests: $85

Description. This course is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. The course has 6 sections with 29 lesson topics. It includes required student activities, a 35-question final assessment and is expected to take approximately 45 hours to complete over a 9-week period. You will have access to the course platform at any time of day during this 9-week period so you may work according to your own schedule. You must pace yourself to be sure you complete all the required material in the allotted time.

Course Completion Requirements. At the end of the course an online final assessment is taken.  A score of 80% or better is required for successful course completion.  For the student to receive a “Pass,” Mentors must also verify student completion by evaluating work on required activity assignments and notify the Continuing Education Program that the student has successfully completed both the course work and achieved a satisfactory score on the final assessment.

Computer Requirements. This is an online course hosted on the Moodle online learning platform. This online learning platform is best accessed using the Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers.

Prerequisites. Before you begin the course you should have completed the following prerequisites. These courses provide a foundation for the content of this course.  These are free mini-courses you can take online at

IS-100.b – Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100 (link)

Course Overview: ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

IS-700.a NIMS An Introduction (link)

Course Overview: This course introduces and overviews the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents.




Disaster Preparedness and Fire Safety Information Events

The Amarillo/Potter/Randall Office of Emergency Management would like to invite you to come and learn how to best prepare you, your family, and your property against disasters. Over the next couple of weeks, there will be two opportunities to gather disaster and fire preparedness materials at the designated United Supermarkets below.

Saturday, March 10 – Disaster Preparedness and Fire Safety Information (1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the United Supermarket at 3400 River Road, Amarillo, TX)

Saturday, March 17 – Disaster Preparedness and Fire Sagety Information (1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the United supermarket at 4701 S. Washington, Amarillo, TX)

Information from participating organizations will include:

  • Warning systems – making sure you have multiple avenues to get notified
  • NOAA All Hazards Radio – ensuring your radio is programmed with the Potter or Randall code so that you get alerted
  • Volunteering – opportunities available
  • Ready, Set, Go! Fire book – preparing your family and home for wildfire threats
  • Disaster Recovery – steps you should take following a disaster
  • Business Continuity – planning and prepping your business for a disaster

More information can be found at

Hope to see you there


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