The PARC ARES group participated in a statewide Red Cross disaster drill today by providing local UHF communications from disaster relief assessment teams to the local Red Cross HQ, and HF communications from the Texas Panhandle Red Cross group to the East Texas chapter which was supported by the Smith County ARES team. We had some successes, and some failures as well, but we learned from our mistakes and I look forward to supporting future Red Cross activity. More importantly, we were able to establish a working relationship with Monica Lea, the new director of the panhandle chapter. Monica has invited us back to support an upcoming wildfire drill, and a large statewide shelter drill in June. The shelter drill will occur in simultaneously in all Texas Panhandle counties and we will need operators to assist from each county for the event to be a success. I will provide more information very soon.

I invited the AAN9TXA Amarillo DHS/TSA MARS team to shadow our event as a learning experience. The TSA MARS team trains to provide emergency communications during disaster events at a federal level. Because of a scheduling conflict with the PARC monthly meeting, and the Elk City hamfest, and last minute cancellations, we had a lack of ham volunteers. The ham radio licensed MARS operators eagerly volunteered to assist in this drill. Their assistance was greatly appreciated and and they did an excellent job.

I want to personally thank all who participated and encourage others to volunteer for future events.

Participants:

  • KD5ROK Cory Elliot, ARES Volunteer
  • KE5ZRT Chris Seright, ARES Volunteer
  • KF5TCY Sarah Seright, ARES Volunteer, DHS/TSA employee, Super Amazing Wife
  • KF5PUU Sharon Buckley, AAN9TXA DHS/TSA MARS team member
  • KF5PUQ Ricky Davis, AAN9TXA DHS/TSA MARS team member
  • N9RTT John Cummins, American Red Cross volunteer

Special thanks to WR9B Robert Bruse for the use of his backyard repeater which provided excellent HT coverage for the neighborhood we worked in, and KE5WRT James Hiers and K5KBV Ed Krizan for loaning HT radios for the event.

73 de KE5ZRT