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!