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CAL FIRE & REPEATERS

Oct 9th 2019, 14:03

WB6VRJ

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Does anyone know anything about CAL FIRE wanting to get rid of repeaters that are for ham use? I need details-is this true?
Oct 9th 2019, 14:29

W1VT

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxEty6jC5po&t=1563s
HRN 414: There Is No Such Thing As Free Rack Space! David Goldenberg W0DHG and Jim Aspinwall NO1PC discuss this week's BIG California ham radio story. Was the repeater kicked out of the CalFire vault, or did the state just decide that it needed to be "official"....
This kind of misrepresented rant is what gives Ham Radio Operators a bad name.
Oct 20th 2019, 22:22

N2NJL

Joined: Mar 14th 2019, 11:51
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Total Posts: 0
This is the most recent. Does not put ARRL in a good light so it may disappear. I am a new ham and this video has me wondering where my money goes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHzyk457zIM
Oct 21st 2019, 10:22

W1VT

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
http://www.arrl.org/Groups/view/sacramento-valley
"The State of California has not made any determination we can find 'that Ham Radio [is] no longer a benefit.' What happened is that CAL FIRE has transferred responsibility for its communications sites to its property management department. That department has the task of evaluating each site, its condition, use and tenants. If a repeater not known to be associated with the emergency management function of a local jurisdiction is found in a CAL FIRE vault, the default action is to move it out or subject it to commercial rental rates."

"Our contact in the California Office of Emergency Services suggests that, if any affected repeater is in any way involved with local emergency or government support activity, they should ask that agency to engage with CAL FIRE concerning the repeater. If the agency makes the case, there is a good chance that the repeater will be unaffected."

"Their advice is not to elevate this to State Legislators or the Governor's office. In Southern California, wherein sites managed by the U.S. Forest Service have required repeater owners to post bonds to cover the dismantling of their sites if they cease operation. Negotiation has resulted in considerable easing of the original requirements and a modification of terms to help mitigate the short-term financial impact on those repeater owners."

73, Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, Pacific Division Director
Oct 21st 2019, 11:06

KX4Z

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
Thank you for that information. I would assume that ACTIVE groups who are carrying out full scale exercises and generally keeping up to day with HSEEP....would have a much better standing here. And it might be a better idea to be diversified from the locations of the authorities' machines......
Oct 26th 2019, 22:44

N2NJL

Joined: Mar 14th 2019, 11:51
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYSR8Q_N-FE
Dec 6th 2019, 12:29

no1pc

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
There are many layers to this, and any issue of served-agency/amateur radio interaction, and the roles we impose on our government for responsible management of money and assets.

A little more back-story... Things were 'looser' 20-30+ years ago when the CalFire VIP program was more viable, 'necessary' and used ham radio more, before the State got necessarily more serious about providing its own communications infrastructures. Hopefully anyone can agree that public-/life-safety should have the best tools available to support us as they do their duties. Then chiefs had some discretion over the property/sites and volunteers in their regions, and the level of discipline and processes, etc. varied. The CalFire VIP program, in those regions that have one, shifted from front-line communications to supporting State-provided technical equipment. Staff, records, policy shifts lost track of a lot of chief-authorized radio presence and who owned/operated them. The technical criteria, if any applied, to equipment in State sites got tighter, and records of older systems/approvals unknown. There is also responsible cost-accounting not so much considered before.

Otherwise, it's challenging for anyone or a State entity to validate unaffiliated groups - those without MoUs, etc. There is a difference between claiming you provide a service and validating same if you don't have an official sponsor, MoU, statement of work/service, supervision, etc. Yes, a number of elected and career officials DO recognize amateur radio, but it's not required they do so. "Common sense" suggests they do so, but with that comes a management requirement not all can facilitate due to limited budget, staff, etc.

Note that California is the genesis of SEMS, what FEMA adopted into ICS, and "auxillary communications service" of which they still maintain an active official program, like CalFire VIP. Not much ham radio involved in that work, but it is supported as a back-channel alternative and inter-tie to NGO's off official comms systems.

If we're serious about this we'll maturely, responsibly organize, discipline, train, credential, seek background checks, establish commitments and management that a local community, NGO or agency can trust and embrace. That doesn't always happen - some folks just don't like organization, accountability.

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