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Global EmComm Conference to Be Held in Germany This Month

06/19/2008

The fourth annual Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (GAREC) Conference is scheduled for June 26-27, 2008 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, held just prior to HamRadio 2008. That event, called "the Dayton of Europe," is scheduled for June 27-29. GAREC's schedule is continuously being updated and is subject to change.

IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmerman, F5VKP/HB9AQS, will present the opening remarks at GAREC 08; Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, President of IARU Region 1, is scheduled to join Zimmerman on the stage, along with representatives from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC), the hosts of HamRadio 2008.

GAREC will take a look at the state of EmComm preparedness in each of the IARU regions, as well as discuss experiences of the 2006 and 2007 EmComm Parties-on-the-Air and the future of the Global Simulated Emergency Test (SET). Delegates will also discuss implementation of the WRC-03 modifications to Article 25 of the Radio Regulations, in respect to third-party traffic during emergencies and exercises. The part of Article 25 concerning Emergency Communications says "Amateur stations may be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of third parties only in case of emergencies or disaster relief. An administration may determine the applicability of this provision to amateur stations under its jurisdiction" (RR 25.3), and "Administrations are encouraged to take the necessary steps to allow amateur stations to prepare for and meet communication needs in support of disaster relief" (RR 25.9A).

GAREC delegates will also have the opportunity to look at and discuss the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) and the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as well as the MOU between the IARU and the ITU. IARU Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, with assistance from Hugh Peterken of the IFRC and Zimmermann, as well as a representative from the ITU, will lead the discussion.

ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, will present a session on how Emergency Communications are handled in the US. Each of the three IARU Region Presidents -- Region 1 President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH, and Region 3 President Michael Owen, VK3KI -- will speak on the status of EmComm in their respective region. Seppo Sisättö, OH1VR, and Juha Hulkko, OH8NC, will present on the possibility of Emergency Communication Centers around the world. There will be a talk on D-STAR in emergency communications, and case studies of Emergency Communication practices around the world will also be presented.

Those wishing to attend GAREC-08 are encouraged to register online; the fee is €75. GAREC will take place in the Conference Center of the Friedrichshafen Messe in the Oesterreich Room. Travel and lodging information for GAREC and HamRadio 2008 is available online at the HamRadio 2008 Web page.



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