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Ohio Sheriff Observes and Participates in ARES Simulated Emergency Test

10/09/2019

In Greene County, Ohio, one public official not only observed the ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET) this month but participated in it with Greene County ARES (GCARES). Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer, KX8GCS (“Greene County Sheriff”), checked in when the Resource Net Control, Bob Baker, N8ADO, of Beavercreek, called for volunteers. Although the suggested scenario called for only using simplex, GCARES used the Xenia Amateur Radio Weather Net (XWARN) repeater to reach out for as many volunteers as possible. Net volunteers then switched to a simplex tactical net to communicate with the GCARES Command Center.

Before the SET, Fischer let Greene County ARES Emergency Coordinator Henry Ruminski, W8HJR, know that he planned to participate in the SET to determine how well his handheld radio would perform in an emergency situation. While he found it okay for getting into the resource net, it was less than adequate for effective simplex operation.

Sheriff Fischer had an intense introduction to ham radio in the spring of 2017 when the Dayton Hamvention® moved to Xenia, and his department dealt with traffic control and other issues created by the influx of more than 25,000 visitors.

At the urging of several hams, Fischer subsequently got his license, and his wife became relicensed. Fischer has since upgraded to General.

Ruminski said the SET was “relatively successful.” Signals could have been better from some locations, but most stations were able to communicate with command, he said. Lessons learned will be used to improve future emergency communication plans. — Thanks to Henry Ruminski, W8HJR 



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