Washington Governor Visits Snohomish County EOC Radio Room
Snohomish County Auxiliary Communications Service (Snohomish ACS — formerly RACES) Radio Officer Scott Honaker, N7SS, reported that Washington Gov Jay Inslee toured the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management EOC on March 26. The EOC has been central to the relief effort following the disastrous and tragic March 22 mudslide near Oso, Washington.
“We saw Gov Inslee walk into the EOC, and a few minutes later the EOC manager brought him into the radio room with a small group,” Honaker told ARRL. “The governor shook hands and thanked us and kept asking good questions about issues he’d heard in the field. He was clearly quite engaged.”
Honaker said the EOC radio room has six radio stations in cubicles, four of them currently monitoring incident traffic. He said ARES DEC George Boswell, K7YHB, has been at the EOC 12 hours a day since last weekend.
“The ACS team has shut down operations in Darrington for now,” Honaker pointed out, “but our command vehicle remains in place as a local EOC resource. We are still staffing the Snohomish County EOC radio room 24 hours a day.” Other Amateur Radio volunteers are providing communication support for the Incident Management Team in Arlington, Washington, he added.
“It appears they will be activating a larger state dispatch response team next week for that support,” Honaker added. In addition to Honaker and Boswell, other Amateur Radio volunteers who met with the governor included former ACS Radio Officer Tim Lawson, K7TKA; Erik Robbins, K7QOG; Ann Wright, AA7AG, and Rob Myers, K7RHM.
During a radio interview with Brandi Kruse on KIRO in Seattle, Gov Inslee recounted his EOC visit and specifically his visit to the radio room.
“It’s interesting that they had a volunteer group that really has handled a lot of the communications,” the governor said. “They have staffed the communications center so that you could have communications from Darrington across over to the Operations Center in Arlington, because the phones were down for two and a half days.”