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- Section Name:
- Eastern Pennsylvania
- Robert Famiglio, K3RF
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8/3/14....... EmComm Report Released to Membership by Committee
Many in our section may not be aware that the League had created an emergency communications advisory committee several years ago. It was staffed by members throughout the country who were deemed to have substantial experience with either the National Traffic System and/or the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. The committee was co-chaired by Jim Cross, WI3N, MDC SM and Dave Colter, WA1ZCN, ASEC, former SEC, NH ARES. The full report and the introductory message from the co-chairman introducing the report is a must read for all members who are interested in ARES and NTS. The intro letter and the full report is at the bottom of this page in PDF for downloading. The quality of the full report is exceptional and I ask that you take the time to read it because it covers some of the most pressing and important issues we will face with respect to amateur radio’s role in emergency communications and its related activity-message and traffic handling.
First, read the introduction transmittal letter to gain a sense of what the report is about and what kinds of issues the committee addressed. Then, while the report is lengthy, make some time to read through it because it is truly a professionally produced work. Some of the current, important issues involved in emergency communications and separately in the national traffic system will be familiar to those of you active at all in either of these important activities. However, I ask that the rest of you interested in a healthy future of amateur radio also take time to at least read the introductory letter and hopefully skim through the report itself if you do not have time to study it more closely. I am interested in your comments.
As for my position, I am in favor of most, if not all of, the recommendations of the committee because of the value those recommendations have to the healthy future of the amateur radio service. Others seem less interested in what the members want. But I represent your interests as your representative, so I will make your comments known to the board of directors. If you take the time to write to me, I will take the time to read your comments. If you choose to write to our Atlantic division director Bill Edgar, N3LLR and our vice-director Tom Abernathy, W3TOM directly, please copy me as well so I can gain a sense of our section membership position on this.
Bob Famiglio, K3RF
1/27/14........Lloyd Roach, K3QNT EPA PIC Retires to WPA
It is with regret that I report our Public Information Coordinator (PIC) for Eastern Pennsylvania, Lloyd B. Roach, K3QNT, has resigned his PIC post in view of his move to Western PA. While he will surely continue to be active and likely participate in ARES from his new home in Bedford, PA, Lloyd and his wife Jacqueline left Chester County near year’s end, handing the keys to their five acre residence of 30 years in the Brandywine Valley over to a lucky young couple and began the three hour plus drive to their new home as I waived good-bye. Lloyd has already planned for a tower and even has a dipole up at his new home already.
Lloyd is known to many of you as a broadcast professional, radio station owner and public relations expert in the good old style. Most of all, Lloyd, an old Navy radioman, is an amateur radio operator in the best tradition. Serving his long time home through Chester County ARES, he was given recognition by the Department of Emergency Services there and honored recently by the county board of commissioners for his service through amateur radio and as emergency manager for several townships. We now have another friend in the WPA section. We’ll be hearing more from Lloyd I’m sure.
Lloyd will be hard to replace, but I need to try. We will need a new section PIC. You can check the requirements and duties at the League’s web site. Requirements include professional public relations and journalism experience, or similar background and education in dealing with the public and the media. Anyone interested? Send me your CV or resume and let’s talk. Good public relations is more important to us now than ever. Your section needs you.
Bob Famiglio, K3RF
6/29/13.....EPA Bragging Rights
There are 71 sections which comprise the ARRL family in our fifty
states. Many of them teem with VHF/UHF activity. Of all of them, our
Eastern Pennsylvania Section was singled out for praise on page 81 of
the July QST. In the 2013 ARRL January VHF contest, our Atlantic
Division provided more than 165 log submissions, with our section
providing the highest count, 82 logs, among any other single section in
the country. In fact, we tied the log totals from the entire New
England Division, a known hot bed of VHF/UHF activity.
I know some of this achievement has to do with our section’s active
VHF/UHF club, the Mt. Airy VHF Radio Club, known as the Pack Rats. But
logs were submitted from others in our section as well. This showing is
indicative of the intensity of amateur radio activity in Eastern
Pennsylvania. Congratulations, and enjoy your bragging rights.
Bob Famiglio, K3RF
12/30/12 ..... A New Years Greeting from the SM...
As we approach the new year, I want to thank all of you who assisted me in my role as section manager over the last eight months. I have enjoyed visiting and presenting before many clubs, and look forward to continuing that in the new year.
I would also like to thank all of you who participated in ARES and emergency communications operations during Hurricane Sandy. Though we did not have quite as much destruction here in PA, some of our friends in New Jersey and New York were not as lucky. Many radio amateurs where there to help. I received calls from other section managers from around the country offering aid before and after the storm. It was gratifying for so many hams to step up and offer assistance.
During Sandy, I had the pleasure of serving with the Delaware County ARES unit. We spent hours in the EOC stationed with other agencies’ communications operators there. I spent another 8 hour overnight shift leading the Rose Tree Fire Company crew. I know my story isn’t unique. Many of you had long nights as well. Thank you for your service.
I am speaking at the Marple-Newtown Amateur Radio Club meeting in Delaware County on Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 7 PM. See www.mnarc.org for directions. I will be speaking about amateur radio
and the law including antenna zoning and the latest ARRL news. All are invited to the meeting. Bring your questions, and let me know if you would like me to schedule a visit to your local club.
Finally, I would like to remind you all to send me articles and announcements that you would like to see posted on the section web sites. Also, please send me questions and concerns about matters that are important to you. This will help me stay apprised of your concerns. I can then address them and/or pass them along to headquarters. You can write or call me during the day or evening at my office as listed in QST.
2013 holds many challenges and new issues for radio amateurs. Together, we will address them. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.
Bob Famiglio, K3RF
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6/25/12 ...EPA Section Manager has "Flyover" to visit clubs on Field Day
Most Section Managers try to visit as many club setups as possible during the annual ARRL Field Day event, but this can sometimes be a daunting task with the event taking place in a 24 hour period and lots of miles to cover.
Our newly elected EPA SM Bob Famiglio (K3RF) had been used to visiting the 5 county sites within his own District when he was a former DEC, but now as the Section Manager he wondered as to how could visit ALL 34 counties in the Section spread out over a few hundred square miles in such a short period of time??
But he found a way – a rather unique one
He and Jim Goldman, W3JG, both licensed private pilots spent the Saturday of Field Day doing a "Flyover" throughout the Section in Jim's Cessna. They lifted off near Philadelphia at 14:15 and after a long day returned to their home airport just after dark around 2100.
Bob had sent out a Section wide email earlier in the week asking the various clubs and groups in the Section if they would send him their Field Day coordinates and he would circle their sites, and then on Friday he provided them all a general timeline of the flight path.
He and Jim actually flew over and circled 21 different sites in the Section, and since two groups were actually setup at private airports they were able to land and have visit first hand.
Resposnse to the "Flyover" was overwhelming. Some groups were waving flags as the Cessna circled over head; and, then as it neared nightfall one group actually lit flares so their site could easily be seen from the air.
There are a couple of photos posted at the very bottom of this page from the "Flyover. One is an APRS plot of the flight, and another with K3RF on his HT in the copilots seat. The view shot trough the Yagi is courtesy of pete Varounis, NL7XM.
Posted by WB3W
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4/21/2012 Orefield, PA . Chester County Operators support 3-day EMS exercise.
Emergency response teams from across the state of Pennsylvania converge on a field in Orefield, Lehigh County Saturday to test their response capabilities to catastrophic events. The 3-day full scale exercise included 130 responders and over 40 ambulances and their support vehicles.
The exercise, named "Operation April Showers" was conducted under the supervision of the Pennsylvania Department of Health to test the Emergency Medical Service's Strike Team response to several mass casualty scenarios.
The exercise started on Friday and lasted through Sunday. As part of the exercise the first responders from around Pennsylvania gathered in Orefield, just north of Allentown, on Saturday for a mass casualty drill. Participants simulated a bus crash and a nursing home fire.
Pictured in the photos at the bottom of this page are some of the Chester County ARES/RACES Amateur Radio operators who accompanied the ambulances on their trip up from Cester county and set up a portable command post in support of the operation.
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(March 13, 2012) GenOn Energy Gives Donation to enhance amateur Radio communications capabiltities at the Berks County Emergency Operations Center.
Berks County PA - Berks County Department of Emergency Services graciously accepted a charitable donation of $3,600.00 on behalf of Berks County ARES/RACES. This donation was made by GenOn Energy who owns and operates Titus electrical generating station in Cumru Township. The $3,600.00 will be used to enhance Amateur Radio capabilities in the Berks County Operations Center located at 2561 Bernville Road Reading, PA. Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) are nationwide organizations with local chapters whose primary mission is to support civil emergency authorities through the use of amateur or "ham" radio services.
The volunteer members of Berks County ARES/RACES, most of whom are part of local amateur radio clubs, supply a much needed service to Berks County residents by providing amateur radio communications during natural and manmade disasters. As recently as during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, their services were indispensible in ensuring communication among mass care shelters, emergency response personnel and other incident facilities. This amateur radio communications frees up public safety radio channels and emergency dispatchers to permit thier focus to be on more emergent communications related to the event at hand.
The need for enhancement of Berks County's ARES/RACES capabilities was brought to the attention of GenOn Energy by an employee at the Titus Station who is also a members of the Reading Radio Club and Berks ARES/RACES. "GenOn is pleased to support community organizations that help protect lives and property during emergencies" said Jeff Marks General Manager of the Titus Station.
Berks County ARES/RACES and the Berks County Department of Emergency Services wishes to thank the GenOn Corporation for its generosity.
Additional information can be found on the Berks County Department of Emergency Services website at http://www.berksdes.com .
This is from a news release by Berks County D.E.S. The story was picked up and printed by Ther Reading Eagle Newspaper.
(March 3, 2012) WB3FPL Luncheon
Members of the EPA Section Staff, Atlantic Division Director N3LLR, and incoming Section Manager K3RF gathered in Reading to thank Eric, WB3FPL for his 12 years of service as EPA Section Manager and service to EPA hams since 1979.
(Nov 6, 2011) AIRPORT DRILL SHOWCASES DELAWARE COUNTY ARES-RACES
The October 29 airport drill, PHL EPEX 2011, highlighted the communications expertise of Delaware County’s ARESRACES
unit. Despite brutal weather conditions including a nor’easter featuring
freezing temperatures, blowing rain, sleet and snow, a team of 13 radio operators provided communications that helped make the important drill a success.
The exercise, held every three years, tests the capabilities of airport management and local emergency service units in responding to a major aviation disaster. The drill simulates the crash of a commercial airliner with a resulting fire and scores of injuries.
Delaware County ARES was tasked with providing communications for patient transport and recovery. A communications base was established inside Atlantic Aviation’s hangar adjacent to runway 26. A radio operator was assigned to each of five buses used for transporting simulated victims. Radio operators assigned to the buses included Jim Rowland, KB3UGL, Sonya Fazio, KB3UGI, Rich Caruth, K3ZEZ, Nat Stinson, K3NAT and Mike Thomas, KB3SUS. Sol Volen, N3UBY and Carl Gerhart, N3ZZK, both of Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club, also participated.
Bob Famiglio, K3RF, served as liaison to the airport operations staff and Hal Frantz, KA3TWG, served as liaison to Delaware County DES inside Mobile-1, the county’s communications and command vehicle. Four operators including Joe Ames, W3JY, Ace Trexler, KB3ACE, Craig Skotnicki,
KB3SUM and Bob Wilson, W3BIG manned the communications base inside Atlantic Aviation’s hangar, serving as net coordinators and command and control.
The exercise this year broke new ground as it was the first time frequencies outside the Amateur Radio bands were utilized to carry
the bulk of message traffic. Commercial band digital transceivers were employed to afford the ARES unit an opportunity to use equipment and frequencies of adjunct services.
Amateur Radio frequencies were used to provide backup and command and control. The KA3TWG repeater in Bethel was employed for main event communications. For tower to base communications D-STAR frequencies on 1.2 Ghz Bob Famiglio, K3RF stationed in ramp control were also used.
Craig Skotnicki, KB3SUM served as net control Although inclement weather caused officials to abbreviate the operational phase of the exercise, the communications aspect of the drill was not curtailed. Delaware County ARES stayed on the job from 0800 to 1600 hours, shepherding buses to and from the airport to area hospitals.
The decision to integrate commercial and Amateur Radio frequencies to coordinate message traffic proved to be a valuable and successful test.
Airport managers were impressed with the capabilities and professionalism of Delaware County ARES-RACES, expressing
how important the contribution was to the success of the exercise.
(story by Bob Wilson, W3BIG EC for Delaware County)
Eastern Pennsylvania Officials
Section ManagerRobert B. Famiglio K3RF
Official Observer CoordinatorOlaf Markert W3PA
Section Traffic ManagerRichard Scott Walker N3SW
State Government LiaisonFredric T. Serota K3BHX
Section Emergency CoordinatorRobert J. Wiseman WB3W
Assistant Section ManagerJoseph A. Ames W3JY