The Westcoast Amateur Radio Association (WARA) and the Victoria Branch of the Canadian Red Cross signed a Memorandum of Understanding on July 10, 1996. This memorandum outlines an understanding wherein WARA will provide radio communication for the Red Cross Society – BC Coastal Region during an emergency.
WARA has an Emergency Communication Team (ECT) which consists of club volunteers. The role of WARA’s Emergency Communication Team is to provide radio communication between the Victoria Red Cross and the following organizations and agencies:
- Greater Victoria and Area Emergency Operation Centres (EOC)
- Provincial Emergency Program
- The Canadian Red Cross
- Provincial Emergency Social Services Operations Centre (PESSOC)
- EOC’s and Field Reception Centres in the Red Cross BC Coastal Region
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WARA Emergency Communication Meetings and Nets
The Emergency Communication Team (ECT) operates the Disaster Managment Operations Centre Radio Room at the Canadian Red Cross, BC Coastal Region building at 909 Fairfield Rd.,Victoria BC. The stataion VE7VCC can operate on 2 m voice, 70 cm voice, HF voice and pactor, 2 m packet (Airmail).
The ECT has a number of portable amateur radio stations that can be deployed at Field Reception Centres within the BC Coastal Region. These portable radio kits consists of a 2-metre radio or a dual-band radio, a portable antenna, coax, power supply and battery connectors for hookup to a car battery if needed. Some units have a Kantronics KPC-3 Packet TNC.
Every Wednesday at 7:00 pm, the Emergency Communication Team holds an Emergency Communication Net on the VE7VIC repeater system 146.840 MHz (-600 kHz) followed by a simplex net on 146.580 MHz
The purpose of the net is to:
- establish contact with members of WARA’s Emergency Communication Team
- establish contact with stations outside the Greater Victoria area
- provide Amateurs the experience of working in a directed net
- take general check-ins
- The ECT manual (available by logging on)
- Net Control Stations roster.
- The ECT Script.
- The ECT Radio Message Form (in MS WORD)
- The ECT Radio Message Form (in pdf format)
- The ARRL guidelines on message handling procedures.
AT THE TIME OF AN EMERGENCY OR DISASTER
The Emergency Communication Team may establish a Net Control Station on the
VE7VIC repeater 146.840 (-600) 100 Hz. If the repeater is NOT operational use 146.840 MHz simplex
Control will be responsible for:
- accepting messages for the Red Cross, BC Coastal Region
- coordinating the deployment of the WARA Emergency Communication Team
- establishing contact with Emergency Social Services and Municipal EOC
- establishing contact with stations in outlying areas not affected by the emergency
Any Amateur Radio Operator wishing to volunteer with WARA / ECT at the Red Cross must:
- Make sure that you and family are taken care of.
- Turn on your 2 m radio to the WARA repeater 146.840 MHz
- Announce your presence by transmitting your call-sign.
- Remain on the net if it is operational and tell Net Control if you are leaving the net.
- Do not travel to Red Cross building unless you have been given instruction to do so.
- Pack you grab-and-go bag and get ready to be deployed.
Be prepared to respond to requests from Net Control
- All Volunteers must abide by the Canadian Red Cross “Volunteer Responsibilities” & “Code of Conduct”
For more information on becoming involved with the WARA ECT,
contact Len Howland, VE7BSA, 656-6555, firstname.lastname@example.org.