Delaware Valley FM Sprint Contest -- February 28

The Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club presents:
The Delaware Valley FM Sprint Contest.

Please join us on February 28th from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM for an evening of FM fun.

The object of the contest is to contact as many different zip codes as possible. The rules can be found at http://www.harcnet.org/contest.htm This is a great way to heck out your simplex coverage. It's good information to have if your favorite repeater went off the air. While the contest is centered in the greater Philadelphia area, all stations are invited to participate and submit logs.

Members: Please keep information up to date!

The following CCAR members have bad (bouncing) e-mail addresses in the CCAR database:

KB3IUM
KA3FVB
KB3PYT

ALL MEMBERS: Please log in, go to "My account" in the menu on the right, "edit" tab, then click the other tab links to complete or update your information. Be sure you enter/update ALL information, including your equipment, availability, etc.

Please make your registration count, and be ready for an activation. Thanks!

--Lor W3QA

CCAR Receives CCDES Commendation

Ed Atkins, Director of the Chester County Department of Emergency Services, sent the following letter to me. I want to share it with the CCAR members and especially those members who responded on January 20th. Thanks again all, for making me proud.

--Lor W3QA

----------------------------------------

23 January 2009

Mr. Loring Kutchins, W3QA
Emergency Coordinator
Chester County ARES/RACES

Dear Lor,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you and the staff of CCAR for your response during the phone outage in the Atglen area on the 20th. Your willingness and ability to respond on a frigid Tuesday afternoon is just one reason I count on CCAR when the worst occurs. The expertise, dedication and continued support of the men and women of CCAR is truly an asset to the citizens of Chester County.

I realize that many things go on behind the scenes to make this program a success and I appreciate the hours of planning and training you have dedicated. I have no doubt that CCAR was prepared for a protracted deployment and, had it been required, you would have staffed additional fire stations. I appreciate the dedication of the CCAR members who respond in adverse conditions to protect the citizens. And I fully understand how fortunate we in Chester County are to have CCAR.

Please pass along my thanks to your staff and their continued service; it is truly a pleasure to work with these outstanding professionals.

Sincerely,

Ed

Edward J. Atkins, Colonel USAF (Ret.)
Director

Al Rabenau, W3AHR, Accepts RO Nomination

Long a valued member of CCAR, Al Rabenau, W3AHR, accepted the nomination for appointment as CCAR's RACES Officer. His official government appointment by a CCDES Emergency Management Officer is pending.

Al brings to this appointment his emergency responder training and experience as a fireman and EMT, as well as years of operating both digital and voice modes for CCAR. Al holds an Amateur Extra Class FCC license, Air Force Military Affiliate Radio System license AFA3RA (under shich he also operates a SHARES station), all levels of the ARECC certifications, and a vast list of emergency management certifications. His participation and performance in both actual events and exercises has always found him on the CCAR "A-team". As RACES Officer, I look forward to sharing CCAR leadership with him and furthering the mission of the organization.

Please offer Al your congratulations when you see or talk to him. Congratulations, Al!

--Lor W3QA

Minimum Training Requirements Changed

At the recent CCAR staff meetings, we reached a consensus that the minimum training certifications required of members for RACES deployment shall be altered.

Previously, members must have had at a minimum, certifications on file for FEMA (or equivalent) ICS-100, ICS-700, ARRL ARECC Level I, and a current First Aid certificate in order to be deployed on exercises and actual incidents by CCDES. This has now been changed so that the minimums are ICS-100, ICS-700, and Level 1 (ARRL or CCAR). First Aid is no longer required, but is highly encouraged for members to obtain and keep current.

These changes still allow CCAR to meet legal NIMS standards, PEMA and CCDES requirements, and ensure that members hold athoratative training certifications for the tasks they are expected to perform while deployed. These requirements also allow CCAR members to be covered under the latest legislation for Worker's Compensation and other Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 coverages for liability relief while officially deployed.

The status of all members on the roster have been appropriately updated. Please see "Membership > Training Achievements" in the main menu to check your current status.

--Lor W3QA

2009 Events Calendar

The CCAR staff concluded two fruitful meetings last night and the planning for our 2009 season is now available on the CCAR calendar. To see what's coming up, just click on the "Calendar" item on the main menu.

The CCAR events calendar is a public calendar hosted by Google. All CCAR members have access to it to enter new events or edit existing ones.

All CCAR members also have their own FREE accounts for email, calendar, personal web site, and spreadsheet and word processing web applications at W3EOC.NET as part of your CCAR membership. To access your personal calendar, documents, e-mail and web site, simply click on the links appearing under your call sign in the right column (you must be logged into the site first). Your initial password to these personal accounts has been sent to you by email. The calendar and email applications can be integrated into your current email and calendar applications nicely. The help files are instantly available to tell you how to do these things.

Add the CCAR calendar to your personal calendar to allow easy changes and comparisons to either. How? Do this: (You must log into the site first.)

  1. Click "My calendar" in the menu to the right.
  2. Enter your call sign and password. You calendar will appear.
  3. On the left column under Other Calendars, click "Add > Add a public calendar".
  4. Select and copy this URL into your clipboard (Highlight it, and press C)

    http://tinyurl.com/dctmpf

  5. Under Add Other Calendar, click the "Add by URL" tab.
  6. Put the cursor into the field and paste the URL into it (press V). Click the "Add" button.
  7. go "Back to Calendar"

The CCAR events calendar should appear in your "My calendars" list in the left column. You can select a color of your choice for it's contents display (click the down arrow). Play with it!

--Lor W3QA

Basic & Advanced SKYWARN Training offered in Montgomery County

To All,

Please mark your calendars and plan now!

On Saturday, March 7, 2009, starting at 10 AM sharp both Basic and ADVANCED
SKYWARN Training will be presented at the Lower Providence Municipal
Building, Eagleville, PA. Check http://www.lowerprovidence.org/direction.htm
for directions if you have never been to this facility before.
IF you are already Skywarn trained and 2 years have elapsed, IT IS TIME for
recertification.This is a great opportunity to learn the latest changes and
reporting protocols.

However, seating is limited and this is a first come, first served
situation. Montco ARES-RACES is hosting this event.

Please contact: "Lou - WX3I" lou@wx3i.net ASAP if you are planning to
attend-- to reserve a seat.

Thanks,

Reg-N3KAS
ARRL EPA PIO

CCAR Check-Ins 1/29/2009

01/29/2008 CCAR Thursday Night Net Total: 19

Net Control: W3AHR Al
Drill Traffic: WX3E George
Mobiles:
KB3IGL Ray, W3NOA Jim, WX3I Lou

Traffic: n/a

Regions:
KE3HG Rich, WB3GCK Craig, W3GGY Russ, KB3NCK Jim, KA3QKZ Don, K3JSE Andy, KB3CVC Dick, KB3TQS Tom, KB3RBU Scott, K5HAL Cullen, N3ESS Ray, W3BMA Dick, KB3FPM John, K3JV Joe

Late Checkins: n/a

Digital:
Winlink: KE3HG Rich, W3AHR Al, WM3L Bill, WB3GCK Craig
APRS: KB3PCY Martin

New PA Legislation

On October 8, 2008, Governor Rendell signed legislation amending Title 35 (Health and Safety) of the Pennsylvania Statutes. It establishes a statewide Mutual Aid Committee comprised of state, regional, and local officials, and emergency responders. The committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of a statewide mutual aid system including formalizing mutual aid agreements and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of Pennsylvania municipalities, state, and county officials, during disaster responses in which assistance is needed from outside the community in which the emergency occurred.

This is a summary of that legislation focusing primarily on how it relates to CCAR's volunteer arrangements with the Chester County Department of Emergency Services in case of a request for assistance from another County.

......................

Summary of Senate Bill No. 1225 for CCAR Members

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
This bill amends Title 35 of the Pa Consolidated Statutes dealing with Health and Safety. It creates a system for mutual aid agreements between political subdivisions in PA. and specifies the procedures, practices, rights, responsibilities and obligations of the participating political entities and participants.

CCAR (RACES) activities are included when done at the request of CCDES.

SPECIFIC AREAS AFFECTING CCAR:

Inclusion:

CCAR is included as part of the CCDES as a “Dedicated emergency response organization” which is:

“Any entity organized, chartered or incorporated in this Commonwealth…for the primary purpose of providing emergency services. This term shall include volunteer, career and combination organizations.” (pg 2, 26-30)

Emergency Responder:

This is an interesting section in that it seems to eliminate the need for licensing, certification etc. It defines an Emergency Responder as:

“An individual in the public or private sector who has special skills qualification, training, knowledge, or experience whether or not (emphasis added) the person possesses a license, certificate, permit or other official recognition for the skills, qualification, training, knowledge or experience that would benefit the participating political subdivision in responding to an authorized mutual aid request or participating in an authorized drill or exercise. This term shall include a law enforcement officer…or a person with specialized equipment operations skills or training…” (pg 3, 1-16)

I suspect this above was written into the law to cover heavy equipment operators in the case of emergency operations but the wording seems to apply to radio operators also.

Cross-jurisdictional certification:

The law provides that:

“ If a person holds a license, certificate or other permit issued by a participating political subdivision or the Commonwealth evidencing qualification in a professional, mechanical or other skill and the assistance of that person or entity is requested by a participating political subdivision, that person shall be deemed licensed, certified or permitted in the political subdivision requesting assistance…”(pg 10; 14-20)

Control of equipment:

The law specifies that the responding personnel shall maintain control of all equipment and insure that it is used within intended design specifications.
Again, this doesn’t seem to be written for the radio responders—but the words apply. (pg 10, 27-30; pg 11, 1-4)

Insurance coverage—Workers’ Compensation:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a responding political subdivision shall provide appropriate workers’ compensation insurance protection for municipal employees and volunteers representing the responding political subdivision when responding under this system.” (pg 11, 6-10)

Liability:>

“All activities performed under the intrastate mutual aid system are deemed to be governmental functions. For the purposes of liability, all persons responding under the operational control of the requesting political subdivision shall be deemed to be employees of the requesting political subdivision. Except in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence or bad faith, neither the participating political subdivisions nor their employees shall be liable for the death of or injury to persons or for damage to property when complying or attempting to comply with the system. This subchapter shall provide no immunity, rights or privileges for any individual responding to an incident where the response has not been requested by a participating political subdivision.” (pg 11, 18-30)

(The occasional comments and interpretations were done by Al Morris—who is not a lawyer--and I leave it to the reader to make his/her own interpretation of the statute if a further or more nuanced interpretation is desired.)

ARM, w3hoa; 1/24/09

CCAR Net Check-Ins for 1/22/2009

WB3GCK CRAIG - NCS
K3WIL WILL - DRILL TRAFFIC
K5HAL CULLEN, W3QA LOR ANNOUNCEMENTS

KE3HG RICH, KB3NCK JIM, W3AHR AL, KB3IGL RAY, WA3NOA JIM, KB3CVC DICK, KB3TQS TOM, W3JEF JEFF, W3XE GEORGE, N3ESS RAY, AA3YR BILL, W3BMA DICK, WM3L BILL, K3YK DAVE, KB3OLG JOHN

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
W3QA
- 20 JAN CCAR ACTIVATED FOR COMM OUTAGE (SEE NOTICE BELOW).
- STAFF MEETING - TRAINING CHANGES. MIN REQUIREMENTS FOR RESPONDER CHANGED - FIRST AID NOW ENCOURAGED BUT NOT REQUIRED. CCAR DEVELOPING ITS OWN EQUIVALENT TO THE ARRL LEVEL 1 COURSE. COURSE PRESENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT.

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