Western Pennsylvania ARES

WPAmap 190
ARRL Diamond

Our 2014 Western PA ARES Emcomm Conference was a great success!  We had 54 names on the sign-in sheet which I consider an excellent turnout.

All of the presentations were very high quality and showed a lot of preparation:

  • Juan Manfredi NA0B did a great job of helping me with Broadband Hamnet.  Juan was also a huge help in working administratively with Pitt for arranging all the facilities.
  • Jarrett Chapman KB3QLD, EC of Lawrence County gave a very compelling description of how he's improving the training level and preparedness of Lawrence County.  I think what Jarrett's trying to achieve could be duplicated in many of our other counties.
  • The panel discussion between Susan Singer KB3KDC of PEMA; Dr. Sam Sarraf KE3PO of Westmoreland County and Region 13; Bill Edgar N3LLR, Director Atlantic Division ARRL, and me was very informative and got across the point that we're all cooperating with each other.
  • John Szwarc N3SPW of Dist N2 gave a great overview of D-STAR and other emerging digital modes.  I did not realize how much of Western PA was covered by D-STAR.
  • Drew McGhee KA3EJV of Dist S2 presented an excellent overview of essential NIMS forms.  You will be seeing Western PA ARES start to use these forms more often.  I'd like to see ICS-205 forms for each county up on our website so we'll know which frequency to use during the first part of any disaster.
  • Lloyd Roach K3QNT gave us a very humorous but extremely useful presentation on how we can better publicize amateur radio.
  • And finally...I managed to install BBHN firmware into a brand-new Ubiquit Bullet in front of a large crowd and did not brick the device.  Speak about working under pressure.

I'd also like to thank all who made donations...I've previously thanked club donors in emails and I don't want to publicly embarrass individuals in public...but you know who you are and I hope you believe your money went to a good use.  I thought it was funny that half the sandwiches were ham, we did not plan that.

A tentative date for next year's conference is the weekend between Breezeshooters Hamfest and the Westmoreland County Airshow on Father's Day weekend.  Start thinking about what topics you'd like to see


Harry Bloomberg W3YJ
Section Emergency Coordinator

Western PA ARES


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