Effingham County Amateur Radio Emergency Service, W4ECA is in the process of reorganizing and reactivating under Emergency Coordinator Todd Hargrave, NT4TH. On Tuesday, ECARES met at the Effingham County Emergency Operations Center on Courthouse Rd. to begin planning the future of ARES in Effingham County. Ed Myrick, the Effingham County EMA director welcomed ECARES to the EOC and was enthusiastic about them providing emergency communications support for the community. Among the topics discussed at the meeting were membership, an ECARES weekly net Field Day, and the HF station at the Effingham County Hospital. I wish I would have been able to attend but work kept me in Brunswick; this article is based on Todd’s report on the ECARES Facebook page.
Local ARES membership cards will not be being issued by ECARES; instead they will be using Georgia State ARES identification cards for which you will have to meet Georgia ARES requirements and submit a $15 fee. Todd would like to send in all of the paperwork before the end of April, so if you’re interested in membership make contact with him to get a photo taken and more details.
ECARES will be holding a weekly net on Tuesday evenings at 2000 local on the 146.745- (PL 97.4) repeater beginning 16 April 2013. The net will be used for training purposes to familiarize operators with net and traffic handling procedures. Todd will be serving as Net Manager until someone can be found to take over; if you’re interested contact him for more information.
ECARES will hold a Field Day operation at the Effingham County EOC on 22-23 June 2013. The station will be in operation from 1400 local on Saturday afternoon to 1659 local on Sunday afternoon but operators will be needed earlier than 1400 on Saturday for setup. Current plans are for the group to operate 1 SSB/CW HF station, 1 Digital HF station, 1 VHF/UHF station, and a Get on the Air (GOTA) station.
It has been determined that RFI issues at the Effingham County Hospital have made operation of the HF station installed there inoperable. Current plans involve moving the HF station from the Hospital to the Effingham County EOC where the RF environment isn’t so harsh. A power supply and an antenna for the station’s VHF/UHF radio will need to be provided to provide a simplex link between the hospital and EOC for HF relay from the EOC. This plan requires approval so stay tuned for more information.
For more information on Effingham County ARES, contact:
Todd Hargrave, NT4TH
EC, Effingham County ARES (W4ECA)
146.745 (-) PL 97.4 Repeater
tkhargrave @ gmail.com