What is Emergency Communications?
During any hazard emergency response operation, communications among multiple jurisdictions and disciplines—including emergency medical, fire, and law enforcement services, is essential. Unfortunately, the absence of on-scene communications coordination has often compromised critical operations. To close this capability gap, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developed the All Hazards Type III Communications Unit Leader (COML). The All-Hazards Type III COML serve as radio communication unit leaders during emergency operations. The COML responsibilities include developing communication plans to effectively use incident communications equipment and facilities, managing distribution of communications equipment to incident personnel, and coordinating the installation and testing of communications equipment.
An example is the 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, MN. There were so many responding agencies from Fire, EMS and law enforcement all with their own radios and frequencies. This would be an example of where COML’s would be needed in handling the communication plans and equipment used by multiple agencies responding to the emergency.
Working with the COML’s are many types of people such as Auxiliary Communications (AUXCOMM), these are FCC licensed Amateur Radio volunteers that provide amateur radio support for the COML to use during the emergency operations. Public safety communications can provide most of the communications but there are times when even expensive public safety communications cannot do the job. This is where Amateur Radio AUXCOMM teams can provide different types of communications capability to help with the emergency operations. AUXCOMM personal are well trained in the Incident Command System (ICS), which provides the format and protocols for all emergency personal to use during the disaster.
The COML can call to service the AUXCOMM teams if needed during a disaster to assist in the communications. AUXCOMM teams often bring their own equipment which is what makes these teams so valuable during a disaster. AUXCOMM teams are well trained, very motivated to help and very knowledgeable in radio communications.
MN ARES congratulates Kevin Haney, Murray Co. EC, on completing COML Certification.
Section Emergency Coordinator Joe Reinemann, K0JCR presents Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator - Liaison Ryc Lyden, KD0ZWM with his certificate and badge at meeting of the Southeast Metro Radio Club.
Southwest District Emergency Coordinator Arl Weinrebe (KD0BJW) presents Rock County Emergency Coordinator Bill Martin (KA1TIU) with his certificate and badge. Welcome, Bill!
Setting up the ARES portable antenna and repeater to provide communications throughout the course.
Joe Reinemann, K0JCR, (left) accepted the duties of Minnesota Section Emergency Coordinator from Dan Anderson, KD0ASX June 30 in Jordan, MN. Anderson will stay on in an advisory role to the new SEC, will help with transition process with the website, and will take on special projects.
Incoming Section Emergency Coordinator Joe Reinemann, K0JCR, received the Minnesota Region's Red Cross Distinguished Volunteer Leadership Awared at a ceremony in Minneapolis June 28. Joe will be taking over the duties from outgoing SEC Dan Anderson, KD0ASX, July 1.
From the Red Cross:
This edition includes various Incident Command System (ICS) forms for ARES use, clarifies the role of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), contains an improved chapter on ARES training, and includes all current ARRL memoranda of understanding/agreement.
ARES consists of Amateur Radio licensees who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communication duty in the public service, when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of ARRL membership, is eligible to apply for ARES membership.