Greetings – Thank you for agreeing to participate in the Seattle ACS/MST October 10, 2009 Comm Exercise (SET 2009).  This package of information is intended to provide a basic overview of the purpose and objectives of the exercise and your role and what is expected.  We want this exercise be a lot of fun and a good opportunity for all of to practice and learn.  We want everyone to be creative and take some license in playing your role.  Most of all be safe and remember your training.

Important Note: Only registered ACS and MST members are eligible to participate in this exercise – we will take check-ins from others but they will not be deployed to a field location unless they have a valid ACS or MST ID card number.  You must be a registered Washington State Emergency Worker.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this exercise is to improve the readiness and effectiveness of Seattle ACS and Region 6 of the Western Washington Medical Services Team, by practicing all the processes that would be followed in a real-world incident.

Each year the ARRL encourages all ARES and RACES teams in the country to conduct a Simulated Emergency Test (SET), for the purpose of exercising the communication teams in a coordinated effort to communicate with served agencies and other neighboring jurisdictions. The teams are encouraged to utilize as many newly licensed operators as possible, both voice and digital modes, and to solicit publicity announcements.

After Action Review – Lessons Learned

All participants are invited to an exercise after-action review which will be held at the Seattle EOC at 6:30 PM on Thursday October 15, 2009.  The Seattle EOC is located at 105 5th Ave S. (at the corner of 5th Ave S. and S. Washington St.)

Player Guide Documents (.PDFs) Linked Here:

Commex_ACS-MST_PlayersGuide_20091008 Final

ICS-205_CommEx_ACS-MST FINAL_20091008

ACS Message Form w_instructions-10-2-08b

Sample Messages


We are inviting all Seattle ACS members as well as KC MST members assigned to Seattle Hospitals to participate in the Field Exercise scheduled for Saturday October 10, 2009 beginning at 0900 and running to approximately 1130.  This drill is part of the National ARRL Simulated Emergency Test or SET.  The exercise scenario will be based on a communications disaster caused by a severe winter storm and complicated by the flooding of the Green River in the Kent Valley.  We will not be using our call out paging system – we will expect all participants to listen on the PSRG repeater 146.96 MHz. at 0900 for a short briefings describing the exercise scenario and instructions on what to do.

You will be given instructions to check in on a specific UHF repeater corresponding to your location.  You will then be assigned to report to a specific location to team up with other ACS members or to operate individually.  Some participants may not be able to travel – let net control know and you will be give an assignment at your location.

Remember – to always include the phrase:  “This is a drill and not a real emergency” – please say this frequently.

What you will need to participate:

  1. A radio or radios capable of operating on VHF and UHF (please pre-program to the Seattle ACS frequencies – see chart below
  2. The Seattle ACS Message Form with instructions – a PDF is available here – please down- load and print copies as needed.  ACS Message Form w_instructions-10-2-08b
  3. The Exercise instructions including the Frequency Plan ICS-205 this will be distributed later this week.  This will provide you much more information about how to participate and create messages.
  4. Willingness to travel around the area, if you can.
  5. Please confirm your participation in this important exercise by e-mailing Mark, N7LYE at

    EOC VHF – (rev 12-30-08)
    Chl # Display Rcv Freq Xmit Freq Xmit Tone Rcv Tone Comments
    1 PSRG RPTR 146.96 146.36 103.5 ACS Main
    2 ACS SIMPLEX N 146.56 146.56 103.5 X-band Repeat
    3 ACS SIMPLEX S 147.58 147.58 103.5 X-band Repeat
    4 PSRG Out 146.96 146.96 103.5 Repeater Output
    5 MST RPTR 146.9 146.3 103.5
    EOC UHF – (rev 10-2-09)
    Chl # Display Rcv Freq Xmit Freq Xmit Tone Rcv Tone Comments
    1 ACS NE 443.65 448.65 141.3 141.3 Maple Leaf Repeater
    2 ACS CAP HILL 1 443 448 141.3 141.3 GHC Capital Hill
    3 ACS W SEA 441.8 446.8 141.3 W Seattle Myrtle
    4 ACS MAGNLIA 443.475 448.475 141.3 Magnolia Res
    5 ACS LFPARK 442 447 141.3 Lake Forest Park Res
    6 ACS CAP HILL 2 442.875 447.875 141.3 141.3 Cap Hill WA7UHF
    7 ACS BEAC HILL 440.525 445.525 141.3 ACS Beacon Hill WA7UHF
    8 X BAND NORTH 446.025 446.025 141.3 out on 146.56
    9 X BAND SOUTH 445.825 445.825 141.3 out on 147.58
    10 QUEEN ANN 444.7 449.7 103.5 K7PAL
    11 MST VA 443.55 448.55 103.5 Med Services Beacon Hill
    12 COLUMBIA CTR 444.550 449.450 141.3 Seattle ACS wide area
    13 KC SAR 444.525 449.525 103.5 Squak – Fire & MST/Issaqua
    14 CHNL 9 TWR 444.375 449.375 203.5 AJ7JA Fat Salmon

    We are recruiting Ham radio operators to provide the communications support for the North West Citizen Corp Expo 2009.  This is a disaster field exercise calling on CERT team and Medical Reserve Corps participants from across the state.  The event organizers want to utilize Ham radio operators to staff the communications function in support of the field earch and rescue teams as well as the Communication Units at the Incident Command Post and medical facilities.  Additionally, Hams will provide communications for the exercise controllers to help assess the condition of exercise play and transmit updates to controllers in field. 


    This will be a great opportunity for hams trained in emergency communication to gain a realistic field experience as well as for hams interested in perhaps joining a ARES, RACES or ACS team to see what it is all about.  We are sending this recruitment request to Emergency Communications Team leaders as well as other Ham radio organizations with the hope that it will quickly be distributed to the membership.  We welcome teams from organizations to participate as well as individuals.  Please help us get out the word – this will provide a great training experience for us and a good opportunity for Ham radio to work closely with disaster preparedness planners and responders. 


    Here are the particulars:

    When:  Saturday August 22, 2009 at 0730 – lasting until approximately 1630.

    Where:  Washington State Fire Training Academy (near North Bend – see flyer for details)

    Type of Exercise: Large mass casualty – CERT teams will be in the field locating, rescuing and transporting victims to a field medical facility staffed by Reserve Medical Corps volunteers.

    Registration and Background Check:  Ham radio operators will be considered event staff, they will be required to complete the attached State Emergency Worker registration form and agree to a Washington State Patrol records check (at no charge).   A temporary State Emergency Worker card will be issued for the day of the event.  In order to insure uniform vetting and registration, all volunteers are required to go through this process even though they have been issued an Emergency Worker Card through their served agency.


    Ham Radio Operator Assignments:  We are expecting radio operators to show up with their own hand held radio and sufficient batteries to last the day.  Radios capable of operating on 2 meters and 70 cm are preferred.  We have not yet set a frequency plan (ICS 205).  The drill will be conducted outdoors, participants must be bring appropriate clothing and be prepared for the weather.  Meals will be provided.  Ham radio operators will either be assigned as a field communicator for a CERT team or to support the exercise control team in the field or at a fixed post.  A brief training in preparation for these assignments will be conduct in the morning – with the exercise beginning in the early afternoon.

     To Register – fill out the attached Ham Radio Staff Registration and Release Form – mail or FAX in as instructed ASAP and e-mail  so we can put you on the list and keep track of who is participating.

     Ham Flyer for CERT EXPO

    Ham Staff Registration CERT EXPO

    ACS/MST Field Day 2009

    June 19, 2009


    Seattle:  Ham radio enthusiasts will join thousands of Amateur Radio operators across the nation to show off their emergency communications capabilities this weekend at South Seattle Community College June 27th and 28th.  Seattle’s “Auxiliary Communications Service and Medical Service Team” that serve the City’s Office of Emergency Management, will demonstrate their capabilities  as  emergency radio operators showing how to set up and operate field radio stations under emergency conditions, off the power grid, for an extended period of time. 

    The two Seattle groups will demonstrate their Ham Radio Communications and preparedness capabilities during the Annual ARRL Field Day exercise using Green-Energy, solar and wind generated electrical power to run amateur radio stations during the event.  Seattle ACS and MST field day planning chairperson for the event, Tammy Zoch said, “The event will offer the public a chance to participate talking on Ham Radio to radio operators throughout the US and Canada and experience the exciting world of amateur radio communications.  New this year will be a display of emergency portable radio stations used by ACS members in deployment during times of disaster and emergency needs.” 

    The staging area for the City of Seattle  Ham radio event will be located at the South East sector of South Seattle Community College campus near Olympic Hall.  On-Air operations will start at 11AM Saturday and continue till 4PM Sunday.

     Map to SSCC public will have a chance to meet and talk with ACS and MST members and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about.   On display will be the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code, as over 30,000 amateur radio operators across the country participate in the ARRL Field Day event. 


    Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events word-wide.  During Hurricane Katrina, Amateur Radio – often called “Ham radio” – was often the ONLY way people could communicate, and hundred of volunteer “hams” traveled south to save lives and property.  When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications. 

    In the event of an emergency such as an earthquake, with failure of normal communications systems, ACS is responsible for establishing emergency back up communications networks in the field providing support for the Seattle’s Emergency Operating Center.  The other Team, MST is responsible for establishing a similar network between City hospitals, the Department of Health and the City and County Government. 

    Field Day is an annual event climaxing the week lone “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio.  Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and back yards around the country.   Their slogan, “Ham radio works when other systems don’t” is more than just works to the hams as they can send messages in many forms with out the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.

    “We hope that people will come and see for themselves, this is not your grandfather’s radio anymore.” said Allen Pitts of the ARRL.  “The communications that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives when other systems failed or were overloaded.  And beside that – it’s fun!” 

    For more information about the Seattle ACS or how to join the team please visit the Seattle ACS website:  Information on the Western Washington Medical Service Team (MST) can be found at  To find out more about ham Radio or how you get started, visit the American Radio Relay League home page on the World Wide Web

    written by:  Dave Mann, KD7ZYM – Seattle ACS PIO

    The leadership of Seattle ACS and the King County MST have formed a team to plan a field exercise for Saturday May 30, 2009.  The team is made up of Joel Ware, Todd Heuer, Bob Helling, Brian Hagler and Mary Ann Chapman.  Joel has agreed to be the team convener and Mary Ann is our exercise consultant.  Mary Ann has had considerable training and experience in exercise planning and currently works with US Coast Guard Sector Seattle. 

    Purpose of the exercise

    The purpose of this exercise is to improve the readiness and effectiveness of Seattle ACS by including new members as well as longer term members that have not participated in recent exercises and mentoring.  Activities will include  practicing and refining the EOC comm-center’s field tracking and dispatching procedures; improving coordinated interaction with MST by including MST activity in the EOC and cross-training ACS members with MST.


    Needs Assessment – why is conducting a field exercise a good idea?  here are some of major reasons to be addressed by this drill:

    1. New members are sometimes reluctant to jump into the action. We need to

    kick-start them and get them involved. Training and practice will help overcome

    this reluctance. Some longer-term members have the same issue. The exercise can

    help build a base-line of skill and participation by all.


    2. ACS and MST have developed and MOU but have not have integrated the teams

    into a common mission. Design the exercise to begin the cross-training of MST

    and ACS members in procedures and protocols such that members may feel

    comfortable supporting any mission which they may be called upon by the served



    3. We need to work on internal EOC procedures to effectively manage

    participants and assignments, handle message traffic, and address developing

    situations and re-assignment of resources. Development of these procedures will

    be ongoing, and they should be tested whenever possible, starting with this



    4. Resource requirements in a real-world incident will require participation of

    more people than have been involved in past exercises. To be effective in an

    incident, communicators need training and practice ahead of time. We need to

    increase number of participants in exercises to accomplish this.


    5. We need to incorporate the MST Region 6 Mednet Seattle sub-net control

    function into the Seattle EOC and into the MST net hierarchy, effectively

    handling hospital-specific message traffic, addressing developing situations and

    re-assignment of resources as needed. Development of these procedures will be

    ongoing, and they should be tested whenever possible, starting with this



    6. Review prior exercises and lessons learned to find capabilities that need to

    be tested. Some of these may require work prior to the exercise to get solutions

    into place.


    7,  Exercises are team building experiences and help develop a sense of community among members and reinforce a sense of purpose and commitment.  Drills also need to be as much for fun as for learning.   






    The Planning Team is working hard to get this event planned – stay tuned for more information

    Put this on your Calendar for Saturday Morning May 30, 2009