New Member Orientation

September 24, 2009

Seattle ACS and King County MST held a new member orientation on Wednesday September 23.  Attached is a the presentation in PDF format.

(please click the text to the right to retrieve document)   New Member OrientationRev 9-23-09


September, October and November will be very busy training months. The first course of the season is New Member Orientation on Wednesday September 23rd 7pm-9pm at the Seattle EOC. Everyone is encouraged to attend for a refresher and to meet new members. Additional training will take place at the EOC on a date to be determined in October.

The first regular monthly training session at SSCC is on Saturday September 26th 9am-11:30am. There will be two topics. Bob Heling will cover the weekly ACS Nets including some proposed changes for the Net. Then we will perform hands-on Basic Message Handling. This will be a great way to get prepared to participate in the Simulated Emergency Test or  SET drill coming up on October 10th. This will be a field exercise which will take place from 9am-noon at various locations such as hospitals and parks.  Additional information will be coming soon.

The October 24th SSCC regular training session will feature a new course, Orientation to Disaster Driving. Brian Daly is developing this classroom course to be suitable for all members as part of each member’s personal disaster preparedness.  On November 7th a sequel course is scheduled, Certification for Disaster Driving. This field training will take place in the parking area adjacent to Olympic Hall at the SSCC campus. This course is for members who want to be prepared to use their own vehicles to transport others during disaster conditions.

ARECC Level 1 training will take place on November 14th and 21st at SSCC. This course requires two full days of training. On the 21st ARECC students will join other members in attending the regular monthly training session. That session consisting of Field Observer Training (such as survival and navigation) will incorporate a portion of the ARECC material.

Address questions about this article to Chris Yody KE7JBF,

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

Thanks to the fine camera work of John Frost, KC7NVE here is a series of photos he took at the field day event on Satuday.

Field of Tents

Field of Tents

Seattle ACS and MST enjoyed a great turn-out for Field Day 2009.  Many members and friends visited the event site at the West Seattle Campus of South Seattle Community College.  It all got started early Friday morning when the CBRNE Support Team of the Seattle Police Department delivered a 35 x 20 foot tent along with generators and furnishings.  A team of ACS and MST volunteers worked with the SPD crew to set up the tent in only 45 minutes – definitely a well oiled operation.  The tent served as the primary facility for operations, mess and socializing.  Over the course of the day many of the participants set up antennas, operating shelters as well as personal tents.  Power was generated by solar, wind and gasoline and stored in large batteries. 

Ethan our Newest Member with Frank

Ethan our Newest Member with Frank



Bob Helling with friends - photo by K7PAL

Bob Helling with friends - photo by K7PAL



The official event began on Saturday morning at 11:00 AM and ran to 11:00 AM Sunday.  Tammy Zoch Field Day event coordinator is in the process of compiling a Field Day after action report which will include attendance numbers as well as our contest points.  It was generally agreed that this year we exceeded our past performance in the number of contacts made and the different types of modes employed. 

Stay'en Kool in the shade

Stay'en Kool in the shade

Thanks to Frank McJunkins for burning up the ether on CW and bagging some great DX, Curt Black for introducing us to some new digital modes and pulling an all-nighter working SSB and Jim Hadlock – who took us into SPACE, the final frontier, demonstrating the technology and snagging satellite contacts.  Special thanks to Tammy, Lee, Dave Mann, Jim Hadlock, and Curt who brought their radio gear a made it available for all to use.  

Curt with a new Ham - photo by K7PAL

Curt with a new Ham - photo by K7PAL

Sat Radio Discussion

Sat Radio Discussion

The food was great, thanks Todd for providing ACS with our official Field Day grill which will be deployed at subsequent events – Dave and Todd great job grilling.  Thanks to all who brought and shared food and drink.  Our appreciation to Bob Helling for his work as Safety Chief – you kept us briefed and safe.  Thanks to Greg Eastman for organizing over-night security for Friday and to all those who stood watch.   Dave Mann – great job as PIO getting the message framed and out to the media and special thanks to Tammy for organizing the whole event – getting us tracking and making it happen…

K7WA SpaceMan

K7WA SpaceMan

South Seattle Community College provided us a great site – this was our third year there.  We thank Greg Gillespie, Interim VP for Administrative Services for his and his staff’s support which was essential to making this event a success.  Thank you for the use of the site, mowing the grass and assistance from the security crew. 

Wind Generator - photo by K7PAL

Wind Generator - photo by K7PAL

It is important to remember the reason for doing Field Day is to practice Amateur Radio’s ability to operate for extended periods of time, off the power grid and support local jurisdictions in their disaster response and recovery operations.   In the City of Seattle ACS and MST are blessed with the strong support of our City government.  We were visited by Deputy Mayor Ken Nakatsu who was there to convey Mayor Greg Nickels strong support and appreciation for both emergency radio teams and amateur radio. 

Dave Mann and Deputy Mayor Ken Nakatsu

Dave Mann and Deputy Mayor Ken Nakatsu

We want to tell more of the story of our Field Day – this is just the first page of the story.  Please send Mark Sheppard your photos, reflections and stories about Field  Day. What was your most memorable moment? – what did you get out of being there?  e-mail Mark at and we will post here.  

I had a great time – hope you did – 73’s Mark

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

webeoc-training0005On Thursday evening March 19 – Pioneer Square was jumping as Sounders FC opened it first season to a joyful crowd.  Parking was at a premium but some how resourceful ACS members were able to park and make it to the EOC for hands-on radio training.   Those in attendance included Jacob KE7 TNP, Tom Nl7FQ, Jeff Chang WB7AHT, Mike Toot KE7WBE, Frank McJunkins K7RSD, Todd WA7FOX and Tammy WA7TZ.  webeoc-training0001

The purpose of the training, which will be repeated, is to give ACS and MST operators experience operating the new Motorola CDM 1250 UHF and VHF radios and using the NCS mini-switching console.  This system was installed at the beginning of year by Tom Saunders N7OEP from the City’s Radio shop and an ACS member.  The system replaces the old 1980’s vintage Motorola gear that came out of police and fire vehicles when the City upgraded to 800 MHz trunking system in the 1990’s.  This gear was at end of life after serving the City well – our new gear really works well and has made a big difference in the signals coming out of the EOC. webeoc-training0007

Here are a few more pictures of ACS members involved in the training.


We will be holding the monthly training meeting on Saturday March 28, 2009 at South Seattle Community College West Seattle Campus in Olympic Hall (south end of campus) 6000 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA‎  –

This will be a joint ACS/MST training and will have two parts.  Part 1 will be a presentation by Willie Nunn from FEMA, Willie will discuss the mission and capabilities of the FEMA Incident Management Support Teams.  These resources are available to assist local jurisdictions with complex and long term disasters.  Part 2 will be presented by Brian Daly and will address basic HIPAA training and orientation to the MST forms and proceedrues.  This part of the training supports our efforts to provide basic skills and knowlege so ACS and MST can work to support each others missions.

Hope to see everyone there it will be a good training – coffee is at 8:30 … thanks Mark, N7LYE

here is a URL to a Google Map for the Campus:,0,12322314467071954568&ei=hVi8SdLFEJnMsAO129FA&sa=X&oi=local_result&resnum=1&ct=image

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

Here is a link to Fred Rowely’s presentation at the Saturday February 28, 2009 training:  2009-02findingyourway1.

Note – this a large file and will take awhile to download…..