800 mhz Failure Shadow Drill 2015 September 27, 2015 No Comments
On September 19, 2015 HBRACES conducted the 800 mhz failure “Shadow Drill” where our members were assigned to each fire apparatus (engines, trucks, ETs, HazMat, and BC, etc.) covering the entire City of HB as well as to the HB PD 911 dispatch communications center and the Fire Department Operation Center. The drill lasted 10 hours and was purposed to simulate failure or OVERLOAD of the 800 mhz system with HBRACES then providing all HB Fire dispatch and tactical communications. We dispatched via 2 meter and 440 amateur radio a record 34 calls and made many more tactical comms from the field units to the FDOC command center over “HAM” radio. We were supported, with great enthusiasm by the HB Fire Staff, who participated in the exercise with us. The event was a resounding success and reinforced our position to provide seamless amateur radio dispatch and tactical communications to HB Fire (as well as HB PD) should the need arise. We are proud to be the only city (that we know of) in Orange County that can provide this vital service, and we are willing to teach our method to any other city should they so desire.
HBRACES FIELD DAY 2015 June 28, 2015 No Comments
Congratulations and a job well done to all participating in Field Day 2015. Great time, great food, great scenery, and, oh…….yeah, GREAT RADIO !!!
Here are some pictures of our fabulous Field Day site on the Beach, SurfCity USA:
Announcing: Field Day 2015 June 27 and 28 June 6, 2015 No Comments
Who: Huntington Beach Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) team will demonstrate and practice their emergency radio communications skills in a nation-wide drill called “Field Day.” RACES (pronounced “RAY-sees”), is a program endorsed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Part 97, Section 407), that uses trained amateur radio operators (Hams) during emergencies. Administered by the Fire Department, RACES members use their personal equipment and skills, and volunteer their time to provide this service at no cost to the City of Huntington Beach.
When: Saturday, June 27, 2015, at approximately 11 AM – 5 PM (RACES volunteers will participate 24 hours)
Where: PCH and Goldenwest on the bluffs.
What: During Field Day, amateur radio (HAM) operators from the US and Canada will practice their emergency communications skills over a 24 hour period with the goal of demonstrating portable and completely independent communications. The public and the news media are invited to observe and participate in the radio exercise.
During an emergency, normal lines of communications can fail leaving amateur radio communications as the only means to communicate. In addition, they support public events such as the Surf City Marathon and the 4th of July Parade, and participate in the National Weather Service weather spotter program. Ham radio is a public service as well as an international educational technical hobby. Whether it’s contacting someone across the street or across the globe, or even outer space, ham radio operators are ready to supply reliable communications when normal lines fail. Ham operators range from ordinary citizens to astronauts. There are 18 city RACES groups within Orange County, operated under their respective city and county public safety departments. For more information on the RACES Program, visit www.hbraces.org.
HBRACES City Hall Antenna Farm Work Detail December 22, 2014 No Comments
Tim (wd6awp) and Roy (n6sld) on the roof of HB City Hall replacing the old triband 2m/220/440 and 2m/440/6m antennas with new units. Hardline checks to the EOC confirmed no issues. Radio tests in the HB EOC RACES radio room confirmed significant improvement. Additional support provided by Jim (kg6zdp), Steve (ke6oce), and Steve (w6gos). Thanks and great job!
HB RACES Field Day 2014 Wrap-Up July 13, 2014 No Comments
There was a small turnout at the 2014 Field Day event. But the weather and scenery were great and the food was excellent. All participants had a good time.
A contact with the ISS – the International Space Station NA1SS – was made. In the picture below, Tim Sawyer WD6AWP, is steering the antenna while Pete Zilliox K5PZ operates the radio. Watching in the background are Marilyn Sawyer KH6FL, Chief Radio Officer Steve Graboff W6GOS and Jim Hansen KG6ZDP.
More information on the NA1SS Field Day 2014 operation is posted on the ARRL website.
In addition to the usual Morse Code and phone contacts, the City of Huntington Beach Police helicopter captured the RACES Field Day operation via Amateur Television (ATV). Here are some random photos of the event, from Assistant Radio Officer Steve Albert KE6OCE.
Tim WD6AWP Installing the new FDOC RACES Antenna. Thanks to the HBFIRE Truck crew for their support. July 9, 2014 No Comments
The Huntington Beach Police Department gave RACES (and CERT) this nice certificate for support of the Baker to Vegas 2014 event .
Huntington Beach Radio Communications Volunteers Demonstrate Emergency Preparedness in Nation-Wide Drill June 24, 2014 No Comments
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — On Saturday, June 28, 2013, at approximately 11 AM near the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Goldenwest, a team of Huntington Beach Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) communications volunteers will demonstrate and practice their emergency radio communications skills in a nation-wide drill called “Field Day.” The goal of the drill is to contact as many other similar stations around the nation as possible in a 24 hour period.
During an emergency, normal lines of communication, including landline and wireless telephone systems, often become over-loaded. Ham radio volunteer groups such as RACES teams, step up to fill these communications gaps during a crisis.
Steve Graboff, MD, HB RACES Chief Radio Officer, said, “The end of June means picnics, beach outings and other water sports. Our emergency communications group adds one more event – a two-way radio drill called Field Day.”
“We use our personal equipment and volunteer our time to provide this service at no cost to the City. In addition to Field Day, we provide radio communication skills to support public events such as the Surf City Marathon and the Independence Day parade as well as public safety events such as the National Weather Service weather spotter program,” Dr. Graboff added.
The public and the news media are invited to observe and even participate in the emergency communications exercise.
About City of Huntington Beach Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)
The Huntington Beach Fire Department Emergency Management and Homeland Security Office administers the RACES team. RACES (pronounced “RAY-sees”) is not a club, it is a volunteer group within a government agency. There are 18 city RACES groups within Orange County, operated under their respective city and county emergency management departments. To learn more about HB RACES, go to http://www.hbraces.org
About Amateur Radio
Ham radio is a public service as well as an international educational technical hobby. Whether it’s contacting someone across the street or across the globe, or even outer space, ham radio operators are ready to supply reliable communications when normal lines fail. Ham operators range from ordinary citizens to astronauts and athletes to film stars and musicians. More ham radio information is available from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) http://www.arrl.org
Huntington Beach RACES and the Disaster Preparedness Expo September 21, 2013 September 21, 2013 No Comments
By Wayne Yoshida, KH6WZ HB RACES Public Information Officer
Six active RACES members were on-hand to meet and greet visitors to the Disaster Preparedness Expo on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the Huntington Beach Central Library.
The RACES volunteers explained what the RACES group is and what we do for the City of Huntington Beach. Joe Tom, KB6JOE, brought his portable radio system, shown in some of the pictures. Wayne Yoshida, KH6WZ and Public Information Officer (PIO) for the RACES team, brought an Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) beacon, which transmitted the demonstration station location. A screen capture of the map can be seen below. The Expo location is indicated by the eye icon and the KH6WZ-5 callsign. The APRS message also points to the HB RACES website, www.hbraces.org.
The Disaster Preparedness Expo is an annual, free event where the City’s emergency services organizations educate the public about emergency preparedness and the possible disasters that can happen to the city of Huntington Beach, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The Expo is also a demonstration and recruiting tool for emergency preparedness volunteer groups in the city.
HB RACES Volunteers at the Emergency Expo
Ray Coulon WA6CTS
Mike Fitzgerald KE6WUO
Gary Labb KM6VC
Joe Tom KB6JOE
Jeff Turlis KE6BNS
Wayne Yoshida KH6WZ
Other Groups at the Expo
American Red Cross
HB Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
HB Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)
Huntington Beach Fire Department Urban Search & Rescue (USAR)
Huntington Beach Police Department
National Weather Service
Huntington Beach cable TV channel 3 was at the event, and shot plenty of video of the demonstrations and displays. Several of the event volunteers were interviewed and may appear on TV soon.
Here are some pictures of the event. . . .
Field Day has come and gone – if you missed it – you missed out!
Our new location helped to further increase visitor visibility from both Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and the bike path along the beach.
This year, we had many more visitors – Fire Department management, local dignitaries, licensed hams, ex-hams and ordinary people. Our local cable TV channel (HBTV-3) shot lots of video of our operation. There were several minutes of live video from the Huntington Beach Police helicopter via amateur television (ATV).
Al KJ6RIX and Jennifer did an amazingly great job keeping all of us well fed and even sheltered – a huge thanks for their hospitality!
Sometime in the late evening, Tim WD6AWP succeeded in getting a 2-way contact via satellite – this is a first for our team – way to go. Tim!
Huntington Beach RACES looks forward to Field Day next year, hopefully with an improved score and even more participation.
Some videos are posted on my YouTube Channel, KH6WZ
Highlights – City of Huntington Beach RACES Field Day Visitors
Jim Katapodis, Huntington Beach Council Member
Fred Wilson, Huntington Beach City Manager
The guys from Station 46: Bob, Brian, Keith, Mike
City of Huntington Beach RACES Field Day Participants
Huntington Beach RACES Public Information Officer
Here are some random images from the Field Day drill . . . .