Washburn County Activates EOC for Test
Photos: Rick W9WS
February 28, 2013 - Emergency Manager for Washburn County, Wisconsin - Carol Buck - Discusses the disaster drill specifics with members of the logistics team. The emergency test scenario involved an ammonia leak at a snack food factory located in Minong. Members of public service, law enforcement, community volunteers and amateur radio were invited to participate.
February 28, 2013 - Washburn County ARES/RACES Coordinator, Kris KB9KRH supported communications during the disaster test. He and his fellow hams provided communications between the EOC and local hospitals. They used VHF simplex and the Lampson repeater (a segment of the linked repeater system, NorWesCo.)
February 28, 2013 - The public service radio communications were handled by the Incident Dispatch staff. These communications generally consisted of site specific details between the EOC and the disaster drill scene in Minong.
February 28, 2013 - ARES/RACES Northwest Wisconsin District Emergency Coordinator, Chris KC9NVV provided his services during the disaster drill as the Communications Unit Leader. He is seen discussing frequency utilization and communications procedures with the EOC Incident Dispatcher. Chris is also a member of the PCARA and serves as Treasurer.
February 28, 2013 - Disaster scene security, road block coordination, human services and other important public service efforts were provided by volunteers and staff of the Sheriff's department. The EOC staff supported many logistic needs such as medications and personal service animals.
February 28, 2013 - The EOC was set up at the Washburn County Highway department facility in Spooner. Emergency Manager Carol Buck continuously provided over-sight of the test scenario. Members of the operations team are shown above working together to provide services to residents and logistical support to those on-scene.
February 28, 2013 - Working to form a press release are the public information officers. Their job was to gather as many facts as possible and to decide how and when to release information to the local media. A tightly coordinated effort between the information officers and the liaison was practiced during the disaster drill.
February 28, 2013 - Ham radio operators Kris KB9KRH and Buzz N9ZVD provided communications between the local shelters and area hospitals. They also answered the incoming phone communications coming from area residents. Their job was to distribute messages to EOC team members and to support logistical communications.
February 28, 2013 - Chris KC9NVV and Kris KB9KRH take a moment to discuss the amateur radio role in the Washburn County emergency test. Rick W9WS who observed and photographed the event said later that he was impressed by how many public service and community volunteers responded to the test. Chris observed that amateur radio played a significant role. In fact, one observation during the de-brief suggested that ham radio operators be placed at the disaster scene as well to provide logistical communications support beyond the normal radio dispatch.
N9XH - Polk County Amateur Radio Association - 1732 Forest Circle - Balsam Lake - WI - 54810 - Info@N9XH.org