Emergency Communications (EMCOMM) and Skywarn
Amateur radio operators are encouraged to provide community support through public service. In this spirit, SMRÂ provides emergency communications support to the Cumberland County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Operations Center, Carlisle Regional Medical Center and any other county or private entity that requests our assistance.
Amateur radio operators may voluntarily register to work with several different groups in the county and the region. These groups include:
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) – As defined by the ARRL on their web page: The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registeredÂ their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) – RACES is a government sponsored amateur radio emergency communications service. Operators in RACES must meet all membership requirements established by their emergency management agency.
South Central Task Force (SCTF) – The SCTF is a regional organization of 8 counties in South Central PA that provides a forum for public safety and public health agencies and organizations to coordinate and work together on common issues. Within the SCTF the Amateur Radio Working Group was formed under the Communications Subcommittee. Within the ARWG there is also the Hospital Emergency Amateur Radio Service (HEARS). The ARWG and HEARS provide direct support to the SCTF and, in the case of HEARS, direct support to regional hospitals as requested. For more information on the SCTF ARWG please go to this web page: http://sctfarwg.no-ip.org/.
SKYWARN is a volunteer organization of trained citizens who provide valuable weather data to the National Weather Service in State College, PA during severe weather events. Amateur radio operators often take part through communications nets which relay the information to the NWS meteorologists for use in determining the needs for watches or warnings, revising forecasts, or providing timely information to the general public on life threatening weather. You do not need to be an amateur radio operator to be part of SKYWARN. Reports can be provided online at:Â http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ctp/safety/skywarn/report.php . This web page also includes information on reporting criteria that meteorologists will need. Â If you are an amateur radio operators, nets that cover the Cumberland County region do get activated as needed. These include:
Harrisburg Area SKYWARN: 145.11 -600 PL 123.0 Hz Joe KQ3F Coordinator (Northern and Central Cumberland)
Franklin County SKYWARN Area: 147.12 +600 No PL (Southern Cumberland) Mike, KB3EHT
Additionally Harrisburg Area SKYWARN runs a bi-weekly weather net for weather enthusiasts on the 145.11 repeater . This net is on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Franklin County SKYWARN Area runs their weather enthusiast nets at 9:00 PM on Sunday night.