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Yolo ARES Meeting Minutes for 10/20/2009

October 20, 2009

K9RTY - Darrin
K6LAV – LaVonne
K6WLS - Ken
KG6SJT – Greg
WS6Z – Wes
KE6GCV – Todd
KI6OBF - Jason
N6KIX - Rob
N6KLB – Rick
WA6TQJ – Gary
WA6HAM - Steve

The Yolo ARES meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Yolo County Red Cross in Woodland.

Continued discussion held regarding the FCC interpretation of “Business Communications” (97.113(a)) as posted in an article on the QRZ.com Web site. The FCC has recently stated that professional public safety workers--including firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and other personnel--may not use Amateur Radio to communicate on behalf of their agencies except during actual emergencies. Todd (KE6GCV) provided a copy of an FCC Public Notice dated October 20, 2009, in which the FCC acknowledges that entities, such as hospitals, emergency operations centers, and police, fire, and emergency medical service stations, have expressed interest in having their employees who are amateur station operators participate in emergency preparedness and disaster drills sponsored by state and local government public safety agencies. The Public Notice provides a clear process where public safety organizations can request a waiver permitting them to participate in government-sponsored emergency preparedness drills. Instructions are that “Waiver requests must be submitted to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau by the government entity conducting the drill and include (1) when and where the drill will take place; (2) identification of the amateur licensees expected to transmit amateur communications on behalf of their employers; (3) identification of the employers on whose behalf they will be transmitting; and (4) a brief description of the drill.”

Of course, in actual emergencies, FCC Rules permit an amateur station to use any means of radio communication at its disposal. Steve (N5FDL), it was reported, is working on having the rule amended so that waivers would not be required. However, in the meantime, Yolo ARES members will follow these issues and act accordingly.

Todd (KE6GCV) updated everyone on the November 21 Turkey Trot, noting ham radio coverage is needed for this 5K and 10K event. At least 10 hams will be needed to cover the course adequately. Todd is the point person to coordinate ham volunteers. Todd will send an email out to solicit ham volunteers. In the meantime, contact him if you are available to assist.

Congratulations to Ken (K6WLS) for successfully passing his Extra license exam recently. With this, there are now sufficient local hams who are VE-eligible who can provide testing for all license class levels.

Ken (K6WLS) reported that a testing session for all three ham license class levels will be held at the Yolo County Red Cross on December 12 from 8 a.m. to 12:00 noon. While this is the same day as the Woodland Christmas Parade, no conflicts are anticipated. Announcements of the exam will be made on the local area nets including YARS, BARK, WestNet, etc. BARK is sponsoring the testing session and HRO will provide discounts at their store to those who take the exam.

The next meeting will be held November 17, 2009, at the Yolo County Red Cross in Woodland.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 PM

Yolo County ARES