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Greg AE7EL has become quite active in emergency communications, to the point that he is involved even beyond our own San Juan County Auxiliary Communications Services activities.

When I circulated DEM Director Brendan Cowan’s call for new members of the Northwest Incident Management Team (NWIMT) last year, Greg applied.  This Type 3 All-Hazards Incident Management Team drills together periodically and is in place to deploy a full team of multi-disciplinary responders to emergency and disaster incidents that are larger and more complex than a local agency can handle alone, such as was done at the Oso Land Slide in March of 2014. The team is funded by numerous local agencies and covers San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom, Snohomish, and Island counties. As a member of the NWIMT’s Communications Unit, Greg has a travel bag all packed and ready to go, should the occasion arise. 

This level of emergency communications involvement requires training, and Greg has completed not only the required on-line FEMA classes but has also attended in-person classes.   At one of these recent in-person classes he met Aaron Blake, the Emergency Communications Program Manager for the Idaho Office of Emergency Management in Boise. And perhaps because Greg remembered one of the SJC ACS Core Values  being able to communicate (both in and) out of a Western Washington damage zone, Greg suggested to Aaron that an SJC EOC to Boise EOC communications test could be valuable.

And so it happened that Aaron reached out to Greg on July 8 to suggest a possible HF test with the EOC in Boise. Greg got in touch with the scheduled SJC White Box Drill net control, who suggested contacting Hoop.

On Tuesday morning July 9, from his home QTH, Hoop had successful 25 watt PSK-31 digital mode communications with Aaron KI7LOQ at the Boise EOC, demonstrating the ability to do such out-of-damage-zone communications.   The QSO was on 7.085 MHz.   A successful LSB QSO was conducted on 7.285 MHz.   Eighty meters was not open at the time of the QSOs which was about 8:00 am PDT.   Another successful PSK-31 QSO was conducted the next day, Wednesday, July 10, also on 7.085 MHz.    What was not successful on both days was communications using the MFSK-32 digital mode, which is used in many locations for emergency communications.  Hoop took the action item to see what changes to his system might be required in order to effectively do MFSK-32 communications. 

Thanks to Greg for making the contact with the Boise EOC!

Hoop, K9QJS
San Juan County EC

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