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Upcoming MCI Drill!
"Communications may be the single most important aspect of an emergency response system. The best-trained paramedics, driving the newest ambulances with the most sophisticated equipment, are ineffective during an incident if they cannot adequately communicate with each other, their dispatch center and other responding agencies. Despite the critical nature of this system element, significant communications failures continue to occur in systems everywhere during high-impact events."
"Communication is widely identified as a weakness in virtually every after-action review of an MCI Drill or disaster. In fact, it is the single largest point of failure noted. Problems like radio frequency incompatibilities, lack of common terminology and the traditional isolation of emergency services agencies have existed for more than 35 years. Despite the historical knowledge about these problems, however, little has been done to correct them."
- Matthew Streger, EMT
EMS Magazine Editor
Now is our chance to shine! After months and months of training by the Hospital Disaster Council, Emergency Preparedness, Fire-Rescue, Police and numerous other served agencies, this year's MCI Drill is right around the corner!
This event will be held on Tuesday, October 17. Events and notifications should begin around 8 or 9 a.m. This year's drill will simulate an aircraft accident with multiple casualties at Cecil Field. Communications are critical and vital to the whole scenario. We simply must be able to pull this one off. This event is the most important one of its kind for us to participate in. How we are perceived by the served agencies is of paramount importance. We are asking the "players" of this event to work very hard to make it as realistic as possible. I'm told that there will be lots of make-up and "theatrics" by some of the victims, to better simulate the carnage and mental anguish that comes with such a disaster. From all accounts, this one is going to be played out to the maximum.
I will be needing at least ONE person each at Baptist, Memorial, Shands, St. Lukes, St. Vincents, and Specialty Hospitals, TWO, if I can get them. Shands Hospital will require TWO persons due to the strange configuration over there. Anyone who has FRS radios will want to be sure and bring a pair of them with you.
ALL HAMS: Call the Ham Radio Hotline at 350-9193 and let me know if you are available to participate in this exercise, in one capacity or another. I'm looking for persons who live in the vicinity of a participating Hospital. This will be VITAL. Please come forward and help us out!
Duval County ARES Repeaters LinkedThrough the dedication, perseverance, and just plain old hard work of Robert Selph, W4RCS, and John Reynolds, W4IJJ, the 146.64 (W4IJJ - ARES Duval County) repeater and the 147.225 (W4RCS - ARES BEACHES) repeaters have been linked.
This project has been underway for several weeks, and will serve to tie the two Duval County ARES operations more closely together. The 147.225 W4RCS repeater requires a PL tone of 127.3 (encode/decode) to operate at the beach due to a high level of Inter-mod. The 146.64 ARES repeater also requires a 156.7 hertz PL tone to access the repeater.
The Beaches side of the link incorporates a CAT-1000 repeater controller which is equipped with a host of emergency and informational messages, pertaining to ARES operations through-out the Duval County Operational Area. BOTH frequencies will receive these information bulletins and announcements. This controller is also equipped with a weather alert receiver which will produce a 1000 hertz alert tone when severe or threatening weather is detected or forecasted in the Northeast Florida area. This includes the counties of Duval, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns. The alert will be simulcast on both repeaters for wider area coverage in the event a mobile station is in the vicinity of the affected areas.
All ARES operations will be held on the 146.64. Regular Wednesday night ARES nets are held on the 146.64 W4IJJ repeater at 7:00 p.m.