Arlington, Virginia OEM Deputizes Ham Radio Group

Discussion in 'Contests, DXpeditions and Special Events' started by KE4SKY, Feb 16, 2007.

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  1. KE4SKY

    KE4SKY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Arlington, Virginia OEM Deputizes Ham Radio Group to Assist with Emergency Communications
    >
    > http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/Communications/9612.aspx
    <http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/Communications/9612.aspx>

    For Immediate Release

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Contact: David Jordan 7032283185 (voice), 703-228-4611 (TTY)

    Arlington OEM Deputizes Ham Radio Group to Assist with Emergency Communications

    Public-private partnership is first-of-kind in Northern Virginia

    ARLINGTON, VA - Twenty-five volunteers have graduated from a year-long course of weekly radio communications exercises and stand ready to assist Arlington County Government with crisis communications and response.

    The local Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) volunteers have received their RACES certificates of graduation from Arlington's Office of Emergency Management. The certificates qualify them to help in
    emergency situations such as weather catastrophes and terrorist attacks.

    Each graduate passed a County-authorized character/background check, attended emergency communications classes developed specifically for
    Arlington County volunteers and participated in regular weekly radio communications exercises managed by the OEM Emergency Support Function team. After more than fifty weeks of exercises, the group has achieved the first level of competence required. Additional training and
    exercises are required to maintain active Arlington RACES affiliation.

    Arlington's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) initiated the program as an all-volunteer auxiliary communications service to support the government's need for public safety radio communications during
    emergencies, in case the County's public safety radio communications system is damaged or inoperative.

    This program, Northern Virginia's first and only government OEM-led radio amateur volunteer group, serves as a model of public-private emergency communications cooperation. Eleven other local government jurisdictions across the nation, including Delaware; Georgia; Illinois; Maryland; New Jersey; Tennessee and South Carolina have requested RACES
    training materials.

    Amateur radio, often called "ham radio," has consistently been the most reliable means of communications in emergencies when other systems failed or were overloaded. Ham radio operators are skilled at quickly
    setting up communications systems and establishing networks during major emergencies. During the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, ham radio played an important role with disaster
    relief when other systems failed.

    ###

    Arlington, Va., is a world-class urban community that was originally part of the "10-mile square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square
    miles. Known for its urban villages and transit-oriented development, Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use. In 2002, the county was the first recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for
    "Smart Growth." Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.

    The Official Date and Time of this Release is: 02/15/2007 4:00:00 PM
     
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