FIRES IN FLAGLER COUNTY!!!!
Flagler County underwent the largest
fire outbreak in its history from June 5th to July 7th 1998. FCA members
put in over 926 hours in the event. Members staffed the EOC, helped in the
field, assisted in running supplies, helped with CB and ham radio links,
and other functions. Many of the longtime members were flashing back to
the 1985 wildfire event that occurred in May of that year. Other Florida
Teams faced fires too. Six other REACT Teams also responded to the
The fire story far too extensive to be written here. What can be said
is that Flagler County Assist performed extremely well, given with what we
had to face. Many members pulled 20-30 hours shifts during the height of
the event. Through the event about every member on our roster played some
sort of role. The entire team is to be commended for service, and
Overall response went rather well. At the August
meeting, a debrief session was held to discuss improvements to future
responses as far as REACT’s response.
FCA’s plan was followed well. Most of the members knew what
level we were on at the time. However all members should review the
emergency plan, and make sure that it is understood. The plan is available
on the website, as well from REACT 1.
COMMUNICATIONS - REACT
CB communications were established through
most of the event. An Ops Base was established according to protocol. On
Level III an Ops Base should be activated, or on stand by at all time.
When radio traffic is too heavy, communications should be shifted to TAC 2
or another channel. A relay base should stay on TAC 1, to protect against
any calls that may occur, and also to relay to the Ops Net on the other
channel. Remember to try to keep the traffic to a minimum.
Remember, Ops Base is designated to control the radio traffic on the
given channel. They are responsible for maintaining orderly
communications. The Senior Coordinator directs the operation, but is not
always Ops Base.
Amateur Radio response went very well from our part. REACT ham’s worked
closely with hams from ARES and FCEAN. We had to track down their
operations due to the net running on a repeater not written in the plan.
GMRS was used in the EOC compound, as we did not have the repeater yet.
This was our prime mission. REACT responding quickly
each time the EOC needed staffing. Some REACT members were employed in
unconventional roles during the event. Several critical points were
brought up. One is to only report to the EOC if requested. What happens if
we get too many members there is overcrowding, and also it weakens our
pool of fresh members to pull from, should the event go long term .
The REACT crews at the EOC worked themselves into shifts, and all
functions were covered well. It was pointed out that more training in the
com room should be conducted. Members handled equipment rather well, but
additional training is needed.
Members who arrive at the EOC should always report into the EOC REACT
Coordinator, and clear all things through that person. There were a few
incidents of items sent out that were not cleared, and it took a while for
EOC to track them down.
Training is CRITICAL. Remember that someone’s life might depend on or
communications personnel. It urge all members to try to attend training
sessions as much as possible. Overall EOC support went very well, and MANY
comments were made by many people on how ell the response went.
In closing, REACT got a B for response. Members knew what to do and how
to do it. However more training is needed. But remember, in these large
events, NOTHING goes as planned. Be ready for anything, and sometimes the
unconventional methods work best.
Again, we want to thank each and every member who helped with the fire
effort. Thanks again!
SEARCH & RESCUE
Flagler County Assist provided support to
the first S&R exercise. FCA members staffed the county ICV located in
the Princess Place preserve, where the exercise was being conducted. Troy
Harper helped coordinate between FC SAR & REACT, Ray Agiuar was
undergoing SAR training, and assigned to one of the search teams. The
mounted posses also was present to assist. The exercise went into the
night, and ended near midnight. 9 FCA members participated in the drill,
and were recognized by FCSAR. Another exercise is set this fall.
About one week later, a call came out for a lost person in Palm Coast.
This person was involved in an accident, and had wandered away from the
scene. FCA & FC SAR were called upon to look for the subject. By the
way, this was a 4 AM call out. Members helped with the search until 7:30
AM. The subject turned up at someone’s house. Thanks to REACT 1, 3, 6, 15,
17, and 24 for responding. Thanks to REACT 16, & 21 for watching CB 9,
and calling in a wreck.
|NOTICE! We have a very limited number of
Universal Studios passes for members who helped with the fires.
Contact REACT 1 for availability. First come, first serve. |
NEXT NOVEMBER STATE COUNCIL MEETING TO BE HELD IN FLAGLER
FCA will host the November REACT meeting if we can find a
hotel, and a good rate. REACT 20 is researching the different hotels in
the area to see if one will work for us. Well we found that the Sleep Inn
has reasonable rates, and a meeting room. The meeting room is somewhat
small though. The dates are 11/21-22/98. We are planning a joint exercise
Again I want to thank REACT 20, and 21 for working on
ATTENTION - WE NEED ITEMS FOR DOOR PRIZES!!! CONTACT REACT 20
SKIP IS BACK IN FORCE
The Skip Cycle is coming around, and we
can expect poor conditions on the CB band from time to time. Lately, the
worse conditions have been mostly in the afternoon, and early evening. At
times the CB is almost useless. However, monitoring is still important.
Even with bad skip you can pick up calls, and sometimes you get calls
through the skip.
For those who missed them!
- REACT 1, President.
Troy Harper - REACT 17, Vice President.
Bellefontaine - REACT 3, Treasurer.
Petra Cattogge - REACT 21,
NEW COORDINATOR - REACT 20 is now the 6th Coordinator for
the Team. Gary will help coordinate CB radio efforts, and also help
maintain CB radio service in REACT
As of the end of July FCA REACT had 39 calls. This added
to the rest makes for 231 total calls.
Most of July’s calls were for
Cell Phones are making a dent into CB 9 calls, as we are down for last
year. Also conditions have not been as good in the past, as skip comes
But during the fires, cell phones overloaded. CB 9 was used. And each
day, calls still come in via CB 9. So it is our duty to still monitor.
Thanks again to all who can. CB Radio is a basic radio service. Being
uncomplicated, it is the easiest to use. CB Radio also played a roll in
fire coordination. CB radio was used to communicate to Fire Command.
REMEMBER TO MONITOR CB 9 / 147.300 Repeater / 462.675
===SPOLIGHT OF THE QUARTER===
The Officers of the Team have decided to spotlight a REACT member
each Newsletter for superb service. This time we spotlight REACT 26,
Jill Treki. She helped staff Base 25 during the recent fire event,
and has been of assistance on CB 9, and helping as Ops Base. Jill
joined FCA with her husband in 1996, with the assistance of REACT 20
& 21. After moving, they have been back on CB 9 during the day,
and during dangerous situations.
Watch out Team, YOU might be next!!!! Want to nominate someone, contact
MARCH OF DIMES ANOTHER SUCCESS
This year 9 REACT members
participated in the annual March Of Dimes walk a thon. This year we had
the support of Base 16, and also worked with the ARES, and the C.O.P.s.
REACT primarily coordinated other resources during the event.
The event went very well, and we want to thank, REACT 1, 3, 6, 8, 11,
16, 17, 22, and 23 for their assistance.
GMRS, CB, and amateur radio were the primary means of communications.
It was learned that Post 1 next year will be further from the band. It was
hard to hear the radio with the loud music, that was supposed to be turned
These events provide a very good training ground for our members to
prepare for disasters.
FLORIDA REACT RESPONDS TO SEVERE WEATHER. (LATE NEWS!)
February, tornadoes struck in many places. In Flagler, two waves of storms
hit. REACT 17, Troy, along with REACT 3 Marc, coordinated the response of
FCA during this threat. Mobile spotters reported large hail, and high
winds to the NWS during the first wave. The second wave produced heavy
lightning. Once again, our spotters were out.
But that wave of storms
brought death and destruction to many places in Florida. But in Flagler we
were lucky. But our spotters were out there, and ready.
REACT, North Brevard REACT, and Orlando Metro REACT provided assistance to
Kissimmee Valley REACT. Kissimmee was directly hit with an F-4 tornado.
Remember, NOAA weather radio is the FASTEST way to get warnings. We
recommend that ALL members obtain weather alert radios.
Thanks to all who helped during this severe weather event.
+PLEASE MONITOR CB 9 AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE+
AMATEUR RADIO NEWS
The licensing structure is facing changes.
The ARRL is proposing a new licenses structure. Lionesses will be split
into 4 classes, and open up more bands. Included are changes in the tests,
and less Morse code requirements. Novice classes may be grandfathered into
Tech Class, and current tech plus, may be grandfathered into General.
The FCC has another proposal. It also proposes to lessen the Morse
code, and change the licenses around. All of this is some time off, and
subject to debate. Both are trying to make amateur radio easier, and more
attractive to new hams.
The FCA amateur radio program may be expanded to include ARES
operations. Included in the ideas is starting an ARRL Special Service Club
with in FCA REACT.
We will be meeting with the leadership of the other
amateur radio organizations in the county. This will take place in August.
Also it is requested that all FCA hams monitor the 147.300 repeater
on a regular basis. This, as for the same reasons we monitor CB 9, to help
anyone who may call.
Anyone interested in obtaining their ham radio ticket, contact REACT
UPCOMING TRAINING EVENTS:
SKYWARN - ADVANCED September 23rd
0900-1200 @ EOC
SEARCH TEAM - TO BE ANNOUNCED
EOC TRAINING - AT EACH
LABOR DAY PARADE & FIREWORKS September 5th, Flagler
MARINELAND FIREWORKS 9/6/98
FPC FOOTBALL GAMES will be
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
Chris Raggazzo - REACT 4
Joe McSherry -
George Morace - REACT 29
Rose Morace - REACT 30
Lets see more members!
OK we will be honest, this is somewhat expensive, but once the money is
spent, you need not spend any more.
The GMRS service is regulated by the FCC. Currently an
$80.00 license IS required to operate on GMRS. License forms are available
through REACT 1. He will fill them out for you. You only need to include
your name, and address. Once you send in your form, you can go on the air
with the callsign WT Plus your phone number. You must have sent to the
form to use this temp. call sign.
There is several types of radios available for use on GMRS.
We recommend a hand held first. Most can be adapted to run as a mobile,
base, or HT.
ADI AT 600 Dual Band
This radio after modification will work on
GMRS, plus ham, VHF fire, Marine, FCSO, and others. It does the job of
several radios. REACT 3 can program it for you.
It is semi
complicated. Those who seek a simple radio might want to avoid this one.
COST $249.95 for the two 1/2 watt, 5 watt is 299.95
Electronic Supply in Orlando. 407-894-3238. / 1-800-327-1917.
The P 100, HT 600, and several other types of use
Motorola are available from several dealers.
Bob Bennett in
Jacksonville sells these locally. He can be reached at 904-257-9393.
These radios will range in price from $125.00 and up. Other sources
are also available.
Hamfests will also often have extra equipment
GENERAL UHF RADIOS
Coastal Communications 904-756-1400. Bearcom,
407-426-7744. Sportradio: 800-607-2243 or 949-727-3325 These have a
variety of UHF handheld & mobile radios, starting at $280.00
ANY RADIO must have the following capabilities. UHF, CTCSS tones, and
duplex operation. Contact REACT 1 with any questions for further
information. The frequencies are as follows:
TAC 8 462.675 / 467.675,
TAC 9 462.550, TAC 10 462.600. PL is 141.3
SEE REACT 1 TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT GMRS
FLORIDA COUNCIL BOARD MEETING
The biggest topic for discussion
was finding activity for Teams, and attempting to gain, and retain
members. Though Flagler County Assist, and a few other Teams gained
members, others lost, and some teams disbanded.
The following Teams did not renew.
Florida West Coast
Citrus Center (may merge with another Team)
South Florida, (Palm Beach County) May also merge with another Team.
Some of the above was due to lack of good leadership. Others were due
to the members just getting too old to participate.
But we did gain the following.
Pinellas / Pasco REACT.
Also Kissimme Valley REACT gained many new members.
REACT and North Brevard also expanded their programs.
There are two other areas that may see new Teams. One in Levy County,
and the other in Dixie County.
News from around the state
DAYTONA BEACH REACT
DBR has placed a GMRS repeater in operation
in Deland on the 462.675 frequency, pl 141.3
PINELLAS / PASCO REACT
Has also installed a new repeater on
462.675 pl 141.3
KISSIMME VALLEY REACT
Is also looking at a GMRS site. Possibly
on a 700 foot tower.
ORLANDO METRO REACT
Is working with their Sheriff’s Office, and
participating in the county CERT program. Citizens Emergency Response
Team, is the training of citizens on how to respond to a disaster in their
SPACE COAST REACT / INDIAN RIVER REACT
Helped with a nuclear
accident drill in Brevard county. Members used CB, GMRS, and ham to relay