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THE REACT MONITOR
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF FLAGLER COUNTY ASSIST TEAM 4800 VOL 98 - 1
SPRING/SUMMER 98 SPECIAL EDITION
"CB 9, HAM & GMRS MONITORED IN FLAGLER COUNTY"
PLEASE MONITOR CB 9 AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

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 call.

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 response.

DEBRIEF SESSION
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.

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.

EOC RESPONSE
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.
Thank You!

NEXT NOVEMBER STATE COUNCIL MEETING TO BE HELD IN FLAGLER COUNTY
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 for Saturday.
Again I want to thank REACT 20, and 21 for working on this event.

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.

ELECTION RESULTS
For those who missed them!
Bob Pickering - REACT 1, President.
Troy Harper - REACT 17, Vice President.
Marc Bellefontaine - REACT 3, Treasurer.
Petra Cattogge - REACT 21, Secretary.
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

CALLS
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 fire information.

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 back.

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 Repeater!!

===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 an Officer.

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 off.

These events provide a very good training ground for our members to prepare for disasters.

FLORIDA REACT RESPONDS TO SEVERE WEATHER. (LATE NEWS!)
In 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.
Space Coast 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 22.

UPCOMING TRAINING EVENTS:
SKYWARN - ADVANCED September 23rd 0900-1200 @ EOC
SEARCH TEAM - TO BE ANNOUNCED
EOC TRAINING - AT EACH MEETING
LABOR DAY PARADE & FIREWORKS September 5th, Flagler Beach.
MARINELAND FIREWORKS 9/6/98
FPC FOOTBALL GAMES will be starting soon!

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
Chris Raggazzo - REACT 4
Joe McSherry - REACT 28
George Morace - REACT 29
Rose Morace - REACT 30

Lets see more members!

GMRS UP AND RUNNING!
Tests show the repeater is WORKING BETTER THAN EXPECTED. Handhelds cover about 10-15 miles out. Mobiles beyond that. During tests, REACT 1 & 17 were able to talk on handhelds from the EOC to Marineland. This has been a long time coming. We want to thank all who made it work, especially raising the funds.

GETTING ON GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service)

OK we will be honest, this is somewhat expensive, but once the money is spent, you need not spend any more.

LICENSE
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.

RADIOS
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
from Amateur Electronic Supply in Orlando. 407-894-3238. / 1-800-327-1917.

USED MOTOROLA
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 available.

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 FREQS!

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
West Putnam County
Citrus Center (may merge with another Team)
REACT of 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.
Space Coast 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 own neighborhood.

SPACE COAST REACT / INDIAN RIVER REACT
Helped with a nuclear accident drill in Brevard county. Members used CB, GMRS, and ham to relay information.

Top


Flagler County Assist REACT Team 4800
P.O. Box 353021
Palm Coast FL
32135



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