ECAR is an organization composed of interested individuals who are FCC licensed Amateur Radio operators whose major purpose is to provide countywide emergency communications. ECAR may supply communications services where no established links exist or supplement existing system(s) if they are overloaded or disabled. Such services may include:
1) Communications between Erie County and other governmental agencies.
2) Emergency communications between County officials and other officials.
3) Inter-agency communications among county, private and public service organizations.
4) Additional public service communications.
5) Health and welfare communications.
The information contained in this plan is to be used as a guide. It is not the intent of this plan to limit the actions of an operator who is on site and best able to assess the prevailing conditions.
A) ECAR is organized to provide communications services only. Amateur Radio operators on ECAR duty are not expected to serve any other function.
B) The authenticity of all messages is the sole responsibility of the originating authority. The validity of such messages shall be determined by the Department of Emergency Services.
C) Although a radio operator may report conditions as they observe them, such observations are to be considered those of a lay person and evaluated in that context.
D) This plan is subject to alterations and/or revisions as required.
There shall be the following leadership positions and responsibilities in the Erie County Amateur Radio Emergency Service:
1) Emergency Coordinator/RACES Officer: shall (1) assure compliance with FCC regulations. (2) Coordinate operation within the ARES/RACES activities with the Erie County Director of Emergency Services as well as with the ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator.
2) Assistant Emergency Coordinator: shall (1) aid the EC in the performance of their duties, and (2) function as the primary liaison with the Department of Emergency Services.
3) Net Manager: shall (1) provide operators for all nets, and (2) be responsible for the implementation of all net reports.
4) Management Team: shall be composed of selected amateurs through out Erie County. This committee will make suggestions to make achievements on our goals in all our activities.
5) Area Club Liaisons: Amateurs representing various amateur radio organizations though out Erie County. These amateurs will report activities to their local club or organization.
A) Membership in ECAR is open to any individual who holds a valid FCC Amateur Radio license.
B) All new members are expected to register themselves with the Emergency Coordinator and to take part in any training sessions that may be provided.
C) All members must keep the Emergency Coordinator apprised of any changes of their equipment or amateur status that may effect their operation in ECAR.
D) Photo ID cards will be issued to all new members.
> The ARES/RACES net is held every Sunday at 1900 hours on the 146.865 MHz and 443.525 MHz WB2ECR repeaters. Both have a positive offset and a CTCSS tone of 151.4. This net may also be held on 146.910 MHz negative offset, the W2EUP repeater, or 147.255 MHz. positive offset, the W2SO repeater with a CTCSS tone of 107.2. If all repeaters are down the net will be held on 147.420 MHz simplex. This net is an information net of on going ECAR activities. All ECAR members are encouraged to check in regularly.
> There shall be a minimum of one Simulated Emergency Test (SET) per year. These Emergency Tests should be in concert with scheduled local county drills.
> Training functions may include ECAR participation in local civic events and other functions that improve skills in communications, organization, discipline, and judgment.
> It is expected that ECAR members will continue to develop strong background in emergency procedures and net operations though outside education. Pertinent material is available from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Newington, Connecticut. FEMA also offers Independent Study courses in Incident Command System (ICS) operation.
> The Emergency Coordinator may call preparedness classes when it is felt that classes are the most effective means of training ECAR members.
A) Any agency or organization requiring ECAR communications assistance should contact the Director of the Department of Erie County Emergency Services.
B) The Director shall determine if any emergency condition exists requiring the communications assistance of ECAR.
C) If ECAR participation is required, the Director shall contact the EC or the assistant EC.
A) Members of ECAR will be placed on alert via (1) IaR (I am Responding), or (2) monitoring the primary net frequency of 146.865 MHz. and 443.525 MHz. WB2ECR repeaters. Both have a positive (+) offset and a CTCSS tone of 151.4.
B) ECAR members should monitor the primary net frequency if they suspect that a communication emergency may exist such as the presence of a bad storm, power outage, telephone outage, or another.
C) Mobilization is initiated by the opening of an emergency net on the primary net frequency by an authorized control station.
D) ECAR members will be checked into the net from their homes or mobile stations to await further instructions.
E) The EC or delegate will make appropriate assignments.
F) Contact personnel at each of the possible designated locations should be made aware of the fact that ECAR members may be assigned to them and should therefore expect their presence.
The primary operating frequencies of ECAR are:
146.865+ CTCSS tone 151.4 (WB2ECR) Voice * *Linked Repeaters Primary
443.525+ CTCSS tone 151.4 (WB2ECR) Voice * *Linked Repeaters Primary
146.910 – (W2EUP) Voice
147.255+ CTCSS tone 107.2 (W2SO) Voice
145.170 – (K2ISO) Voice Backup