EMRG General Meeting, January 27, 2007

Minutes by M.Kelly, VE3FFK
with notes from Dave, VE3KMV

Intro / Welcome

by Peter VE3BQP


The Year in Review and 2007 Strategy
A presentation by team leader Peter, VE3BQP: The Year in Review, Training Coordinator, New hardware for repeater VE3OCE, Red Cross Radio, Community Services, Funding, Projects, 2007 Strategy, Participation, EOC Changes, Randall.

The key item of the 5-year plan of 2005 boiled down to keep going forward, without having to re-start each year. So far we are doing that.

2006 achievements:

We Need Someone to Work on Packaging the Equipment

We are looking at improving the data capabilities. Specifically, we need to wire the data radio to a standard interface so it can be connected to a TNC. We are also looking at getting Internet access at the communications centre, so we can move the winlink port to that site from the basement of VE3BQP. It will also let us look at voice over IP applications.

We are looking at a solution to getting information into 100 Constellation. It was originally a Nortel wireless development building and therefore was deliberately built with shielding, to prevent RF from getting in or out of it. Unfortunately it is now the site of the command centre for the community services department. We could get around the problem by putting a UHF repeater with a VHF link at the fire station just on the other side of Baseline from it. If community services will pay for the UHF repeater, WE WILL NEED SOMEONE TO PACKAGE THE REPEATER, battery, charger, power supply, controller, and VHF radio into a cabinet.

We are looking at 3 meetings per year, 5 training items per year (may be concurrent with meetings). We are looking at 3 exercises per year (may be table top to full deployment exercises).

We are looking for someone to work "full time" at RECRUITMENT OF NEW MEMBERS. Having someone dedicated to the web site has meant great progress on it. Having someone do the same for recruitment should do good things there too.

We need someone to add ideas to the executive meetings. The office of emergency management books a room for us on the third Wednesday of each month at Fisher School on Holland. Moving to regularly scheduled exec meetings has helped keep things going forward, rather than having to re-start just before each membership meeting. Having a group helps keep individual members from going off on tangents also. We need a cross section of experiences and outlooks, so a newcomer can bring as useful a viewpoint as an old timer.

We are looking at participating in a COMMUNITY EVENT. In the past, these have been done by clubs. With so many of our members in various clubs, our members have participated in these events, but never under EMRG sponsorship. If we take on an event like the Tour Nortel, we can use it as an exercise. We can deploy in greater numbers, with more equipment than the event requires. It will give us an opportunity to both test and refine our skills at the various tasks we would be required to perform in a deployment. It would also raise our profile in the amateur community. By a show of hands are people willing to take on both the operating but also the organizing of the Tour Nortel? (Yes) Bob, VA3QV and Dave, VE3KMV to take leadership on Tour Nortel. Dave VA3AE may be involved in hand off details with Kris, VE7BNE

Q: Is anything done to get feedback back to the membership from the exec meetings?

Q: Should we do a monthly net?

A: Maybe the person who steps forward to look at recruitment could also keep both the membership and non-member hams up to date on what is happening with EMRG. Nets have been tried, and have failed after a few cycles due to declining attendance.

Office of Emergency Management is going to modify their EOC. This will necessitate changes to the radio infrastructure. This means we will need someone to work on the EOC. It may mean in-band repeaters, or some other solution. In the near term, we need to remove the radio equipment during the reconstruction.


by Tom, VA3NFA (VA3TRZ on packet)

In the past there has been quite a bit of training, but it hasn't been focused. Training will in future be focused on the three priorities outlined earlier (infrastructure, voice comms, data comms) Today's presentation is structured around the "Activity Lifecycle"

Activity Lifecycle
A training presentation by Tom, VE3NFA

A calendar will be posted showing what training has been done, what training is coming up and what reference documents will apply to the training. A training strategy document needs to be written and posted so members have a road map to see where we are going with our training. If you are looking for a document and can't find it on line, ask Peter VE3BQP or Gord VE3XGP. We recommend printing them and keeping them in your go kit. Some documents containing confidential information may be unavailable on the web, or may have the confidential information stripped out of it before posting on the web. The phone list is an example.

We need input on what training our members think they need. What training topics are you interested in teaching? Does our activity life cycle include everything it should?

Q: Is there a recommended go kit? Is there a recommended radio?

A: We recommend that you do a Google search, which will find hundreds of recommended go kits or radios. We concentrate on principles and let people make their own judgments about what to pack.

Q: Is training on simplex operations conducted?

A: Not yet, we are putting effort into hardening our repeaters. Training on simplex operations is useful, but not a priority now.

St Johns Telephone Outage

by Mike, VE3FFK

St. Johns Communication Outage
A presentation by Mike, VE3FFK

Think about what happens if a similar situation occurs here. How do you do callouts?

Q: Have fleet owners been identified?

A: Some have, but it is stalled at a low priority

Q: Should we get qualified to operate the fleet radio?

A: No. we just run our own radios. If you do end up running their radios, ask forgiveness rather than permission, and keep records.

Canadian Ski Marathon, February 10 and 11, 2007

by Richard VE3UNW

Normally runs from Lachute to Buckingham. This year it is scaled down to a loop from Montebello to Montebello.

Volunteer assignments are all fully booked. Since things are so uncertain we can use people who are on STANDBY, unassigned but ready to deploy to anywhere on the course without notice. Contact VE3 UNW at R A C dot C A or check website: radio dot admin2 dot ca . Of course, everything on that page is now wrong, since everything is so much changed from normal. They have about 1700 entrants as of early January. Radio coverage should be less of a problem. Low power should be adequate this time. We will be relying on the ability of hams to be flexible. We will be asking some operators to only deploy for one of the two days in order to maximize the number of hams who can participate. If you are curious but don't want to participate, listen in on the repeater that weekend.

Q: How do we get that CSM enthusiasm to translate into EMRG?

A: Take on an event, pair new with older operators, do events where the event knows you are needed. Paradoxically it is easier to find operators for a long shift than a shorter one. Adverse conditions also help to get volunteers for some reason.


by Peter, VE3BQP

Rick, VE3IHI has power poles

Identification badges: If you are on the list, go to the Office of Emergency Management at City Hall and they will walk you through the process. Wait a week before going in, to let Peter get the updated list to them.


by Mike, VE3FFK

The federal government Emergency Preparedness College on Heron Rd. trains municipal employees in the management of an emergency operations centre (EOC) and in emergency site management. They run two streams, "Collegeville", a city based course and "Grandville", directed at people working in smaller population centres. Anyone would get a lot out of participating in either. Their exercises are typically on a Wednesday and Thursday, sometimes Thursday and Friday. They use amateur radio operators and are always looking for volunteers. Since it is a weekday event, it is hard to get people, but the training goes both ways. Amateurs can learn a lot about emergency operations by participating in the exercises and I highly recommend that EMRG members volunteer if they can. Dates are Mar 7,8 (Wed,Thu) Mar 14,15 (Wed,Thu, Grandville) May 2,3 (Wed,Thu) June 28,29 (Thu, Fri, Grandville) Contact me (my callsign at RAC )or the course registrar (and volunteer wrangler) Carole Michaud 613 949 5017 or carole dot michaud at psepc dot gc dot ca. We could use the help, and I guarantee you'll learn something.