TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 19.13 DATE: March 31, 2019
SUBJECT: TIPS FOR "ALL" RADIO OPERATORS
As most Amateurs know, Handheld radios usually operate at 1/2 Watt to maybe 10 Watts, depending on the make and model. But did you know that the majority of Public Service radios available may only operate at 1 to 2 watts? In any event, the possibility that you may not be able to communicate thru a repeater from certain locations is very likely, especially for the Public Service radio operator.
Breaking in on a busy repeater, in an emergency, is possible if the operator remembers a couple things. This also goes for Public Service radio operators as well. Always position yourself so you are facing either the repeater or a remote receiver if there are any used. Get that key finger ready, because in many cases you will need to be quick on the PTT button. As one of the users un-keys his, or her radio, key your radio and just say "BREAK". Amateur radio operators have used this method for years and it works. If you don't get their attention try again. If this fails, move to a different location, three or four feet one way or the other to possibly hit the repeater better, and try again by saying "BREAK BREAK". If this fails, you may just have to move your position to a higher location or use another repeater which may have a different line of sight.
WCEC has issued numerous bulletins on when and how to use a radio to report accidents or emergencies. Amateurs Radio operators, and Public Service radio operators, please take note; Reporting accidents, or emergencies by radio is fine, but if you are in, or at a place that has a telephone, that is functioning, USE THE PHONE! or have someone else use it. Don't use the radio, to call in an incident that you come upon in a place of business, restaurant or home, if the telephone is working, information can be exchanged a lot quicker. USE THE TELEPHONE! or have someone else make the call. This is still the best and most reliable route of communications, if it is available. Radio communications are great for use in reporting emergencies, when telephone service is not available or out of order.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV