Duties and Responsibilities for DRS Control Stations

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06/06/2021 @ 13:20:34

It’s important to have a shared expectation of what we can expect from each other in the event of an emergency. We have all volunteered to help as DRS listening stations which in and of itself is critically important if we experience an emergency. The community and fellow hams will be dependent upon the help and support. Here is a list of expectations and terms of the agreement. If you don’t agree either lobby to change the agreement or opt-out of the program. If you have any suggestions on the document improvements, let me know.

  1. Prepare your own personal checklist of things to put together for a communications-out emergency – think of it as your personal go-kit.
  2. All emergency communications need to be logged and archived. This includes operational control communications. You only need to log messages you send or receive. Make sure you have ICS-309 log forms on hand.
  3. We are all volunteers and we recognize the responsibilities and duties of the DRS net may be preempted by personal needs that superseded those of the wider community. If this happens, we need to notify someone else who can pass this along to others on the net.
  4. Listen for traffic before transmitting. Often you can call out “net control”, listen and be sure the channel is clear before transmitting.
  5. If you hear a station that isn’t acknowledged by net control, break in with “relay” and wait for net control to acknowledge. Once acknowledged, relay the traffic you have.
  6. When you run the net, use the protocol if you can. Users will find it easier if things are familiar. On the other hand, things change and circumstances require flexibility so don’t become handicapped by formality.
  7. In an emergency situation, remain calm and don’t hesitate to call for assistance from other hams using your backchannel frequencies if necessary.
  8. Don’t hesitate to identify yourself with your tactical call, GMRS call, and name. And, don’t forget to record all communications.
  9. People in emergencies are probably having a really bad day. They don’t need lectures, but they can become problems for everyone. Do what you can to reassure them that you will do everything you can to help. You may have empathy but you can’t fix all the problems.
  10. Become familiar with passing messages and know who you will need to talk to in an emergency. It may be another local ham or it could be the county or state EOC. You should decide what you are willing to do, in advance and make sure this is communicated to the other club members. This is one function of the Emergency Profile.
  11. Have a firm grasp of your capabilities and skills. Promise only what you are sure you can deliver. 
  12. In times of emergency, we will all have different stressors. Some may actively be monitoring several frequencies at the same time. Do not use the net time to chat or tell stories. Keep things as brief as possible. Call and first name is generally the best response when you are checking in.
  13. Volunteer to run a weekly net to make it more natural, smooth, and succinct.