Peconic Amateur Radio Club
P.O. Box 113 Peconic, NY 11958

Emergency Communications

 

Shortly after the Peconic Amateur Radio Club formed in

February 1993, Chief of Communications of the Town of

Southold Police Department, John Raynor K5XLI

(N2RAW), approached club members and asked them if

they would be interested in providing emergency

communications for the Township during disasters. Since

PARC was organized to be an ARRL "Service Club", the

idea of supporting our townships during an emergency was

a good one. PARC's Amateur Radio Emergency Services

(ARES) was born.

With twenty-five volunteers, ARES was officially recognized

by the Southold Town Board and responsibilities for the

club were placed in the Town's Disaster Response Plan.

Specifically, if an event requires local government to open

relocation shelters for people in town, we are called upon to

provide communications from the shelter to the Emergency

Operations Center (EOC) located at Police Headquarters in

Peconic. To date, we have been activated for many

approaching hurricanes and the "Y2K" threat. Our ARES

teams have provided mutual aide support during the 1995

Hampton's Wildfires, the 1997 crash of TWA flight 800 and

the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11,

2001.

In addition to working with Southold Town, we regularly

assist the towns of Riverhead and Shelter Island and by

mutual-aide agreement, greater Suffolk County and

beyond. Each Township has an ARES organization to call

upon, but in cases like the '95 Wildfires, Flight 800 and

9/11, where operations may last for several days, we can

respond to help them as well as we can call them to help

us.

The Town of Southold has supported our volunteer efforts

by providing state of the art VHF, UHF and HF radio

equipment at the Communications Center of the EOC.

Suffolk County ARES has donated computer equipment

and antennas for packet operations from the Center and

our members have fabricated and installed antennas at the

Police Station and Recreation Center in Peconic. With our

cooperation, the American Red Cross has located a radio

at the Communications Center for use during joint

operations. Cooperative efforts by the Town of Southold

and the Incorporated Village of Greenport have given

PARC cost-free tower space for our repeater and

communications systems.

To exercise and keep our communications skills sharp, we

provide radio support to non-profit organizations during

their large-scale events. We have regularly supported the

Suffolk County Special Olympics, the American Heart

Association, the Association to Help Retarded People, the

Southold Parent Teacher Association, the Suffolk County

Bicycle Riders Association and the American Red Cross.

Officially sanctioned drills and exercises are held during the

year for training purposes as well. These include the ARRL

Field Day in June, the ARRL Simulated Emergency Test in

the Fall and periodic County and Township drills involving

our served agencies and the hospitals.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in,

don't hesitate to speak with one of our members or

someone in Leadership. Ask them about their experiences

with PARC/ARES and consider joining us. (NOTE: You do

not have to be a member of PARC to be an active

volunteer in the ARES program.) To officially volunteer,

contact our Emergency Coordinator and fill out a simple

form. He/she will discuss with you your availability and

operating equipment and together determine where you

would be most able to report during a "call-up."

The Southold ARES Emergency Coordinator is: Don

Fisher, N2QHV. He may be contacted at (631) 765-2757 or

via e-mail at n2qhv@arrl.net. We would appreciate your

membership and look forward to having you with us.