Members of the DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club participated in an emergency exercise on Thursday, December 30th, 2010. The exercise was titled “End of Year Tornado.” The drill was conducted “semi-unannounced” and many stations had very little notice of the drill. The exercise scenario was that there was a F2 Tornado sighted in Northeastern Cannon County moving into Southwestern DeKalb County. Wind damage, power outages and road closings occurred during the exercise as well as other damage reports from residents.
Local Amateur Radio Operators utilized local radio repeaters and then utilized their emergency skills for stations in point-to-point contact. Communications were also sent to the State Emergency Operations Center at TEMA in Nashville, Tennessee via wireless computer-radio access. These messages relayed the latest emergency status in DeKalb County. Emergency amateur radio stations at DeKalb Community Hospital and also at Stones River Hospital in Woodbury were activated and evaluated for effectiveness.
A total of 20 Amateur Radio Operators from throughout Middle Tennessee and one station from Alabama also checked into the emergency radio network. Local amateur repeaters were utilized as well as High Frequency point-to-point contact. Those local DeKalb County Amateur Radio Operators involved in the exercise included W3HKG – Bob Mitchell, KF4QNT – Kevin Neely, and KC4GUG – Freddy Curtis - DeKalb County Amateur Radio Emergency Coordinator. Additional stations checking into the radio network were KG4GTD, KG4UBH, KD4WX – John O’Conner District 6 Emergency Coordinator, KI4UMD, KG4NPF, KR4RS, W4WGM, W4KOC, KE4ZKG, K4QJL, KG4NAZ, K4ING, K1KY, N9DGK, K4NZN, WB8ZGM, AND K3LDS.
Special appreciation is extended to W1ADE – Wade Patton of Woodbury, TN for operating the emergency amateur radio station at Stones River Hospital in Woodbury. The club would also like to thank DeKalb County Emergency Management Director Charlie Parker and Claudine Florence, ER Director of DeKalb Community Hospital for their support of local participation in this annual state-wide exercise.
The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of Amateur Radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. The next club meeting will be on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 - 6:30 PM at the E-911 Center. Any person interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.