I’ve had the opportunity to attend the Wisconsin State ARES/RACES Conference for 10 of the last twelve years that it has been offered. The conference, always held in late October is a great time for learning, networking, and sharing. In addition to the presentations and round table discussions at the conference this year, ARES members got together on the Saturday evening for an communications exercise. Integral to this exercise where the KB9VBR 2 meter J-Pole antennas used for the net control operations.
This year’s scenario involved a search and rescue operation for a lost 9 year old boy. The Wisconsin Rapids Police department provided support and realism to the drill. We set up an impromptu emergency operations center in the hotel’s conference room and sent four teams of hams out in the downtown area to search for clues in the exercise.
This exercise had two purposes, first it was a demonstration on how amateur radio operators could work as a team even though the individual members hadn’t trained together. The second demonstrated to the WI Rapids police department how amateur radio operators are beneficial part of providing communications to emergency management. All the of the ARES members participating in the event had Incident Command Training, so everyone knew their role and what needed to be done to accomplish the mission.
In the EOC, we set up four net control stations each using the KB9VBR 2 meter J-Pole antenna. The antennas where on short masts in the conference room. Despite the close proximity of the stations and their location inside the hotel, we where able to stay in communications with all the search parties in the downtown area. This wasn’t an optimal situation, but it was adequate for the 90 minute exercise.
I’m honored to be able to provide the antennas for the Saturday evening exercise. Real world events like this show the utility of the J-Pole antenna and how it is an excellent choice for emergency communications.