Volunteers Providing Emergency Communications for Multnomah County, Oregon

From the EC’s Desk

As we near the end of another successful year, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all of the members that make Multnomah County ARES possible. Currently there are in excess of 70 active members in Multnomah County ARES. It takes us all to be a well operating unit.

This past year we have seen our operating skills and abilities grow by leaps and bounds. Thanks to the efforts of our membership, the trailer project has gone from a dream to being deployed on multiple training and operating occasions. This new tool will allow us to perform control and relay functions free from the shortcomings of our brick and mortar operating locations. In October, during the Disaster Relief Trials, we operated both a voice net and three different digital modes (video/still imagery/Winlink) from the field simultaneously. This included over six field stations and two mobile operating trailers coordinating the efforts of our radio operators. I was so impressed by your abilities during that event that I am ecstatic for the future.

Regarding our path forward, I have met with the Multnomah County Emergency Management Director, Chris Voss, and the Operations Manager, Alice Busch, and our directions are clear. We are to grow our ranks so that we can operate as many field deployable digital teams as possible. This will require a renewed recruitment and training effort. The leadership team has created the training outline for next year, and I’ll share details at the January meeting.

On the recruitment side of the house, we need to spread the word about our organization and mission. If you know anyone that would be a good fit with us, please encourage their participation. We are one small part of the massive task that is preparing Multnomah County for disaster, but I am confident in both the vision of our Emergency Management team and in our abilities as operators, and I will seek to provide the trained operators that the County Emergency Management team has asked for. Here’s to a great new year of growth and development!