Georgia ARES has long supported Georgia Hospitals, Nursing Homes and other healthcare facilities by providing trained amateur radio operators to deploy during real-time disasters, drills and full-scale exercises to provide emergency communications.
We are always looking for licensed operators to join our team and support the emergency response for their communities.
Here is the list of steps to getting started:
- Notify the leadership in your County
- Register with GHA911
- Obtain the ARES Badge
- Participate in the monthly Hospital Net
- Continued education
- Notify your EC/DEC– The first step to getting started with the Hospital Operations Team is to reach out to your County Emergency Coordinator (EC) or District Emergency Coordinator (DEC). https://gaares.org/php/dec-ec-summary.php. It is very likely your local ARES group is already providing emergency support for local hospitals in your area. You can also reach out to the Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator, Department of Human Resources/Public Health or the Net Manager, State Hospital Net.
- GHA911– All Hospital operators are required to register with GHA911 (https://www.gha911.org). This is how we obtain your contact information and also gives you access to a powerful resource for situational awareness, WebEOC. When registering you will be asked to identify the organization with whom you are associated. Select “Amateur Radio Emergency Service”. You will also need to register your contact information. Please be as complete as possible as we use this information to add you to the Everbridge notification system. This is the system used by hospitals and Emergency Management Agencies throughout the State to notify and deploy emergency responders in the event of a disaster. Once successfully registered you will receive an email notification that your registration is accepted.
- Obtain your Georgia ARES Badge– In order to effectively operate communications in any disaster situation will require an understanding of the incident command structure as well as standard protocols for passing traffic. In addition, all agencies now require some form of identification indicating you have been vetted (background check) and have met the minimum training requirements. The requirements to obtain the ARES badge will ensure you have met these requirements. https://gaares.org/documents/GeorgiaStateARES-Identification.pdf.
Qualify for the badge, but it’s not necessary to purchase it!
- Get Involved!– We conduct a test on the first Sunday of every month where operators across the State go to their local hospitals/ healthcare facilities and conduct communications using a variety of modes (DSTAR, HF and Digital). Additionally, your hospital will conduct drills and exercises annually where they test their disaster response
- Continued Education– Don’t be intimidated! You will eventually learn all you need to know to be an efficient operator. Learning can be fun as you learn how to operate HF during poor propagation, DSTAR operations and how we send messages using Winlink Express or FlDigi digital modes. Download a copy of the Hospital Emergency Operation Plan and familiarize yourself with the guidelines we must follow when operating in hospitals and healthcare facilities (https://gaares.org/documents/HospitalEmergencyOperationsPlan(EOP)-20170720.pdf) . Additionally, we offer a full-day of training every year during the Georgia ARES State Conference so plan now to attend.
We welcome you aboard!
Bret Smith, W4HBS
Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator,
Dept. of Human Resources/Public Health
Georgia Section – ARES Identification Card
Requirements for New or Renewal – Revised: 23Jan16
NIMS ICS Training: http://training.fema.gov/is/nims.aspx
These 5 NIMS training classes:
· IS-100: Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100
· IS-200: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
· IS-700: National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
· IS-800: National Response Framework, An Introduction
· Gwinnett ARES Basic Skills Online Test
Clear Background Check must show no criminal history.
You will need one of the following: County, State, or other Government agency background check documentation dated within the last 5 years; Valid Firearms or Weapons Carry Permit; Valid Red Cross ID Card; Signed letter from your employer stating that they are in possession of a “clear background check.
NOTE: Complete the requirements. Do not buy the badge for $15!