ARES Meeting Called For All Region 4 Coordinators: NWS Awards Disaster Participants.


Pictured (left to right): Brian Prater KY4BP (representing Pike County ARES Group), Fred Jones WA4SWF (representing Big Sandy Amateur Radio Club), Gary Oliver KK4CZO (representing Letcher County Amateur Radio Club), Wayne Hensley AF4YJ (representing Harlan County Amateur Radio Club), John Hager N4KJU (representing Amateur Radio Community Services), Johnnie Brashear KY4JLB (representing Kentucky Mountains Amateur Radio Club), and Tony Edwards KJ4FYM, Warning Coordination Meteorologist NWS Jackson, KY.

Early in March, Fred Jones, WA4SWF, ASEC for Region 4, called for a meeting of all ARES Coordinators, to be held at the Paintsville Fire Dept. The meeting was held last Wednesday, April 18 and was very well attended and received. Two members of the Jackson NWS were present and presented awards to all the ARES nets and Amateur Radio Clubs who participated in the communications emergency during the tornado and severe weather event of March 2.

The event was opened by Ken Robinson, K4KBR DEC 9, who  made a welcoming talk then turned the meeting over to Bob Dixon KJ4FYQ Paintsville Fire Chief and ARES Member, who gave a short talk of the importance of being in ARES and the necessary link between amateur radio and the civilian agencies.

Fred Jones, WA4SWF gave a short welcoming speech and then recognized the members of the Jackson NWS who then gave an excellent visual presentation on recognizing the signs of impending severe weather. After the presentation Tony Edwards, KJ4FYM and Shawn Harley, KF4NIH of the Jackson NWS presented awards to various ARES nets and amateur radio clubs who participated in SKYWARN and ARES communications during the recent weather disaster that affected a large portion of our state. The groups that were represented were the

  • Kentucky Mountains Amateur Radio Club
  • Harlan Co. Amateur Radio Club
  • Letcher Co. Amateur Radio Club
  • Big Sandy Amateur Radio Club
  • Amateur Radio Community Services (Paintsville Amateur Radio Club)
  • Pike County ARES Group
  • The Jackson NWS later posted this statement concerning the cooperation between the NWS and these members at the meeting:

    Amateur radio is a vital service to the community during a disaster.  On March 2nd, when land-line and cell phone communications were lost to the tornado ravaged areas of Magoffin, Johnson and Martin Counties, amateur radio was one of the only ways to communicate to the outside world. 

    The National Weather Service in Jackson has developed a key partnership with several area amateur radio groups.  During severe weather events, area hams participate in a SKYWARN net relaying reports of severe weather to a net control operator, who then relays this information to NWS Jackson via 2-meter radio and/or internet chatroom.  On March 2nd, local hams not only reported the weather that was affecting their local area during the event, but also worked late into the evening relaying reports of damage and other information to emergency responders and NWS Jackson.

    We want to thank all area amateur radio operators for their service during the March 2nd event, and other recent winter weather and severe weather events! “

    Following the presentation of awards, John Hager, N4KJU, gave some brief comments about amateur radio and Allen Epling, WB4WAU gave a short summary of KYHAM News and how to submit news stories for inclusion in Region 4 News. The meeting was concluded with Fred Jones WA4SWF leading a discussion of proper net protocol and courtesy while checked into the ARES nets. Following the meeting Fred Jones WA4SWF made the comment,”I agree that we need a net manager and adopt net Protocol that is the same for all nets and that we need to give clarification when changing from Skywarn net to an AREs net”.

    The event was very well planned and hosted by the Paintsville Fire Dept. with food and refreshments for all.

    Attending the meeting were the following:

    Fred Jones WA4SWF, John Hager N4KJU, Curtis Meade KY4CM, Bob Dixon KJ4FYQ, Brian Prater KY4BP, Allen Epling WB4WAU, Paul D. Conley KF4NLL, Ken Robinson K4KBR, Wayne Hensley AF4YJ, Gary Oliver KK4ZCO, Johnnie Brashear KY4JLB, Ross Leedy KJ4GRJ, Tony Edwards KJ4FYM  NWS, Shawn Harley KF4NIH  NWS, Tommy Shelton KA4BHA , William Callihan WB4CLW.

    Kentucky Mountain ARC News

    The following was submitted by John Farler, K4AVX:

    The KY Mountains ARC, ARES District 10, and Perry Co. ARES have a Memorandum Of Agreement to help with communications at the Paul E. Patton Eastern KY Veterans’ Center in Hazard, in case of an emergency in the area which would require communications backup.  The agreement was announced by club president Johnnie Brashear, KY4JLB, at the April 9 club meeting.

    Club member Kel Adams, KI4NPC, an employee at the facility, has installed two meter gear, and the club plans to help with an HF antenna, as well as
    volunteer operators and portable HF equipment, should the need arise.

    As recent activity during the Eastern Ky. Tornado outbreak has shown, the Eastern Ky Linked Repeater System has great use and potential when there is a weather or other type of emergency in  the  area.

    An added benefit to the agreement and equipment is that residents, such as Charlie Hensley, KE4BNV from Harlan,  in the photo, may use the equipment as part of their activities at the Center.  Charlie has  had difficulty reaching repeaters with his handheld transceiver, so the base station will help him stay in touch with his many friends on the air.

    The EKVC serves the Eastern part of the state with residents  from many counties around Hazard, and is one of three such facilities in the stare which serves those who did the most to serve our country