Section Emergency Coordinator Transition

After serving the Northern Florida Section since 2018, Karl Martin – K4HBN has stepped down from the position of Section Emergency Coordinator due to personal reasons.  Karl was instrumental in the creation of the Florida Tri-Section ARES Position Task Book and many other efforts to help unify ARES across the state.  “It’s been a privilege working with you these past years.  I hope to still be an active participant in the Section and ARES so I may help in any way I can,” said Karl in his message to the section’s Emergency Coordinators.

Stepping into the role is Arc Thames – W4CPD.  Arc is no stranger to incident management having served in the Auxiliary Unit of the Crestview, FL Police Department for nine years, ending as the Lieutenant of their volunteer police force.  In 2019 Arc’s focus shifted to amateur radio in Santa Rosa County where he became an ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator.  In 2020, just prior to Hurricanes Sally and Zeta that impacted the county, Arc succeeded Ray Crepeau-K1HG as ARES Emergency Coordinator of Santa Rosa County.  “I have worked with Arc for some time, and I think he will make a great SEC.  I look forward to working with him during the transition,” said Karl-K4HBN.

“I’m extremely excited, energized, and thankful to be given this opportunity,” said Arc-W4CPD.  Arc says he has many ideas he hopes will continue the work Karl-K4HBN had started.  As to not lose his talent and wealth of knowledge in emergency communications and ARES, Arc has asked Karl to stay on as Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator.  “Stay tuned for great things ahead,” said Arc-W4CPD.

For more information on the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) program in the Northern Florida Section, visit their website arrl-nfl.org/ares.

Taskbook Training Series

At our November meeting we announced that our 2022 training plan would be focused on completing our individual Florida ARES Taskbooks. These training sessions will be hands on and allow you the opportunity to complete your individual task sign-offs. Below are the classes we currently have scheduled.


At our January 15, 2022 meeting, we will cover message handling to include radiograms and ICS-213 forms. We will have hands on activities for how to pass traffic over the air as well as filling in the forms. Breakfast will be provided.


Our February meeting will focus on Winlink. We will start with a classroom session and then move to hands on training with various TNC’s to use Winlink to send radiograms, ICS-213 forms, and shelter reports. Due to the length of this meeting, breakfast and lunch will be provided. We may not need the entire time, but we wanted to get it on your calendars just in case.

July 24 Shelter Simulation

  • July 24 from 4:00-6:30PM
    • Red Cross Shelter Simulation & Training at the Milton Community Center (5629 Byrom Street, Milton, FL 32583)
      • If you have worked or would like to volunteer as a radio operator at the shelters, please make every attempt possible to attend this training so you can get to know the shelter staff
      • We will setup our radio gear at the shelter for practice during the simulation
      • Pre-registration is required – You must register online https://www.eventbrite.com/e/red-cross-shelter-simulation-milton-florida-tickets-160828651827
      • Please also let me know if you plan to attend
      • Refreshments will be provided

Field Day 2021 Huge Success

We want to take a moment to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped setup, greeted visitors, operated or stopped by. We had close to 40-50 visitors come by during our main public event and 99% of them donated at least one item to the Food Raising Friends food drive! Our friends from FRF told us that many of the people that didn’t know about the food drive left and came back.

We also want to sincerely thank the Santa Rosa County Emergency Management team for allowing us to host our event at the EOC and to the Public Safety Director, Brad Baker, for stopping by to say hello as well!


Dedication of our new communications trailer


Food Drive Drawing

Ham Hands On SUCCESS!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to the “Ham Hands On”, tailgater and license testing. We had a fantastic turnout despite the weather. Special thanks to Bob-W5CL for hosting us, Brian/Beth for the food, and the Milton Amateur Radio Club for testing. We had 10 successful license tests today! Stay tuned for our next event.

Upcoming Events

We’ve got several events in the works, please make plans to join us!

At our March meeting, we’ll discuss various resources we have available including our new website. We’ll discuss the SHARES program we are a part of. Amateur radio license testing will be available following the meeting.


Curious how to send emails over the air without the internet? This event is for you! We’ll have several stations setup on HF, VHF, and UHF to help you understand how to send emails with Winlink. Have some gear you’d like to sell? Great! We’ll also have a free tailgater event if you’d like to setup or browse. This event isn’t affiliated with any club or group and is open to EVERYONE! Ham license testing will also be available at 9:00AM. Thanks to Bob-W5CL for allowing us the use of his space and the Milton Amateur Radio Club for providing the license testing.


Our May meeting will primarily be for those that have or are willing to work at a shelter during an activation. We will walk through the process of picking up the gear, setting up at the shelter, providing reports, and finally securing from deployment.

Amateur radio license testing will be available at 10:30AM. If testing, please bring a photo ID and cash for the exam ($10). If upgrading, please bring a signed official copy of your existing license


Field Day is ham radio’s open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

Winter Field Day 2021 Recap

We want to send out a HUGE thank you to all those who either came out to help/participate or visit us at Winter Field Day! While we fought some band condition issues on Saturday evening, other than a little rain, the weather was perfect and we had a great time. We hope you’ll make plans to join us next year!

February 2021 Combined Training

Escambia & Santa Rosa Counties are holding their joint ARES training-course on Saturday, February 27, 2021.

Place: Escambia Co Public Safety Building – 6575 North W Street 32505
Time: 0800 = 1300
Face Masks are required, and Social Distancing will be maintained. Additionally, Body Temperatures will automatically be taken upon entry.

Topics:

  • Our Mission
  • Activation Procedures
  • Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)
  • Digital Communications
  • Deployment
  • Message Handling
  • Documentation
  • 2021 ARES Schedule
  • ARES Taskbook
  • Questions and Answers