Amateur Radio Operators Train at State Fire Academy

Thursday, May 05, 2016 | 04:49pm

BELL BUCKLE – Dozens of Tennessee Amateur Radio Operators (commonly known as “hams”) will conduct emergency communications exercises in concert with government agencies May 5 – May 8 at the Tennessee Fire Service & Codes Academy (TFACA) in Bell Buckle.

The exercise is designed for auxiliary communicators and groups who typically volunteer to provide back-up emergency radio communications support to government, public safety and emergency response agencies. Typically, support would consist of federally licensed amateur radio operators who volunteer their time and equipment.  Amateur Radio Operators have been providing backup communications for public safety for over 100 years. They are used by event planners, federal, state and local government and emergency managers at all levels. Often, Amateur Radio services have been used reliably when other forms of communications have failed or been disrupted.

“TFACA is glad to again host this important event,” said TFACA Executive Director Roger C. Hawks. “Communications is vital in disasters and groups like ‘ham’ operators are crucial to the mission of emergency responders.”

The exercises at Bell Buckle focus on auxiliary communications interoperability, planning and training; the relationship between the supported agencies and the volunteers; emergency operations center guidelines; Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations; certification and accreditation; and emergency communications deployment.

The exercise is intended to supplement and standardize an operator’s experience and knowledge of emergency amateur radio communications, as well as the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in a public safety context.