AREC

Amateur Radio Emergency Communications

AREC in the news

Two news items this month worth sharing.  The first is a great story that appeared in The Dominion Post and available here:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/68482763/the-unsung-heroes-behind-successful-wellington-and-wairarapa-search-and-rescue-missions.html

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Tactical Amateur Radio Digital Internet Solution

Using the Spark free WiFi zones for Internet access

Need a digital radio hotspot for an AREC operation, a demonstration at a branch meeting, or something like the recent VHF Convention?

Telecom, now Spark, operate a network of more than 1,000 WiFi access points conveniently located on many public telephone call boxes around the country.  The commercial terms of the service are essentially free WiFi for Spark on-account mobile customers subject to a 1GB limit per day for up to five devices per account.

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AREC websites

AREC has a public facing website AREC Today with general interest stories designed to inform non-amateurs about AREC and what we do.  It's also designed to highlight interesting material for key stakeholders, such as the AREC SLA partners including the Rescue Coordination Centre RCCNZ, Police, and NZ SAR

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AREC AGM Report

The AREC AGM was held on Thursday 30 October.  At the meeting John ZL4JY presented a report on the activity over the past year, summarized below.

Introduction

Most of the Group's AREC activity is in support of SAR and Police, our contribution is set out below. Members have supported neighbouring branches, including a dedicated AREC evening at Titahi Bay Branch 42.  The Group continues to assist with the Wellington Wander Search supporting Police searching for missing Alzheimer's suffers. 

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Marine AIS Receiver Operational

The marine AIS (Automatic Identification System) is an automatic tracking technology used by ships to send and receive position reports. Vessels send positions derived by GPS to inform others and optionally receive positions from other vessels for local display.

A useful AIS overview is here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_Identification_System

National AREC Meeting Masterton

The AREC Management Team arrived on site at the Branch 46 Clubrooms shared with SAR in sunny Masterton this morning to find a real SAR operation underway! National Director Jeff Sayer ZL4JS welcomed visitors while managing search comms on a VHF handheld.

John ZL4JY Area Manager Central was on hand to represent our interests with area managers from Northern, Southern, and Midlands (ZK1, ZK8, ZK9, and ZK4 call areas).

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Wellington VHF Group involved in major SAR Exercise

Members of Wellington VHF Group participated in a major Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX), 21-22 April 2012, held at Belmont Regional Park.
Members of our AREC section are actively involved in the Wellington Land Search and Rescue organisation - the first call group of volunteers who assist Police with SAR duties in the greater Wellington area.

Below are some photos, courtesy of Brian M Harmer of Wellington Land SAR, used with permission.

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Amateur Radio in the News - Otago Daily Times

Great to see our southern brethren in the press - an excellent example of how Amateur Radio can contribute in a useful way, and be fun too.

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Australian Senate calls for Dedicated Emergency Services Spectrum

http://www.itwire.com/it-policy-news/regulation/51390-senate-enquiry-calls-for-dedicated-emergency-comms-spectrum

The mobile telephony industry has failed to convince a parliamentary enquiry into the communications needs of emergency service organisations that these needs are best met through services provided by the mobile communications industry rather than by dedicating spectrum for emergency communications services.

AREC LAnd SAR OPeration Roberts 17 April 2011

A Land SAR operation was successful on Sunday 17th April, with a search of the Wainuiomata Water Treatment Plant area finding the missing person within minutes of departure from the base.

LandSAR was called out to meet at the treatment plant at 11am. AREC responded with a preliminary communications plan based on portable SAR repeaters, HF and backup from DoC repeaters and AREC/LandSAR Incident Management Team (IMT) team members.

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