On the morning of October 20, 2018, the BC MO EM, BC ARES, and BC MO CERT took part in a Simulated Emergency Test with our counterparts in Johnson County (Warrensburg, Knob Noster, etc.), which you can read about here.
The primary reason for our office participating in this exercise was to test the amateur radio equipment we keep on hand as a source of redundant communications for our county. Our radio room is housed in the 911 building with our offices and the 911 dispatchers, among others. We are fortunate to have a great group of volunteer amateur radio operators who assist us in keeping the equipment up to date and functioning. These are the members of the Benton County, MO Amateur Radio Emergency Service. They are always seeking licensed amateurs or anyone interested in obtaining an FCC license. They are a very active group and you can read more about them on their website. The CERT members deployed to different locations in the county with an ARES member on each team to test the coverage of Benton County’s repeater (146.925 -PL 107.2) and simulate an evacuation of survivors from the scenario. We are very proud of our CERT and ARES volunteers! They did a great job and demonstrated great skill when asked to perform several tasks for the exercise! We would like to thank the following volunteers for their efforts: Ken Vining, Barb Vining, Robert Harrison, Scott Hydeman, Renee Cason, and Roger Henley! These volunteers assisted Deputy Director (and ARES Emergency Coordinator), Samantha Henley, to fulfill our role in the Simulated Emergency Test.
During the SET, we discovered some problems with what we consider one of our primary radios. That has since been corrected. We are very happy to have two fully operational work areas for our radio room and are now moving forward with our Emergency Communications trailer project. In the coming months, we will release updates on the project with our intention focused on having it fully operational for the full-scale exercise to be held in February by our partners at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Truman Dam.
For anyone wishing to volunteer with the BC MO EM, we encourage you to contact us here on our website, email Deputy Director Samantha Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our Facebook page and leave us a comment!