eComms Protocol

This is a summary of how we are using radios for emergency communications in support of the Murray City Emergency Preparedness team.

  1. After the event where it is quite obvious that regular forms of communications are down, turn on your radio to a frequency as described below.
  2. Wait for announcements from Net Control. This will let you know that there will be a net for eComms support.
  3. Give Net Control at least ten minutes to get things going before you try to contact other members of the club. Sometimes it takes a bit to get the Net Control station in operations.
  4. If no Control Operator comes on then consider starting the net yourself, you can always turn it over to another Control Operator later.
  5. Once Net Control has activated the net, check in and advise your location and availability to respond.
  6. Net Control will assign you a staging area and tactical call sign.
  7. Report to the staging area, notify Net Control when you have arrived.
  8. Find the official in charge of that area, advise them that you are the radio operator that was dispatched by the EOC to assist them. They should already be waiting for you. Net Control will be at the EOC, getting instructions and requests from the Incident Commander (typically the Fire Chief or a Battalion Chief). The IC has typically already advised the local official in charge that you have been sent to provide eComms assistance.
  9. Notify Net Control that you are in contact with the official in charge.
  10. When requested by Net Control, respond with only pertinent information (see below for details).
  11. Remain on site and relay communications from Net Control to the local official and vice versa.

Radio Frequencies to Monitor/Use

Primary Frequency: Murray City FD repeater on 223.960 MHz.  Use a negative offset of 1.6 MHz and tone of 103.5 Hz.  (SLCoARES Standard Load channel:  88)

Secondary Frequency: SLCoARES Assigned Murray City frequency of 147.600 Simplex, no offset, no PL tone.  (SLCoARES Standard Load channel:  56)

Tertiary Frequency:  MARC 1.25m frequency, 223.440 MHz Simplex, no offset, no PL tone.  (SLCoARES Standard Load channel:  29)

If unable to contact Net Control on either the primary, secondary, or tertiary frequencies, start the net yourself, you can hand it off to someone else when the EOC comes online.

Example of "Pertinent Information"

  • number of injured
  • number of deceased
  • any HAZMAT information
  • property damage
  • general conditions if requested

Under no circumstances should you give personal private information (PPI) such as names of victims, dates of birth, etc.

Tactical Call Sign Operations

Net control will assign you a "tactical call sign" which is specific to the location to which you are assigned. Examples are things like "Net Control", "TOSH", "Murray Park Center", "City Hall", etc.

When initiating a communication, use the tactical call sign to identify the station you are calling and your station.

When communications are complete (or every ten minutes as required by FCC rules) identify with your actual amateur call sign.

Operation Example

In this example, your call sign is KX7AAA and you have been assigned to the TOSH rally point. Your local official in charge has asked you to notify the EOC that you need 25 additional blankets and three additional cases of bottled water. The operator running Net Control is KZ7BBB.

You: "Net Control, this is TOSH."

NC: "Go ahead TOSH."

You: "The onsite official is advising that we need 25, two-five, additional blankets and three additional cases of bottled water as soon as possible."

NC: "Copy, TOSH needs 25 additional blankets and three additional cases of bottled water."

You: "Thank you, Net Control. TOSH KX7AAA clear."

NC: "Thank you, TOSH. Net Control KZ7BBB standing by."