WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-02

CHANGES TO ARES IN CHARLOTTE AND HILLSBOROUGH COUNTIES

On Saturday December 1, 2018, per the request of the Charlotte County Emergency Management, Charlotte County ARES is being reorganized and is now a part of the Charlotte County CERT Program. Also per the request of Charlotte County Emergency Management, Jon Pellant W1JP was appointed the new Emergency Coordinator of Charlotte County ARES. Pellant has been part of Charlotte County CERT and Charlotte County ARES since 2016 and has had previous experience in ARES in the cities of Boston and New Your City.

On Saturday December 8, 2018, Roy Drury K4DCT, was appointed the interim EC for Hillsborough County ARES. Drury has been involved in Hillsborough County ARES for the last several years, was the Senior Assistant Emergency Coordinator, and was recently appointed to be an Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator for planning.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #19-01

MIKE BRESSE W2YS RECIPIENT OF THE 2018 WHITE AWARD

Mike Bresse W2YS talking about the Bike MS Citrus Tour at the Tampa Bay Hamfest during the ARRL forum.

On Saturday December 8th, 2018 at the Tampa Bay Hamfest and during the ARRL forum, the 2018 White Award was presented to Mike Bresse W2YS.  Bresse received a 2018 ARRL Handbook from the ARRL West Central Florida Section and one year paid ARRL membership from the West Central Florida Group, the owners of the NI4CE repeater system.  Bresse was appointed an Assistant Section Manager of the ARRL West Central Florida Section on February 1, 2018, to be the amateur radio coordinator of the Bike MS Citrus Tour amateur radio communications upon the ARRL West Central Florida Section assuming the sponsorship of amateur radio communications for the Bike MS Citrus Tour in January of 2018.  Bresse took over as the amateur radio coordinator for the Bike MS Citrus Tour in 2018 succeeding Jason Triolo KD4ACG who had been the amateur radio coordinator for a number of years and had decided to step down to transition to coordinating the Bike Marshall program for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.  Bresse had previously been the SAG vehicle coordinator for a number of years and in 2017 became the amateur radio co-coordinator.

Bresse developed the amateur radio support website for the Bike MS Citrus Tour at http://www.citrustour.org in 2016, which provided a “one stop place” for all Bike MS Citrus Tour volunteer registration, related support documentation such as SOP’s, assignment rosters, printable placards, etc.  Bresse also implemented two nets, Logistics and Operations, to improve radio communications, and computer logging for the net control stations in 2018.  Bresse has developed and plans to implement in 2019 an online form that can be filled out easily on a smartphone that riders on the route can simply fill out, which will pull their GPS coordinates, if they need to be sagged into another rest stop or the finish line, which will hopefully improve dispatch response time to render assistance to riders.

Darrell Davis KT4WX, Section Manager, said, “Mike W2YS is deserving of the White Award as he tirelessly spends a lot of his personal time and money, particularly in the months of March and April, in preparation for the Bike MS Citrus Tour.  Mike does all the top level coordination for the ride, coordination of road stripping and route signage, has made tremendous improvement to the Logistics to support the Bike MS Citrus Tour, and is working on the new self-reporting form for SAG pickup by rider for 2019.”

The White Award is annual award instituted in 2016 by the ARRL West Central Florida Section to recognize the amateur radio operator who has made the most significant contribution to amateur radio in the ARRL West Central Florida Section in the year of the award.  It is awarded at the Tampa Bay Hamfest every December.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #18-12

THE WCF PRESSER ISSUE #33 DECEMBER 2018 IS NOW PUBLISHED

The WCF PRESSER Issue #33 December 2018, has been published on the Section website, and the ARRL website. An announcement of the publication of the WCF PRESSER will be disseminated on the ARRL remailer shortly.  Please note that the WCF PRESSER is no longer disseminated on the ARRL remailer due to the expanded graphical content in the WCF PRESSER.  The WCF PRESSER is coming out of hiatus since its last issue in March 2018, due to time constraints of its editor.

For the PDF version of this newsletter and past issues in PDF format go to http://arrlwcf.org/home/the-wcf-section-presser-arrl-west-central-florida-section-news/.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #18-11

NEW EMERGENCY COORDINATOR APPOINTED FOR POLK COUNTY ARES

On Saturday December 1st, Mike Green AG4LT, stepped down as the Emergency Coordinator for Polk County ARES, due to personal reasons and time constraints.   Green had served as Emergency Coordinator for Polk County ARES since January 1, 2016.  Jim Stewart W4XDS, Polk County ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Operations, has been appointed as the new Emergency Coordinator for Polk County ARES effective on Saturday December 1st.

Stewart was first licensed in 2002, but did not really become active until 2011 after joining the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club, then upgrading from Technician to Extra in only a few months.  Stewart has since served as a board member of the Lakeland Amateur Radio Club since 2016.  In 2012, Stewart joined Polk County ARES, first volunteering to be a net control, then became net manager for the Polk County ARES Net, and finally became Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Operations which Stewart has been for several years.  Professionally, Stewart was a Data Systems Technician in the U.S. Navy.  Following 8 years in the U.S. Navy, Stewart worked for Publix as a COBOL programmer and finished his career with Publix as an Infrastructure Architect.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section extends his sincere thanks to Mike Green AG4LT for his three years of service as Emergency Coordinator of Polk County ARES and welcomes aboard Jim Stewart W4XDS as the new Emergency Coordinator for Polk County ARES.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #18-10

SECTION NET CANCELLATIONS FOR DECEMBER

As is traditional in the month of December, the following Section Nets will be canceled due to the following events and holidays:

TAMPA BAY HAMFEST:  The Section ARES Net on 3940 KHz at 0730 on Saturday December 8th will be canceled due to the ARRL West Central Florida Section Convention and Tampa Bay Hamfest which is being held on Friday December 7th and Saturday December 8th.

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS:   The Section ARES Net on 3940 KHz at 0730 hours on Saturday December 22nd and Saturday December 29th will be canceled in observance of Christmas Day and New Years Day.  The Section ARES and Information Net on the NI4CE Repeater System at 1930 hours on Monday December 24th and Monday December 31st will be canceled in observance of Christmas Day and New Years Day.

The only sessions of the Section HF ARES Net, that will be held in December will be Saturday December 1st and Saturday December 15th.  This Section HF ARES net will resume normal operation on Saturday January 5th, 2019.  The last session of the Section ARES and Information Net for 2018 will be Monday December 17th and this net will resume operation on Monday January 7th, 2019.

The Eagle Net, which is conducted daily at 2030 hours on the NI4CE repeater system, will run as scheduled, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day.  The Section Technical Net, which is conducted every Thursday evening at 2100 hours on the NI4CE repeater system, will also run as scheduled.

The ARRL West Central Florida Section wishes everyone a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #18-9

WV1X TO BE ARRL GUEST AT THE TAMPA BAY HAMFEST

Steve Ewald WV1X, the ARRL Field Organization Supervisor, will be our guest from ARRL Headquarters for the 18th Annual ARRL West Central Florida Section Convention, which is being held in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Hamfest.  Steve has been with ARRL Headquarters for quite a number of years.  Originally working as an assistant to Rick Palm K1CE, Steve assumed Rick’s position at ARRL Headquarters, when Rick retired from ARRL Headquarters.   Steve’s role as ARRL Field Organization Supervisor, is oversight of the ARRL Field Organization, including coordination with the ARRL Section Managers and the ARES organization.

Steve will be our guest speaker at the ARRL forum and is scheduled to do a presentation on ARES Connect, the new ARES members system for doing monthly ARES activity reports.

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WCF SECTION PRESS RELEASE #18-8

SECTION NET CANCELLATIONS FOR THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

In observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday the following nets will be cancelled:  The West Central Florida Section Technical Net at 2100 on the NI4CE Repeater System for Thursday November 22, 2018 and the West Central Florida Section ARES Net at 0730 on 3940 KHz for Saturday November 24, 2018.  The West Central Florida Section Technical Net will resume normal operation on Thursday November 29, 2018.  The West Central Florida Section ARES will temporaily resume normal operation on Saturday December 1, 2019.

Everyone have a safe and great Thanksgiving Day and weekend.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #18-6: 2000 EDT – 10/10/18

HURRICANE MICHAEL MAKES LANDFALL NEAR MEXICO BEACH.  SECTION ARES TO STAND DOWN FROM LEVEL 3 ACTIVATION

As of 1900 EDT on Wednesday 10/10/18, Hurricane Michael is located inland about 30 north-northwest of Bainbridge, Georgia, just inside of southwestern Georgia.  Hurricane Michael made landfall early this afternoon near Mexico Beach located between Panama City and Port St. Joe as a Category 4 hurricane.  Hurricane Michael maximum sustained winds have decreased from 145 to 100 miles per hour and is headed north-northeast at 13 miles per hour.  Hurricane Michael is forecast to continue its track across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina and southern Virginia, first as a hurricane and then weakening to a tropical storm before emerging off of the coast of Virginia late Thursday evening, then continuing northeast out into the open eastern Atlantic, transitioning into an extra-tropical area of low pressure on Friday.  The Florida peninsula at this time can expect some near Tropical Storm force winds near the coast in the northern counties of the West Central Florida Section. All of the West Central Florida Section can expect periods of rain squalls as the storm moves north over the Gulf of Mexico overnight and on Wednesday. At the present time, the only warning that is in effect for the West Central Florida Section is a Storm Surge Warning for Pasco County. All other watches, including the Tropical Storm Watch and the Storm Surge Watch have been discontinued.

As of 2000 this evening, West Central Florida Section ARES will stand down from a Level 3 activation. Pasco County ARES stood down late this afternoon from its partial activation and Hillsborough ARES/RACES and Sarasota County ACS stood down from their standby modes this afternoon as well.  Arrangements are being made to provide an HF station at the Salvation Army office in Tampa to help then with being able to communicate with their offices in the panhandle during the recovery phase of those impacted by Hurricane Michael.

Ben Henley KI4IGX, our Section Emergency Coordinator, is coordinating a series of regular conference calls Section leadership of all three ARRL Florida Sections for mutual aid support if requested.  Ben also wants to remind everyone DO NOT self activate or self deploy. Request for mutual aid from the counties impacted in the Northern Florida Section, must go through the proper channels in order for volunteers to be cleared to go to that disaster area.

Darrell Davis KT4WX, our Section Manager says, “Thank you to all of you who volunteered to stand by for deployment or were deployed by your local ARES/ACS organizations.  The efforts of many make the load much lighter to carry.”

This will be the last WCF Section Special Bulletin on Hurricane Michael.  will be issued at this time tomorrow unless the situation warrants a bulletin sooner.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #18-5: 2000 EDT – 10/09/18

HURRICANE MICHAEL GETTING CLOSER TO THE PANHANDLE.  WCF SECTION ARES TO REMAIN AT LEVEL 3 ACTIVATION.

As of 2000 EDT on Tuesday 10/09/18, Hurricane Michael is located about 255 miles south of of Panama City, Florida in the Florida Panhandle.  Hurricane Michael maximum sustained winds have increased to 120 miles per hour and is headed north at 12 miles per hour.  Hurricane Michael is forecast to continue its track toward the north and make landfall in the western panhandle of Florida on Wednesday afternoon.  The Florida peninsula at this time can expect some near Tropical Storm force winds near the coast in the northern counties of the West Central Florida Section.  All of the West Central Florida Section can expect periods of rain squalls as the storm moves north over the Gulf of Mexico overnight and on Wednesday.  At the present time, the only warning that is in effect for the West Central Florida Section is a Storm Surge Warning for Pasco County.  At the present time, the watches that are in effect for the West Central Florida Section is a Tropical Storm Watch for Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough Counties and a Storm Surge Watch for Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Manatee Counties.

As of 2000 this evening, West Central Florida Section ARES will remain at a Level 3 activation.  Level 3 activation is a standby mode, due to the activation of ARES/ACS, in one or more counties of the West Central Florida Section.  At this time, Pasco County ARES is partially activated, Hillsborough ARES/RACES anticipates partial or full activation, and Sarasota County ACS have had requests from their primary served agencies to stand by for a potential activation.  Ben Henley KI4IGX, our Section Emergency Coordinator, is coordinating a series of regular conference calls with the Emergency Coordinators in the West Central Florida Section and the Section leadership of all three ARRL Florida Sections for mutual aid support if requested.

All ARES, ACS, and CERT teams in the West Central Florida Section are requested to check their equipment and supplies in case of the need for deployment.  Ben Henley KI4IGX, our Section Emergency Coordinator, reminds all ARES/ACS personnel, particularly in the coastal counties to stay in contact with your ARES/ACS leadership and DO NOT self activate or self deploy.   Request for mutual aid from the counties impacted, particularly in the Northern Florida Section, must go through the proper channels in order for volunteers to be cleared to go to that disaster area.

The next WCF Section Special Bulletin will be issued at this time tomorrow unless the situation warrants a bulletin sooner.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

WCF SPECIAL BULLETIN #18-4: 2000 EDT – 10/08/18

HURRICANE MICHAEL HEADED FOR THE PANHANDLE.  WCF SECTION ARES TO GO TO LEVEL 3 ACTIVATION.

As of 2000 EDT on Monday 10/08/18, Hurricane Michael is located about 485 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida in the Florida Panhandle.  Hurricane Michael has maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour and is headed north at 12 miles per hour.  Hurricane Michael is forecast to continue its track toward the north and make landfall in the western panhandle of Florida on Wednesday afternoon and intensify to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall.  The Florida peninsula at this time can expect some near Tropical Storm force winds near the coast in the northern counties of the West Central Florida Section.  All of the West Central Florida Section can expect periods of rain squalls as the storm moves north over the Gulf of Mexico late Tuesday and Wednesday.  At the present time, the only warning that is in effect for the West Central Florida Section is a Storm Surge Warning for Pasco County.  At the present time, the watches that are in effect for the West Central Florida Section is a Tropical Storm Watch for Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Manatee County and a Storm Surge Watch for Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Manatee Counties.

As of 2000 this evening, West Central Florida Section ARES will go to a Level 3 activation.  Level 3 activation is a standby mode, in case of activation of ARES and or ACS, by one of our served agencies.  At this time, Pasco County ARES will partially active tomorrow at 0700, Hillsborough ARES/RACES and Sarasota County ACS have had requests from their primary served agencies to stand by for a potential activation. However that situation could change tomorrow, especially if the path of Michael unexpectedly changes course.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT teams in the West Central Florida Section are requested to check their equipment and supplies in case of the need for deployment.

The next WCF Section Special Bulletin will be issued at this time tomorrow unless the situation warrants a bulletin sooner.

END OF SPECIAL BULLETIN

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