ARES is a field organization of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the largest amateur radio advocacy and fraternal organization in the United States. Today, at a national level ARES provides the organization and guidance to help amateur radio operators to establish local emergency communications volunteer groups. ARES Emergency Coordinators work with local government agencies such as police, fire, sheriffs, search and rescue units, hospitals and offices of emergency management to determine what emergency communications needs exist and how best to serve the community.
Because Sullivan County covers a such a large footprint of Northeastern Tennessee, Sullivan County ARES is divided into 2 separate groups; East Sullivan County ARES and WEST Sullivan County ARES. ESCARES takes care of the Bristol or eastern end of Sullivan County, and WSCARES takes care of the Kingsport or western end of Sullivan County.
The WSCARES Emergency Coordinator is Walt Baldree. Our two Assistant Emergency Coordinators are David Gulley and Russ Richard. These individuals, along with approximately 25 other WSCARES volunteers, work together to understand the local community’s needs and organize volunteers and resources to maintain the highest level of emergency communications readiness.
Holston Valley Hospital and Indian Path Hospital (both located in Kingsport) and the Bristol Regional Medical Center are the three major hospitals in our county that are set up to provide emergency communications at a moments notice. We can operate on all HF Amateur bands for long range communications as well as on the VHF and UHF Amateur bands for local communications.
Although the primary purpose of ARES is to provide emergency communications, WSCARES members are also routinely asked to provide non-business communications support at public events like parades, marathons and bike rides.
For more information about ARES or WSCARES, please feel free to attend one of our monthly WSCARES meetings. WSCARES meetings are held on the 4th Friday of every month in Holston Valley Hospital’s Blue Ridge Room. This room is located beside the Cafeteria in the basement of the hospital. Our meetings start around 18:30 EST and usually last 2 to 3 hours.
Quarterly Hospital Checks
The Quarterly Health Department Emergency Communications Checks are scheduled for the first Monday of February, May, August, and November.
Specific Dates are:
Generalized guidelines of comm. Checks:
-9 to 9:30 am meet 2 meter voice net called by hospital on 145.290. Operator should have his own list of hospitals and tactical call signs in case no one shows up to call the net. In this case one of our hospitals should step in and call it. Check ins will be reported to the Health Dept. afterwards.
-Sometime prior to noon, the WinLink test message should be generated and transmitted to Meranda Belcher at the Health Department. This message should first go to the Test reflector and back before being forwarded to Meranda and others. Copy for these messages are in the book in the WinLink equipment case. Be sure to include the call signs of all amateurs present for the session.
-Be advised that, at their option, any Sullivan County hospital team may do their check in a day or two early if they cannot be available on Monday am due to work or other reasons. Two or three 2 meter stations should be contacted first to check equipment and then the WinLink session would be done in the normal manner. There are no time requirements except it is to be done BEFORE the scheduled time and date.
Any questions or problems, contact Walt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 423-943-7201.
Local ARES Nets
20:30 Freq: 146.970 Kingsport, Offset: -600 Hz, Tone: 123.0 Hz
18:00 Freq: 145.410 Jefferson County ARES Net
21:00 Greene Co. Emergency Net 145.390
Sevier County Emergency Radio Service, 19:30, on the 146.940 repeater.
Tuesdays (except 3rd)
ARES Net, 21:00 on the KE4RX Repeater,
147.015 MHz with a 110.9 PL.
Simplex Frequency 147.420 – Simplex net meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month on the 146.940 WB4GBI repeater at 21:00 local time. The net will then move to 147.420 (one of the national simplex frequencies).