From the Office of the Sheriff
Sheriff Dennis L. Dotson
For Immediate Release
Date: Oct 19, 2009
Emergency Communications Exercise
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management Division, participated in a state wide emergency communications exercise on Saturday, October 17th, 2009. The exercise was the culmination of recent training and equipment installation at the Lincoln County Courthouse.
One focus of the exercise was the use of equipment supplied to each county in the state as part of a grant from Oregon State Governor Ted Kulongoski. The equipment allows Lincoln County to supplement emergency communications with Winlink, a digital worldwide radio messaging system that works similar to computer e-mail, but allows messages to be sent and received via amateur radio signal. This system will be vital during a disaster when all other communications are interrupted.
Three members of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Radio Auxiliary Telecommunication Specialists (R.A.T.S.), a group of dedicated volunteer amateur radio operators, attended Winlink training at the Oregon Emergency Management Office in Salem on September 26th, 2009. Following the training, Corporal Mike Wheeler of the Sheriff’s Office, and R.A.T. member, along with other R.A.T.S. members set up the state supplied equipment in the Emergency Management Office and installed a new antenna on the roof of the courthouse.
On October 17th, 2009 the training exercise commenced with two Lincoln County Emergency Operations Centers in Lincoln City operated by R.A.T.S. members, and the primary Emergency Operations Center in Newport at the Lincoln County Courthouse. Voice communications were established by amateur radio between Newport and R.A.T.S. members in Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Agate Beach, and Eddyville, as well as the Oregon Emergency Management Office in Salem. Using the Winlink communications equipment, a total of 83 messages were sent and 122 messages were received by the three Lincoln County stations during the 5-1/2 hour exercise. Lincoln County was also able to complete all 32 of the exercise objectives provided by the Oregon Emergency Management Office, demonstrating the commitment to excellence of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office R.A.T.S. team members.
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