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Washington Governor Visits Snohomish County EOC Radio Room:

from The ARRL Letter on April 3, 2014
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Washington Governor Visits Snohomish County EOC Radio Room:

Snohomish County Auxiliary Communications Service (Snohomish ACS -- formerly RACES) Radio Officer Scott Honaker, N7SS, reported that Washington Gov Jay Inslee toured the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management EOC in Everett on March 26. The EOC has been central to the ongoing relief effort following the March 22 mudslide near Oso, Washington.

"We saw Gov Inslee walk into the EOC, and a few minutes later the EOC manager brought him into the radio room with a small group," Honaker told ARRL. "The governor shook hands and thanked us and kept asking good questions about issues he'd heard in the field. He was clearly quite engaged."

Honaker said the EOC radio room has six radio stations in cubicles, four of them currently monitoring incident traffic. He said ARES DEC George Boswell, K7YHB, has been at the EOC 12 hours a day since last weekend.

The March 22 landslide, approximately 3 miles east of Oso -- between Darrington and Arlington -- destroyed some 50 homes or other structures and resulted in 30 deaths, as of April 3. Another 16 people remain missing. The slide blocked the north fork of the Stillaguamish River and covered about 1 mile of State Route 530, cutting off access to Darrington and disrupting telecommunication services.

Snohomish ACS has been handling communication from the EOC and has moved one command vehicle (COM1) to Darrington, where it had been staffed until March 27. A second vehicle was moved to the incident command post in Arlington and is being staffed by dispatchers from 911 call centers.

"Our DEM Director has requested we staff COM1 in Darrington again, and [we] will do so until relieved," Honaker said on April 1. Amateur Radio volunteers now are running two 9 hour shifts in the EOC and one 12 hour shift in Darrington." Other Amateur Radio volunteers are providing communication support for the Incident Management Team in Arlington.

In addition to Honaker and Boswell, other Amateur Radio volunteers who met with the governor included former ACS Radio Officer Tim Lawson, K7TKA; Erik Robbins, K7QOG; Ann Wright, AA7AG, and Rob Myers, K7RHM.

During a radio interview with Brandi Kruse on KIRO in Seattle, Gov Inslee recounted his EOC visit and specifically his visit to the radio room.

"It's interesting that they had a volunteer group that really has handled a lot of the communications," the governor said. "They have staffed the communications center so that you could have communications from Darrington across over to the Operations Center in Arlington, because the phones were down for two and a half days."


The ARRL Letter

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