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Author Topic: LDS Emergency Radio "ERC" Nets  (Read 121281 times)
KF7VXA
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« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2015, 03:31:20 PM »

Simple, it's a list of Emergency frequency's.  Roll Eyes

No matter what your opinion on how the ERC operates, they are a useful part of emergency communications. In some areas that are heavily LDS, the ERC frequency's are far more active than Ares/Races.
There is no reason not to include them in listings of emergency frequency's.

John
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 03:40:10 PM by KF7VXA » Logged
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« Reply #61 on: July 29, 2015, 11:10:34 PM »

II am not a member of the church, or any other church for that matter. I am not a cheerleader for (or against) that religion. It's just that I can't understand why this particular group, since it does no harm and in fact does good, rises to the top as a problem for so many people.
I am not a member either, and I wonder the same thing... 
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KG7SWP
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« Reply #62 on: August 03, 2015, 06:25:48 AM »

I guess my posts were outside of the guidelines. I do apoligize for that.

Ed
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KF7VXA
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« Reply #63 on: August 11, 2015, 10:41:13 PM »

II am not a member of the church, or any other church for that matter. I am not a cheerleader for (or against) that religion. It's just that I can't understand why this particular group, since it does no harm and in fact does good, rises to the top as a problem for so many people.
I am not a member either, and I wonder the same thing...  

It's not a problem per say. The LDS Church has every right to have their own emergency group.
They are some of the nicest people I have met. I feel their intentions are honorable.
I just wanted to make people aware of the ERC and that there could be conflicts in areas with repeaters owned by LDS members and with the Ares groups who are counting on those repeaters in an emergency. There may be no conflict at all, but in some cases, there could be.
The owner of a repeater can dictate who uses their repeater. It's not something that would be done to shut others out. It's just if there is only one or two repeaters in your area, find out what the plan is, who owns them and if necessary, put up a dedicated Ares repeater. The repeater you are counting on may be owned by a ERC Church Member and used by the ERC. That is their right if they so choose to do so.

As to the Part 90 equipment, I think it would greatly benefit the LDS Church to have Part 90 equipment to conduct church business on in an emergency and even in normal times. Sometimes there is a fine line between business use and using Amateur radio as per the FCC rules. The ERC group is large and growing. Many of the more experienced Amateurs know where the line is between business and Amateur use, but others may not. Ares also has to be aware of this.

The ERC conducts their nets exactly as do Ares for the most part. I have not ever monitored church business over the Amateur bands by the ERC. In an emergency, there is the possibility that the lines could get blurred.

The ERC is not a nefarious plot, they are radio Amateurs who conduct nets for the Church. This is not to say they would not help all. From what I have seen in my area, they will without a doubt. It's just that there may be Ares traffic that needs priority that may not be the priority time wise with the ERC net. They may have traffic that is a greater priority to the church members. It's their net and may be their repeaters.
Both Ares and the ERC can operate together and compliment each other, but both need to be sure that the repeaters used will be available. This goes for the ERC also. They may want to use a dedicated Ares repeater and find it in use during an emergency. If this is the case, they may want to put up a repeater dedicated to the ERC.

It's only a problem if people are uninformed. Both groups can operate without problems and help each other. To do this, both groups must know what resources are available to each.

As to Part 90 equipment, there is nothing but positive benefits to the LDS Church in having it in place. Just my opinion, but were I responsible for the ERC nets, I would want Part 90 equipment to be part of my tool kit. I think it would benefit the ERC greatly and make their emergency radio even more effective than it already is.

John
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 10:49:02 PM by KF7VXA » Logged
KJ4FUU
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« Reply #64 on: August 14, 2015, 07:30:17 AM »

First of all, I am LDS, and have participated in ERC nets in the past. I usually don't anymore, only because the 2m one in this area is run @ 9:00PM, and I have to get up at 4:30AM.

The repeater system used in this area is not LDS owned, it is used by permission of the Arlington Public Service Radio Club, and in the event of an emergency, Arlington RACES would be using it. They would like more of the ERC operators to become RACES trained and certified. If the ERC wishes to do ERC things, they will have to make sure they are coordinated with RACES operations and not interfering with them.

In reading this thread, I am not quite sure what the objection is to the radios at LDS facilities. They are not used for everyday things like "Elder Ipswich needs to visit his home teaching families", they are only there for use in an emergency, and making sure that they are usable during an emergency. At the Bishops' Storehouse, the radio would not be used for accounting/auditing purposes, they would be used to confirm availability and maybe stock levels of needed supplies and coordinate distribution. Their participation in the ERC net, as with the others, is to confirm that the radios are usable. There may be traffic passing practice, but this is also training for emergency situations.

The bishops of each ward are the ones who can authorize disbursal of supplies from the storehouse. They will do this by phone, but if no phone service is available during an emergency, than they would use radio. I have not known of any time when all phone systems were dead that an emergency was not occurring. And, a whole lot of things that are not permitted most of the time are allowed when lives are on the line.

The ERC operations in this area are entirely op-checks, traffic passing training, and controlled net training. They have frequent participation by non-LDS operators. I have NEVER heard anyone told to go away, since they weren't LDS (which they wouldn't be legally obligated to do anyway, since NOBODY owns a frequency). If they were asked by the repeater admins to go away, I'm sure that the trustee could catch some flak if he didn't have a really good reason to make that request (at least, I would hope so). And I have NEVER heard church business transacted over the air.

If someone is asked to clear the frequency since they are not a member of the church, that would be a major issue. But just having amateur radios in church facilities in case of an emergency, I'm not seeing what the heartburn is. I agree with the earlier poster that making them get Part 90 equipment/licensing does not seem to be very wise spectrum management. The Part 90 thing in this case seems to be a solution in search of a problem.

-- Tom KJ4FUU
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KF7VXA
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« Reply #65 on: August 14, 2015, 10:45:58 PM »

I understand what you are saying Tom.
The Stake Centers and Temples are the hub in every area for the people of the LDS Church. They are of great importance and should be.

Here is where there is a potential problem. I went to the two day training at BYU Rexberg for the ERC. During the training, one thing was made clear. In the event of some type of catastrophic event, the ERC members were directed to report on the condition of the Stake Centers to the Bishops and Church Leaders.
They were not told to not do so over Amateur radio. It was not said they should use cell phones, runners ect to report. If phones were working, I would think this would be the way they would report on the Stakes. But if infrastructure were to be down, amateur radio just might be the only way to get the messages on conditions to the Bishops. There was no guidance as to what methods should or should not be used, but Amateur radio was what the ECR training was about.
In all fairness, Telephone, cell phones and runners are mentioned on the LDS Church web site as possible means of communication.

In the County where our Ares group is located, emergency centers are public places such as the High School and other public buildings. There is not one LDS facility that is listed on the official emergency web site that is a LDS Stake Center or Temple.
This being the case, reporting on damage to a stake center would come under business as the Stake center is not an official emergency center as far as the local government is concerned.

This may be different in other areas, but I would assume that most jurisdictions will have public facilities as the official emergency centers.

It is important for church leaders to know the condition of church facilities. If these reports are made on Amateur radio and the Stake Center was not an official emergency center, it would be a business use of Amateur radio. This would violate FCC law.

It is for this reason I suggested Part 90 equipment to be included as a part of the ERC Emergency Plan.
The Baptist Church emergency radio group, the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other larger private and faith based organizations now all have Part 90 equipment as a part of their radio gear for just such an instance of needing to report something that is business related.

This is why I think it would be a benefit to the ERC to include Part 90 equipment.
Let's face it, in a major emergency, there will be business type information that will need to be relayed in any large organization or faith based emergency group. The LDS have long practiced the idea of being ready for emergency's in many ways. I compliment them on this; it's a great practice.

The reason I brought up repeaters was not only because repeaters may be owned by church members and the repeater owner might dedicate that repeater to the ERC, but also as in your case, the repeater in your area would be put into use for Ares/Races use, effectively shutting out the ERC from use for the many uses Amateur radio was designed for as it pertains to the traffic that the ERC may wish to pass.

This is not and never was a piece designed to denigrate the LDS church or the ERC. It was written to inform all, Ares/Races members; ERC members and others that they should know what resources will be 100% available to each group.

My main interest is in Ares. I believe in following the laws of the FCC. I think the reason other faith based emergency groups have got Part 90 equipment is the realization that there will need to be business information passed and the Part 90 equipment allows them to do it legally.

With the size and scope of the ERC, I would have no doubt that business information will need to be passed in a large scale emergency. Having Part 90 equipment would allow the ERC to pass information that they may not be able to pass in following FCC laws and keep potential violations of FCC law from happening by those who are ERC members who may not know all the in's and out's and where the line is.

Many members of the ERC are seasoned Amateurs who know where the line is. That said, many who are in the ERC are not people who would have been drawn to Amateur radio if not for the ERC. They don't have a great interest in communications outside of the ERC, which is fine.

I also think that any group involved in emergency communications should be ICS trained and certified. One never knows when they may have to communicated with other emergency groups and the ICS method is now the standard for most all emergency radio communications. It helps you to be a better communicator and be more efficient no matter what group you serve.
It benefits eveyone.

These things are concerns that should be thought about for the good of all, not just Ares, not just the ERC. I can think of no reason the LDS Church should not have their own emergency radio network, especially given the number of LDS church members.

The only agenda I have here is to protect Amateur radio and insure that all know what resources are available before they may be needed. This way, no one group expecting to have a repeater available for their group finds out the hard way that they cannot run their net over a repeater they thought was going to be available to their group.

It's all about preparedness. Have the resources in place for your group of interest. This way the most effective emergency communications can be conducted and no FCC laws are violated by anyone, even unintentionally.

Everything I have written I believe pertains to every emergency group, not just the ERC. The main reason the focus was on the ERC is that it is a large and growing group of emergency communicators. I want to see the ERC be the best it can be.
There are many more people licensed as a result of the ERC. This is a good thing and can benefit not just the LDS Church, but everyone.

John
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 10:57:39 PM by KF7VXA » Logged
KB4QAA
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« Reply #66 on: August 14, 2015, 11:54:21 PM »

The point is that the church cannot PLAN to use amateur radio for the regular operations of their emergency stock and operations and status check of their buildings and personnel!!!!

Convenience of amateur radio and cost of commercial licensing, siting and equipment are not excuses for evading the regulations.

They need to get Part 90 licenses and Part 90 radios and conduct their operations on commercial channels.  Then everything will be square and above board.

Quote
I agree with the earlier poster that making them get Part 90 equipment/licensing does not seem to be very wise spectrum management
This is a red herring.  The FCC is responsible for spectrum management.  They have assigned bands to hams, and bands for Part 90.  Further they have commercial frequency coordinators who assign the actual part 90 frequencies to licensees based on geographic location.   

Innappropriate use of ham frequencies is not saving any spectrum.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 12:10:57 AM by KB4QAA » Logged
KJ4FUU
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« Reply #67 on: August 16, 2015, 06:04:14 AM »

I guess I don't see your point about "regular operations of their emergency stock", as the situation I mentioned would be occurring during an emergency, not a regular thing.

And to John, the Stake Centers and Ward Chapels may not be on somebody's list of emergency facilities, but they have been used as shelters in the past. Depending on the emergency, it would be important to know that the building is/is not in fit condition for such use.

Your point about not mentioning the use of other forms of communication first is well taken. However, in our area, I only know of 1 or 2 bishops with ham licenses, and no stake presidents. Common sense dictates that someone would use the phone to try and reach them first.

I'm not sure of an good way to figure out the distribution of part 90 equipment to the unknown future operators of such equipment. Right now, we have a small complement of ham radio licensees, not all of whom are active. In my ward, I think I am the only active one. My ward is very transient, with a large number of military families who are often in the area for 1 year or less. I have no idea how the particular Baptist church you mentioned has things organized, and I don't know that their organization would universally fit in.

And, FYI, not all buildings have radios in them. I was told of at least one incident when a bishop was counseled to not plan for or install a radio because of the robustness of the phone system. He listened.This counsel came from members who worked for a phone company. We are only humans, and not perfect.

73,

-- Tom KJ4FUU
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KF7VXA
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« Reply #68 on: August 16, 2015, 01:07:14 PM »

That could easily be done, the answer is to put a part 90 radio in each Stake and Temple and issuing one radio to every Bishop. The license covers the business or church location as a whole; employees or church members, none would have to be licensed individually.

I'm well aware that Stake centers have been used as emergency shelters in the past. It is important for church leaders to know what damage if any has occurred at church facilities. Problem is, outside of a real time life and death situation with no other forms of communication available, an emergency event does not constitute the use of Amateur radio for reporting on the condition of church facilities or other church business. Unless the church facility is officially listed by the County or City as an official emergency center, then it's a moot point.
It does not matter if it's the LDS Church asking a member to check on a church facility or the owner of Billy Bob's Radiator Repair asking an employee to check on the shop, neither are legal uses of Amateur radio.

The Baptist Church has a large emergency radio network set up throughout the United States. It includes Amateur equipment as well as Part 90 equipment and mobile command communication vans for things such as checking on facilities and anything else that comes under the guise of business type communication. Organizations such as the Red Cross realized the potential problem and have installed Part 90 equipment in their facilities.

I applaud that the LDS is interested in using Amateur radio to help in an emergency. It's just that a Church is a business as far as the rules are concerned. It's not an Ares/Races group that does not have a business type interest and an emergency event does not change the rules as far as the FCC is concerned.

I would think it would be a huge advantage to the Church to have Part 90 equipment. In an emergency event, the Amateur frequency's will be very busy.
Part 90 equipment would be like having a direct phone line to each church facility when phones and cell phones go down as they so often do in catastrophic events. Yes, there is a cost for the equipment, but as almost all of the radio equipment and repeaters are church member owned, I have no doubt it is a cost the church could afford.

It also takes the responsibility off of the ERC members, trying to figure out what may or may not be a legal transmission.  They would be free to conduct the type of communications that are vital during an emergency that are legal for Amateur radio.

This really should not even be a question. If the Church wants an emergency communication network, Part 90 equipment really has to be a part of it with the things the church leaders are asking to be done.
It's a benefit, not a hindrance to getting the job done. It's a win-win.

The above is why other faith based organizations of any size have all got Part 90 equipment as well as Amateur equipment.

This has not been posted to hurt the LDS church, but to help keep the Amateur radio frequency allotments to do exactly as what they were designed for and to protect church members from possible violations.
In normal ERC nets, it really is not an issue, they don't talk church business. It only becomes an issue when there is a real emergency and church leaders need information in real time as to their building status, resources and other church business when other forms of communication are down.

Emergency communication have been a part of the LDS Church for some time now. The ERC is a newer part of the church and is growing a very fast rate in many areas, most new members are not seasoned Amateurs. The larger it gets, the harder it is to keep control of. Very clear guidelines as to the types of communications allowed by Amateur radio, and Part 90 equipment so the church can legally pass vital information not allowed by Amateur radio rules really is a must in my and many others opinion.
It keeps the Church out of trouble, church members out of trouble and does not cause concerns by the FCC as to how the Amateur spectrum is being used.
 
It allows the Church much more flexibility and improves their ability to provide the necessary help, find information about damage to church facilities and allows any business type communication to efficiently be passed. It's as simple as that.

P.S. Reference the quote from your last post "I have no idea how the particular Baptist church you mentioned has things organized, and I don't know that their organization would universally fit in."

Maybe your confusion is that it is the Baptist church as an organization, not just a single church.
If your assumption was that it was just a single church, not the whole Baptist Church organization, then I can understand your question. If you are questioning why the Baptist Church should have an emergency radio organization, then one could question the need for the ERC. Not a road that needs going down in my opinion.
Participation is heaviest in the Southern U.S., but their network is nation wide. They require a minimum of 3 years experience as an Amateur radio operator, extensive training and they have and use Part 90 equipment. I am not a Baptist, but do know a little about their operation, which is a very professionally run unit.


John
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 07:40:18 PM by KF7VXA » Logged
KB4QAA
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« Reply #69 on: August 16, 2015, 05:20:43 PM »

I guess I don't see your point about "regular operations of their emergency stock", as the situation I mentioned would be occurring during an emergency, not a regular thing.
You need to review Part 97.  The standard for using ham frequencies is not some general 'emergency".  It is "The immediate safegarding of life and property".

If the storm is past and no one's life is in danger, you can't use ham radio.  If you are making soup, or handing out blankets, those aren't life saving measures.  If the church roof is leaking or windows, that doesn't require 'immediate' action.  Those are long term problems.

The other important section is that amateur radio is not to be used when "Other services are appropriate".   Part 90 commercial services are the correct place for church based community services.  Ham radio is not.

And again there are other FCC Services that are more appropriate, Citizen's  Band being one.  Others include, telephone, cellphone, satellite phone, MURS, GMRS and FRS.

***These two parts must be considered together!  Ham radio frequencies can only be used for Immediate safequarding of life or property when no other services are appropriate and available.  Failure to establish other services while waiting for an emergency is nothing but weasel wording and evasion of the regulations.


Quote
I'm not sure of an good way to figure out the distribution of part 90 equipment to the unknown future operators of such equipment.
- Tom KJ4FUU
Yes well, every organization has problems to solve, and not all can be done perfectly.  That is not an excuse to use ham radio frequencies for your convenience.  b.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 05:34:51 PM by KB4QAA » Logged
K4PIH
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« Reply #70 on: August 20, 2015, 08:03:21 AM »

I found it interesting that one poster stated that he did not know many bishops that had amateur radio licenses. Then how can they use the frequencies legally? Not slamming just wondering. Wouldn't that make them "pirate" radio operators? Huh
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KF7VXA
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« Reply #71 on: August 20, 2015, 10:30:56 AM »

I have no idea how many Bishops have Amateur radio licenses either, I am not LDS. I been told that in our area, they are working on getting as many Bishops licensed as possible. Some have been given MURS and GMRS radios.

I highly doubt that non licensed leaders of the church would be using Amateur radio, they would find a licensed operator to pass the information they want passed.
Getting Part 90 equipment would eliminate the problem as it is licensed to a location and to mobile radios. No individual license is needed.

I think having Part 90 equipment would be a huge benefit to the ERC. Not only would there be no possible conflict in mixing business with authorized Amateur communications, but they would have their own clear frequency. Yes it would cost some money to install the Part 90 equipment and pay for the licenses, but the LDS church has been very successful in investing and has a huge net worth.

I'm not trying to hurt the Church ERC in any way, but to maybe get them to consider the benefits to the ERC by having a way to have communication that is uninterrupted and one where they can discuss any issue that arises during an emergency, both business related and non business. This protects both the Amateur spectrum as well as the Church and Church members.

I would love to see church members be a part of Ares/Races also (many are). The ERC network is something the LDS Church wants as much of the traffic is related to the Church and it would be hard to pass much of the information, welfare checks etc. on a Ares net as there will be a lot of other things that may be a higher priority on the Ares net.

The intent of my original post was to make people aware there could be a ERC net that may be on a repeater they were counting on in an emergency or a repeater the ERC thought might be open to them has an Ares net. It's being aware of the use of resources, knowing in advance what will be available to each group. Finding that a repeater you thought was open to your group is being used by another when an emergency strikes would make things very difficult.

Also, some of the information that needs to be passed by the ERC could fall under the guise of business. This type of information may be critical to the Church in an emergency. This is why other faith based organization have included Part 90 equipment and I think it would be a huge benefit to the ERC. All of the other faith base radio organizations I know of have Part 90 equipment, if there were any I knew of that did not, they would have been included in the thread. If you know of conflicts with any other emergency radio groups, they should be brought up so there can be positive discussion on how to solve any possible problems before they are needed during an emergency.
 
It's not attacking any group, just the opposite, it's about making all groups more efficient and not finding a lack of resources when needed. The people in the ERC are good people. All faith based emergency radio groups are a benefit to their communities and the ERC is no exception.

Thought the ERC may be primarily church oriented, don't think they don't help others. During some flooding about a year or so ago in our area, they we in contact with local government agency's, advising them where the problem areas were and helping in other ways, just as other faith based radio groups have done.

If you are reading this thread, you are most likely involved in a public service/emergency group. I think we all want the same thing. The best possible use and most efficient means to get information out where needed. It is important that the proper part of the radio spectrum be used for different types of information. It protects each part of the spectrum and benefits all Amateur operators.

No matter what group you are a part of, we all have a giving nature. We want to help protect our communities. It does not matter if we are helping with a community event or an emergency, we all want the same thing. To help those any place where help is needed.
Faith based, Ares, Races, we all have the same goal.

John
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 10:52:34 AM by KF7VXA » Logged
NK7Z
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« Reply #72 on: August 20, 2015, 10:50:12 AM »

They should probably have both...  I think having the LDS church doing emergency nets is a good thing.  The more people that are trained in how to respond in an emergency the better.
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KF7VXA
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« Reply #73 on: August 20, 2015, 11:04:03 AM »

They should probably have both...  I think having the LDS church doing emergency nets is a good thing.  The more people that are trained in how to respond in an emergency the better.

I could not agree more.

John
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KD8DVR
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« Reply #74 on: August 22, 2015, 06:12:37 PM »

I'm not LDS; but have been welcomed when  participating in nets.  Great people.  It's a great test of simplex communications.  Everyone says who they do and do not hear.  Haven't checked in for a few years; so unsure if they are still doing them.  No business, just people checking equipment.  Informal, with no "WhackerSpeak"
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