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  Calfire - VIP Communications (Volunteers in Prevention)   

September 2007 Report

The extreme fire hazard this summer prompted fire prevention officials at CAL FIRE /MMU to call upon our expertise as communicators to patrol on the 4 TH of July. 10 members of MARC stepped forward to meet the challenge. They gave up time with their families, in order to assist CAL FIRE in the protection of our mountain community, in both eastern Madera county and parts of Mariposa county.

We divided up into two man teams. One team set up as Net Control at the CAL FIRE Mariposa Dispatch Center, and 4 teams as Area Patrols. Almost 600 miles of local roadways were patrolled from 1830, until almost midnight. The patrol units were on the look-out for fires, auto accidents, or any activities that could threaten the fire safety in our community.

Special thanks to Dick Rekart, Alan Gil, Ed Schiller , Tom Canton, Glenn Eisley, Ernie Hogue, Chuck Banks, Sam Creig, Jeff Wandell.

These folks were commended by Cal FIRE for the excellent job that they did in providing Extra “eyes and ears” for CAL FIRE during this time of HIGH FIRE DANGER. We were lucky, as it turned out, this was one of the quietest 4 TH of July holidays in recent history. The HIGH FIRE DANGER is still with us. Our unique ability to communicate from areas that do not have good cell phone coverage can and often does aid CAL FIRE in the protection of our community. Mobile operators, keep your location always in mind, so that you can make accurate location reports. Fixed location operators, keep phone and writing materials handy so that you can make the needed emergency calls

Several community events, including bicycle races are coming up, we will be looking for volunteer communicator for these interesting events. Contact Simon KB6CLV or Jerry WA6ONA

Simon KB6CLV
Coordinator, MARC CAL FIRE - VIP Communication

June 2007 Report

Several VIP members attended the Calfire Fire Wildland Fire Training course on May 5th at the Mariposa Fairgrounds. The participants are from left to right Dick Rekart W6RFR, Bob Guldstrand N6EPJ, Carol Guldstand, Alan Gil W6LSU, Simon Elman KB6CLV, Ralph Estes KF6NVU, and Ed Schiller KG6UDT. While there we also visited the Dispatch Center, and checked out the new location of our antenna drop. Thanks to Jimbo it is now in a visible and easy to find location.

Dick Rekart W6RFR
Coordinator, MARC CALFIRE-VIP Communications

July 2006 Report

The MARC VIP volunteers were called to staff a Red Flag Patrol on the 3rd and 4th of July. The purpose of the patrol was for identification of illegal fireworks, and notification to the CDF law enforcement. We set up a base (Net Control) in Mariposa CDF building behind the Dispatch Building. Three cars were used for patrolling YLP, Indian Lakes, Hensley/Eastman lakes, the Ranchos, Bonadelle, Madera, and Madera Acres. We made no contact with the violators, but were used as eyes and ears for the notification to the CDF. This was a new task for us working through the VIP as an assignment.

The 3rd of July was relatively quiet with a few violators in the Ranchos. We had some equipment problems at the Base, which caused us to go to Hand Held, and Cell phones.
We had to switch Base to a mobile patrol, but it did not affect our reporting.

The 4th of July proceeded smoothly, and we did not have any equipment problems during operation. The 4th had a lot more activity than the 3rd. We had no incidents in YLP, Indian Lakes, and Hensley/Eastman Lakes. The Ranchos had more activity than the night before, but Madera, and Madera Acres was very heavy with activity.

The shift each evening began with a briefing meeting, dinner, and then patrol. The total operation time for both days was about fourteen hours. The following operators participated in the Red Flag Patrol: Vern N6RDY, Tom WB6GXQ, Simon KB6CLV, Alan W6LSU, Sammy KG6ZAE, Chuck W6HYY, Robbie W6GME, Wayne KB6UJW, and Dick W6RFR.

Dick Rekart W6RFR
Acting Coordinator, MARC CDF-VIP Communications

June 2006 Report

The VIP program is starting to take shape. CDF has a new Prevention Officer and she is really getting it together. We have been asked to provide 5 or 6 mobile units for the Smokey Bear Run at Bass Lake in September. At the last two coffee clatches I got 11 members who want to participate which is a great response for our first VIP event. More on this at our next meeting.

Our President, Jerry WA6ONA, Dick W6RFR, and I will be meeting with a team from CDF on May 22, to determine more about their needs from us, and the capabilities we can provide. It is looking up.

As we get further into the fire season, I will be establishing a fast response team of 5 or 6 VIP's to provide CDF with a quick response they have requested. If you can be available and are interested, please let me know.

CDF-VIP Communications Cordinator

December 2005 Report

Bob Guldstrand, N6EPJ was appointed as CDF-VIP/MARC Communications Coordinator by Dick Rekart, W6RFR, Chairman, MARC Emergency Prepardness. Bob is a long standing member of MARC, a season veteran in Emergency Services, and a contractor for the CDF. Bob replaces Skip Reymann, W6PAJ who moved out of the area. Thanks to Skip for a job well done, and good luck to Bob on his new assignment.

Dick Rekart W6RFR
Chairman, MARC Emergency Preparedness

September 2005 Report

I am happy to report that the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between MARC and the CDF has been approved, signed, and forwarded. The significance of this MOU is that it permits any member of the Mountain Amateur Radio Club to provide volunteer communications and other services to CDF MMU during times of natural or manmade disasters. Volunteers do not have to be members of the CDF-VIP program to participate. It is recommended you go to the emergency preparedness or downloads section of our web site www.w6bw.org and read the MOU.

The participation will be coordinated by MARC's Emergency Preparedness committee. Anyone who would like to participate in this activity, who is not a member of the CDF-VIP, please contact Dick, W6RFR.

Skip Reymann W6PAJ
CDF-VIP Communications Coordinator

CALFIRE-VIP Communications
Simon Elman KB6CLV