The genesis for the field teams occurred in the early l990's when a volunteer obtained and donated a used TV crew truck to State OES. He and several other volunteers prepared it for microwave and telephone. One memorable use of that Comm Van was the Oakland Fire Storm which burned out the phone lines. The field team put the Comm Van on the hills, made a line-of-sight microwave link to the Oakland-Bay Bridge Toll Plaza. There the received microwave signal was connected to the telephone system. That provided access to telephone lines at the Command Post for the Incident Commander.
The success of the RF Team, as indicated by the Oakland Fire Storm usage, along with numerous other situations, persuaded OES to acquire and equip three new units largely modeled after that first donated unit. In the mid-to-late 1990's these joined that original unit, along with another specialty unit created by that original field team.
These five units are collectively identified as three ICS Type I Communications Units and two Specialty Units, one for Microwave and the other as a Repeater Unit. More about them in the other bulletins.
The earth stations program was created in the mid '90's when the state funded the Operational Area Satellite Information System (OASIS) program. That placed a fixed earth station at each of the 58 counties and other key sites. In the process OES acquired four trailer-mounted earth stations as part of its field-deployable emergency communications resources.
These satellite trailers have been of great value to remote fire Incident Command Centers in the rugged foothills and mountains of the state, as well as myriad other applications and events. The telephones that result provide the most user-friendly form of communications to fire, law and similar agencies.
Today, State OES ACS personnel provide several field teams which support these OES assets, yet there is need for others willing to undertake the requisite training.
A recent example was the Williams Fire in Southern California where an OASIS unit was deployed, along with a Communications Van. Some of the photo's of that event can be viewed at the following URL http://home.earthlink.net/~k6ccc/Photo/WilliamsFire.html
Continues next week
Submit suggestions, topics or comments on the bulletins to Cary Mangum, State ACS Officer, California. (W6WWW), firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Bulletins archives: ACS Web page: acs.oes.ca.gov, ftp.ucsd.edu/emcomm or ftp.oes.ca.gov/ACS/EMCOMM and a Landline BBS at 916-255-0798 (graphical & standard interface)