8/1/20: Our local Radio Net was set into action for the first time this week. A neighborhood resident heard the fire trucks and called our radio net director using a special, low-cost, hand-held radio. Several other residents monitoring our net with similar radios joined in, locating the fire and reporting it to all residents who have one of these special little radios.
The first person that spots a fire or hears about one calls into our Net Control Operator. The Net Control Operator activates a special pager tone that is heard on all radios that are so equipped, whether the radios are turned on or off. Each of those members, hearing the paging tone, turns on their radio, hears about the situation, and reports anything they can see. Very quickly, a group of residents who have been, or are receiving training, can accurately locate a fire and report it to the rest of us who turned on our radios when we heard the pager go off.
The fire was located in the Nashville Trail CSD, just southeast of Livingston Rd near the intersection of Hanks Exchange and Livingston. Several fire trucks and one helicopter were on the scene and knocked the fire down in about 30 minutes.
This wildfire was never a serious threat to our residents, though it might have been if the situation had been a little different. The incident demonstrated that residents in our Council, using inexpensive GMRS radios, can get accurate information on a local wildfire to everyone who monitors the radio net with one of these radios.
Today we have about 15 active GMRS users in our Council. Soon, we will be scheduling a Zoom webinar to introduce more of our residents to GMRS radios and teach them how to use them correctly in the event of an emergency — especially in the event of a wildfire.
This time, 15 residents in our Council of over 800 families received early warning and accurate location of a wildfire. Had this wildfire been more serious, the great majority of families in our Council boundaries would have known nothing of it. If the wind conditions had been strong and carried the fire rapidly over the landscape (as occurred in the town of Paradise) there could have been a great tragedy.
But, EVERYONE in our Council COULD have known about the wildfire as soon and as accurately as did those 15. They just needed an inexpensive little radio and some instruction on how to use it. Our Council already has in place a REPEATER STATION that receives signals from those little radios and retransmits them so that they cover the entire Council area.
Learning to use GMRS radios over our powerful radio net is interesting and at times, exciting. But more than that, it is the sensible thing to do. Join our local radio net and work with us to help protect our community. Click here to get your name on the list of those who are interested.
NOTE: Our local Radio Net never takes precidence over local fire, police and other rescue operations. Only those agencies can order an evacuation. Radio Nets, like ours, operate at the direction of those authorized emergency agencies. What our radio net provides that is unique is many, local eyes that know the neighborhood and can report, giving us all the early warning and information about a wildfire in or near our Council boundaries.
Radio nets like ours are in operation all over the country and work in cooperation with and at the direction of local authorities. If asked to assist by those authorities, the radio nets can provide an additional communication link with the community when other emergency systems become overloaded. Learn more -- view the recent video.