RMOW to offer emergency radio training
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has an Emergency Program to coordinate emergency preparedness activities for the RMOW. The Emergency Planning Committee, a committee of council, provides policy direction and guidance to the Emergency Program.
This program includes plans to respond to emergencies involving permanent residents and visitors. Volunteers are a crucial part of the Whistler Emergency Program and provide assistance via the Whistler Search and Rescue Team, the Whistler Emergency Social Services Team and the Emergency Radio Team.
The Emergency Radio Team provides emergency communications to the Municipality should conventional means of communications fail. In emergencies, cell phone, land-line phones, the internet and other systems can be damaged, destroyed or overloaded. In this case, the RMOW will rely on emergency radio operators, through the use of amateur radio, to provide communications.
In Canada, examples of amateur radio use in emergencies include the 2003 Canada/United States blackout and the 2003 Kelowna/Okanagan wildfire. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in the United States, amateur radio operators served as 911 dispatchers for areas that lost all communications infrastructure.
In July, 2012 the Emergency Program completed a Hazard, Risk, and Vulnerability Assessment on behalf of the RMOW. This report identified 32 hazards in Whistler and recommended measures to increase the RMOW’s preparedness. One of the recommendations listed in the report was to strengthen the capacity of emergency communications in Whistler by training additional emergency radio operators. With this recommendation in mind, the Emergency Radio Team is currently recruiting volunteers. Through Industry Canada, volunteers will become certified amateur radio operators.
The Whistler Emergency Program is hosting a Basic Amateur Radio Certification course Whistler on October 19 to 21 and 26 to 28, 2012. Following the successful completion of this course, participants will be certified by Industry Canada to operate Amateur Radio equipment and will be given an official amateur radio call sign. The RMOW has an inventory of amateur radio equipment so volunteers do not need to have their own equipment. There is no cost for this course.
If you are interested in this training, or would like more information, please contact Erin at 604-935-8473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.