Thursday, December 5, 2013

2014 Officers Elected

At the December NALCO General Meeting, the following officers were elected for 2014:

President: Lynn Zummo KG6TXA
Vice President: Bruce Carleton KJ6VVJ
Secretary: Jennifer McNary KG6WPQ
Treasurer: Jim Lunt KJ6AKJ

Congratulations to the new officers, and thanks to outgoing officers President Jordan Hayes KG6UAE; and Secretary Trisha Pritikin W6PAZ for all your hard work. Also thanks to outgoing RACES Radio Officer/Emergency Coordinator Bruce Carleton KJ6VVJ and congratulations to his replacement Jordan Hayes KG6UAE.

2013 President's Report

At the December General Meeting, the following was recorded in the meeting minutes:

President's Report
Summary of 2013: we held 12 meetings, 4 fire patrols, and over 100 nets. NALCO participated in the April CERT Citywide drill, Field Day, received a City proclamation, received coverage in Berkeleyside, and participated in Solano Stroll and the October SET. We also had working sessions on weekends including packet radio and mobile operation setup. This adds up to more than one activity per month. We had more paying members than we have had in the past. We shortened the business portions of meeteings and added presentations or trainings following meetings.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

SET - Simulated Emergency Test

On 19 October, NALCO performed our annual SET. 9 members participated in a simplex and mobility exercise. A few members chirped APRS locations and messages, and a few others sent and received WinLink messages via packet radio. The Alert Roster was tested using Google Voice text messaging.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

4th 2013 Fire Patrol

NALCO ran a 4th annual Fire Patrol on 19 October. This was a Cal football home game day, so we did not run the southern route due to Rim Road being closed. 8 operators participated.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Solano Stroll

NALCO participated in the 2013 Solano Stroll, perched adjacent to the City of Berkeley and BDPNN booths. Simplex check-ins and some mobile mesh networking experiments were made.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day 2013 Fire Patrol

The third scheduled NALCO fire patrol took place on 2-Sep; 8 members participated.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

National Night Out

NALCO ran a mobilization and preparedness net in conjunction with National Night Out.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

2013 ARRL Field Day

On Saturday, June 22 NALCO participated in AARL’s 2013 Field Day, setting up shop on the lawn at the Crescent on UC Berkeley’s campus.  Present were over a dozen NALCO members, a half-dozen relatives and one happy dog.  At least 20 individuals from the community stopped by, some interested in amateur radio, some just wondering what was going on with all those antennas up in the air.  After an early start where a command post was established, antennas were erected, and public information was made available, batteries and solar panels powered multiple HF, VHF, UHF and HSMM-MESH radios for the rest of the day.  After proving our ability to deploy after an activation, numerous projects were worked on by members, including mesh and packet radio, emergency power and at least one homemade antenna, plus contact with other stations on multiple bands was attempted as part of the objectives of Field Day.  Among distinguished visitors were several NALCO RACES client representatives; the ARRL Pacific Division Director Bob Vallio W6RGG and Vice Director Jim Tiemstra K6JAT; and ARRL East Bay Section Manager Jim Latham, AF6AQ.
NALCO Field Day Command Post

Steven W0HAW working HF

Glen K6GSE and Jordan KG6UAE debugging HSSM-MESH
Pacific Director Bob W6RGG and Vice Director Jim K6JAT visiting NALCO

Thursday, June 20, 2013

NALCO in the news

Berkeleyside ran an article today about NALCO, with an overview of what we do and a shout-out for our participation in Field Day.  They also listed Field Day as one of their five "It List" things to do that weekend.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NALCO receives Berkeley City Proclamation

At tonight's Berkeley City Council meeting, NALCO was presented with a proclamation naming the week of June 17, 2013 as Amateur Radio Week in Berkeley, in association with the lead-up to Field Day on June 22.  NALCO RACES Radio Officer Bruce KJ6VVJ gave a short history of the organization as a presentation to the council.


Written Testimony of

Robert “Bruce” Carleton
Emergency Coordinator

Northern Alameda County Amateur Radio Emergency Service
and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (NALCO)

before the

Berkeley City Council

“NALCO, a history of community service through emergency communications”
11 June, 2013

Mayor Bates, Vice President of Council Maio and members of the city council - my
name is Bruce Carleton. I am the Emergency Coordinator of NALCO, an amateur radio
organization serving Northern Alameda County.

NALCO is the Northern Alameda County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Radio
Amateur Civil Emergency Service. NALCO's mission is to provide civil emergency
communication services when requested by our stakeholders: the cities of Berkeley and
Albany; the University of California at Berkeley; and the Alta Bates Summit Medical
Center. NALCO is an affiliate of the American Radio Relay League, the national
association for amateur radio.

NALCO’s history began in 1982, when a meeting was convened to discuss how
amateur radio operators could help support the community in the event of an
emergency. NALCO was formally organized in 1984 as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt
organization to support charitable contributions. Equipment was donated by Chevron
Corporation. Public Service functions were supported, including bicycle races,
triathlons, CPR Saturdays, Simulated Emergency Tests, and Amateur Radio Field Day.
NALCO has served our community for twenty-nine years. We follow the volunteers that
came before us. There will be more when we’re gone.

Over its history, NALCO has been called a number of times to provide emergency
communications to the city. The Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989 saw NALCO support
the Red Cross Berkeley shelter 24 hours a day for 7 days. The Oakland Hills Fire of
1991 saw NALCO activated for a day at the request of the city of Berkeley. The positive
experience of the Oakland Hills fire activation led the Berkeley Fire Department to
discuss a local Amateur Radio Fire Patrol Program with NALCO.

The NALCO fire patrol was to assist the fire department in identifying fire conditions in
the city. That program was launched in 1992 and continues today. Over the years,
NALCO served agencies invested in amateur radio equipment at local emergency
operations centers, fire stations and hospitals.

Twenty-four years after Loma Prieta, and twenty-two years after the Oakland Hills Fire,
NALCO continues to operate a strong, locally based emergency communications
program. NALCO members enjoy participating in an organization that has the respect
that we have gained from our clients. Many of our operators pursue full time careers
and have extensive interests beyond amateur radio; they appreciate the efficient use of
their time to deliver a service that is well received.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve our community and testify today. I look forward to
any questions you may have.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013 Fire Patrol

A call went out around 11:30/PT on 27-May-2013 for a NALCO Fire Patrol. 7 operators responded and arrived at Station 2 by around Noon.  All three routes were patrolled; the first commenced at 12:18, and the final one was concluded at 14:37.  The net was secured at 15:05/PT.  This was the first scheduled NALCO Fire Patrol of 2013. 17 members went through recurrent training.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Golden Guardian 2013

NALCO participated in Golden Guardian 2013, the most comprehensive state-level exercise series program in the country, on 15-May-2013.  The City of Berkeley Public Health Department Operations Center was supported by two NALCO members; UC Berkeley Tang Medical Center was supported by one member; and the City of Berkeley EOC was simulated by two other NALCO members.  Additionally contact was made with the State Department of Health in Richmond via another NALCO member.  Status messages and resaource requests were passed via a directed voice net.  A Medical Health Status Report was passed to the Alameda County EOC via both voice and packet radio.  Around a dozen internal messages were passed via packet radio as well.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Berkeley CERT Citywide Exercise

NALCO was asked again this year by the City to mobilize Amateur Radio operators for this event on 27-Apr-2013.  27 of our members and 3 unaffiliated amateur radio operator checked into a directed net and were given assignments at 4 fire stations and embedded in 7 neighborhoods.  New for this year, we also were able to deploy a Mobile Operating Position which setup a multi-purpose platform (multi-band voice plus digital modes) in direct support of a large neighborhood; and a dedicated Digital Operating Position.  Additionally, we stood up a Simulated EOC to handle coordination of the event.

On voice we handled around 40 messages from the neighborhoods during the two hour exercise; using Packet Radio we passed another 10 messages between three operators; and we prototyped a Wifi Mesh network that was able to confirm communication between 6 network nodes and pass digital traffic (scanned complex written data plus photographs) over the high speed mesh between two operators via a central server.  Finally, we made an external agency contact with the folks at the Berkeley Unified School District, handling a round-trip message which was a resource request from the City to the District.