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.