Written by David Riviera
The latest ARRL QST magazine had an article by Tom Gallagher about FirstNet. This was my email to them in response:
"It’s strange that the June 2017 QST arrived in my Inbox just as I was finishing a documentary about United Airlines 93. Tom Gallagher’s article about FirstNet, a nation-wide distributed broadband network called for following the 9/11 Commission report, was a primary story.
"As I am finishing up graduate school towards a Master of Education in Youth Development Leadership, I am preparing a grad project that touches on this topic: EmComm Schools.
"Amateur Radio and Emergency Communications should be adopted by public school districts to outfit each and every school, urban or rural, with strategic emergency power, staff training and FCC licensing, and equipment to stay connected in any disaster. The concept is outlined on a Website: https://emcommschools.org/
"'We must focus on the problem we are seeking to solve, not on the solutions we have at hand,' Gallagher wrote in his QST article. We must ensure we have consistent and reliable communication—everywhere—to protect the lives and safety of every American. Schools represent a critical infrastructure found in every community, and could be a cornerstone to integrating emergency communications into each and every region of the nation. Children are the generation we need to protect the most. Let’s give them the critical tools they need to communicate when they need it most."
Written by David Riviera
One project I'm doing for my graduate degree: EmComm Schools
Still very much a concept more than a thing, I'm hoping to create a resource directory for three realms to come together and build connections:
- Amateur Radio
- Emergency Communication
Registration will soon be available on the website that will include a detailed profile, based on your involvement.
I'd like to eventually offer an EmComm School Envoy certificate to schools that have trained staff to use amateur radios, received proper licensing, and perhaps use grants or sponsors to provide radios and equipment. The school staff can use the radios to MONITOR storm reports being made by spotters in the field to best prepare for the students' safety. Schools can have instant access to weather conditions, and be aware of what those conditions mean. A tornado reported over radio to the National Weather Service can take minutes for outdoor civil sirens to sound. A NOAA Weather Radio is crucial to get the most up-to-date warnings from the NWS. But hearing first hand reports can save minutes of valuable preparation time. Those minutes can save lives. (Weather is just one potential disaster where minutes matter.)
And once the disaster is over, the school's radio could be their first link out of the ruins of their school. Strategic Emergency Power in the right place at the right time.
Who should get involved?
- School principals
- School facility managers
- Science teachers (there's an after-school club in there somewhere, I know it!)
- County and city emergency managers
- Radio clubs
- Storm spotters
- Students (anyone can get an FCC license!)
Provided by Oz Technology Company in cooperation with Zulu International, LLC.
In pursuit of a Master of Education in Youth Development Leadership at the College of Education and Human Development | University of Minnesota.