Kudos times two! I recently attended a class (March 19 and 20) called AUXCOMM, hosted and funded by Yuma County OEM’s AZ State Homeland Security Grant Program and instructors and registration was provided by DEMA-Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.
The Yuma Auxiliary Communication Service (YACS) HAM organization was instrumental in assisting the Emergency Manager in getting this class in Yuma.
This class was offered to HAM radio operators. It trained them in how to set up a “communications network” in the case the radio systems for Yuma Police, Fire, Rural Metro, Yuma Regional Medical Center and other agencies that rely on emergency radio systems failed due to earthquakes, “brown outs,“ or sabotage, just to mention a few.
On March 23rd, the Yuma Health Department in cooperation with the Salvation Army, Red Cross (with many volunteers), Yuma County Office of Emergency Management, Yuma County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT-all volunteer), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC-all volunteer), Yuma Auxiliary Communication Service (YACS- HAM Radio-all volunteer) and Border Patrol held a “first ever” community involved Mass Care Drill. This drill was to test “the system” of care for the community.
The Latter Days Saints Church on 8th Ave was the Host and had “observers.” Other observers were from the Hospice of Yuma and Ironwood Assisted Care, who were there to see where they may be able to better assist in the future. Haven of Yuma came with residents and staff as part of the “clients” served by the drill. Mike Fila, Emergency Manager from the Cocopah Tribe was the “Drill Evaluator.” We are still awaiting the After Action Report and discussion to see “what went right and what could be improved.“
Your local government agencies with their affiliated volunteer groups are continuously training and practicing to be able to BETTER help you during a crisis.
If you are interested in becoming a “HAM” radio operator, or volunteering for the Medical Reserve Corp, or Community Emergency Response Team, or want to learn more about disaster preparation, call Tony Badilla, Yuma County Office of Emergency Management (928-317-4680). He will get you to the right people!
Rudy Wallace- Coordinator
Yuma County Community Emergency Response Team