Western Pennsylvania ARES

WPAmap 190

WPA ARES Conference – A Huge Success

Fifty two Western Pennsylvania ARES Field Leaders and members converged at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Campus for a conference.  We received a special welcome from Dr. Jem Spectar, President of UPJ.


The conference theme:  “Energizing Emergency Communications” included presentations on a variety of subjects important to meeting our Part 97 obligation as license holders to: (Title 47 – Part 97 Subpart A—General Provisions)

§ 97.1 Basis and purpose.

  • The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in
  • the following principles:
  • (a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication
  • service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications

Topics discussed included a panel discussion on ARES relationships with the RACES, ACS programs and the needs of local (county) emergency management agencies, Working with served agencies, Red Cross and Hospitals, Expanding our coverage through use of strategic Official Emergency Stations (OES), Official Relay Stations (ORS) and Wide Area Networked (WAN) repeaters.  Additional topics covered Search and Rescue Techniques and preparing and conducting Drills.  Copies of speaker notes will be available  A big thanks to all of the fine speakers for their effort in preparing very informative and useful materials. 

A display of the Westmoreland Emergency Amateur Radio Services (WEARS) response vehicle and some great go kits kept folks busy throughout the coffee and lunch breaks


Special thanks to our host University of Pittsburgh amateur radio clubs, Panther Amateur Radio Club W3YI (Oakland) and Mountain Cat Amateur Radio Club W3SNN (Johnstown).  Generous donations from Cambria Amateur Radio Club, Skyview Radio Society; Uniontown Amateur Radio Club:  ARRL WPA Section; Joe Vaccaro, W3JTV: Bill Wieserman K3ZYK: Jim Rosso AF3A; Bill Beyrer K3ZIV; Juan Manfredi NA0B; Larry Keller AB3ER; Harry Bloomberg W3YJ and a number of anonymous contributors made it possible to hold the conference without charge.



Keeping with the theme, “Energizing Emergency Communications” we devoted a great deal of time to preparation for that emergency and testing the preparations with a drill.  All attendees were challenged to conduct at least one drill within their County and District in preparation for the Simulated Emergency Test (SET) October 5

Larry – AB3ER

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