[REACT-LIST] Practice Vital

Phil Henderson kf6zsq at yahoo.com
Mon May 29 13:36:27 EDT 2017


In Santa Clara County, California, we have several training courses to train hams how to prepare for emergencies.  One course is message passing.  One thing we stress when passing a message is to send 5 words at a time, pause and wait for acknowledgement that the person receiving the message has received it, and then send the next 5 words, etc.  There are several Acrobat files of courses we provide every year on our web site, www.scc-ares-races.org, including Message Passing and Net Control.

Phil Henderson, KF6ZSQ, AEC, Mountain View, CA

      From: Ron McCracken <Ron.McCr at hotmail.com>
 To: RI List <react-list at lists.reactintl.net>; RI Communications <reactcommunications at yahoogroups.com>; RI Yahoo <reactintl at yahoogroups.com> 
 Sent: Monday, May 29, 2017 6:17 AM
 Subject: [REACT-LIST] Practice Vital
   
 <!--#yiv7162331732 P {margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;}-->Does your Team practise passing exact messages? Does it use IMS message forms to ensure accuracy? AsREACT Month winds down, I was rudely reminded of how vital this is.
I was helping Sat. with a ham radio SET (Simulated Emergency Test). Thank goodness it was only a SET. Some operators passing IMS messages were speaking much too quickly for the receiving station to copy down. They had to repeat the message several times. That, of course, tied up the frequency needlessly. Other stations with urgent traffic were delayed unnecessarily. Not good, at all.
Ironically, the worst example could actually have cost lives in a real emergency. The station calling needed another ambulance team at his location. Seven (7) burn victims needed urgent treatment.

However, he was speaking so quickly that Net Control could not copy the message. No one could. And, this was only a SET, not the real thing where he would be stressed. He had to repeat the message 4 or 5 times. That precious lost time easily could have been fatal for some of those burn victims. Both operators were becoming upset, so the innocent victims suffered further as a result.
Do occasional practices at Team meetings. Send someone into another room or out to a vehicle. Have him pass a message using IMS protocol. Time it. When he returns, have others report on the strong and weak points in the exchange. It is vitally important.
Some tips:
   
   - Study the message before you touch the mic.
   - Divide it into small sections. Mark them.
   - Pause after you speak each section.
   - Speak more slowly than you usually would.

The REACT Nets are valuable practice, so take advantage. If people ask you to repeat, you likely need to slow down. When the rubber hits the road in a real incident, you want to know that you can get a message through flawlessly, the first time. Lives will perhaps hang in the balance. 

Next REACT Month, or anytime your Team has a safety display, 'message passing' would make an interesting and informative part of it for your visitors. Easy to arrange. Impressive when done well.


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