The Amateur Radio Communications Coordinator
for Public Service Events
Revised 09/2022 by Paul Smith, K5PRS
A public service event coordinator is an amateur radio operator who organizes and manages the amateur radio communications for and at a public service event.
Each and every public service event requesting communications support from the amateur radio community needs a “go between” or coordinator. This coordinator is an amateur radio operator who serves as an organizational contact between the requesting service organization and the amateur radio community. This amateur is responsible for organizing and planning the communications based on the needs of the requesting agency. These public service events provide “live” training for the amateur radio communicator under circumstances similar to emergency situations. The event coordinator is the primary contact between the served agency and the amateur radio community.
- Determine if the requesting agency meets the non-profit or public sector organization criteria and is qualified to receive amateur radio support.
- Meet with the requesting agency to access their communications needs and establish a contact within the agency for information flow.
Note: Periodic meetings may be necessary up to the time of the event.
- Develop a communications plan for the event. Determine the number of amateur radio operators needed for the event and the different modes of operation.
- Contact local repeater owners for support if one or more repeaters are needed.
- Coordinate with other amateur radio supported events for frequency assignments. This is especially important if crossband repeating will be used.
- Determine if multiple frequencies are needed and if geographical limitations exist.
- Recruit volunteers from the amateur radio community and communicate the various communications needs to the amateurs. Contact the local amateur radio clubs with requests for volunteers. Using non-ham related services such as Nextdoor.com, etc. can both garner non-ARES/RACES ham support as well as advertise the event.
- Make assignments for all the radio amateurs consistent with their equipment capabilities, skills and desires.
- Collect, prepare and disseminate all materials and information to the amateur radio communicators needed in support of the event.
- Arrange to distribute T-shirts, caps, signage, maps, forms, etc. to communicators. Arrange for one or more experienced operators to assist new operators in programming their radios. This event is often accomplished via a breakfast meeting at a restaurant in the vicinity of Net Control.
- After the event, collect log sheets, messages and After Action Reports from each communicator. Collect any loaned equipment, borrowed reflective vests, etc. and arrange return to their owners. Again, these activities along with a debrief often happen at a local restaurant where a bite of food makes the writing of After Action Reports and debriefs more enjoyable.
Communicator FUNCTIONS Assigned by the Public Service Event Coordinator (as needed):
- Net Control Operator
- Backup Net Control Operator for relief, tracking down event officials and logging information
- Rest, Medical Aid or SAG Stop communicators
- Shadow communicator
- SAG Wagon/MICU communicator
- Radio equipped Ride Marshalls (bicycle or motorcycle) if requested
- Talk-In communicator (likely the Backup Net Control Operator)
That concludes tonight’s training. Are there any questions, comments or suggested additions to this material?
Thanks, this is (callsign) clear to net control.