FULTON, NY – Dave Anthony, AC2CM, a member of the Oswego County Emergency Communicators/RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services), was honored with the 2014 Service Award for his dedication to the amateur radio group that helps government agencies with emergency communications needs.
“Dave exemplifies many of the traits that make Oswego County Emergency Communicators special,” said Dale A. Currier, CEM, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. “We appreciate your service to the county.”
Anthony has been a member since 2006, participating in numerous RACES activations that provided reliable communications between responding agencies, field to field and field to base locations.
“Dave can be found during Emergency Management-sponsored drills skillfully operating under various conditions to relay information to the facilitators and passing back progress to Command,” said John Darling, K2QQY, who recently retired as RACES Radio Officer. “Sometimes these various conditions involve severe weather and Dave, as a trained weather spotter in the National Weather Services’ Skywarn program, can provide not only ‘ground truth’ to the NWS but also weather progress to the Oswego County Skywarn spotter network.”
Anthony’s interest in the world of electronics began during his service in the U. S. Navy Submarine Service, where he got to see the marvels of wires and gadgets as he completed the Navy’s Electronic Tech School.
From there he followed the wires up to working in Niagara Mohawks’ Radio Shop in Liverpool, where he often got the assignment to work on the 147.15 amateur repeater that was provided for the use of the Oswego County hams.
Having obtained his FCC license in 1973 gave him a sense of the need to have the repeater ready for use if an emergency arose.
“Dave is one of the first to show up for RACES work details,” RACES Radio Officer Fred Koch, KA2HPG, said during a recent meeting.
“We really like to have him with us because of his small size,” Koch joked. “He can go many places the rest of us don’t fit. Dave has been instrumental in helping us complete the communications trailer. He is an excellent wood worker, and has constructed our equipment racks as well as a cover for the generators we carry for emergency power. That cover can be used for a desk if necessary.”
As a RACES volunteer, Anthony often works at the Joint Information Center during the county’s nuclear power plant exercises.
“He is exceptionally capable in voice as well as packet communications,” Currier said. “He prides himself on being accurate and he is also proud of his ability to mentor those with him.”
Koch noted that Anthony is also “an excellent CW (Morse code) operator.
The 30-plus members of the all-volunteer service provide site-to-site amateur radio communications during drills, exercises, and emergencies for the Emergency Management Office, the Oswego County Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the Oswego County Local Human Needs Committee – and are ready to provide them during a widespread disaster.
During severe weather, the communicators are severe weather spotters, radioing storm reports to the National Weather Service (NWS) Buffalo Forecast Office through the Skywarn program to help pinpoint storm locations so the NWS can issue accurate warnings.
In their spare time, the group provides communications during CROP Walks, parades, and similar events.
On the third Sunday of the month, members of the Oswego County Emergency Communicators meet on the air to practice formal message traffic and discuss better ways to ensure the transmission of accurate information.
A monthly meeting on the third Wednesday is held at 7 p.m. at the County Building in Fulton where other training programs, such as Skywarn by the NWS and radiological by the emergency management office, are given and communication topics are discussed.
This meeting is open to anyone interested in emergency communications and/or ham radio.
OCEC/RACES have a growing web site at www.oswegoraces.org, which features the projects the group is involved in.
They are also linked to the Emergency Management Office page at www.oswegocounty.com/emo
Anyone interested in the group may leave a message for Koch at the Emergency Management Office at 315/591-9150.