FULTON – Dave Robinson N4UAR, a member of the Oswego County Emergency Communicators/RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services), was honored with the 2016 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 Oswego County Public Information Officer, Terry Bennett.
Bennett also commended the RACES members on their dedication to helping Oswego County and the Central New York region.
Robinson has been a member since 2008, participating in numerous RACES activations that provided reliable communications between responding agencies, field to field and field to base locations.
He 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.
Sometimes these various conditions involve severe weather and he, 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.
“Dave is one of the first to show up for RACES work details,”RACES Radio Officer Fred Koch, KA2HPG, said during a recent meeting. “He is a quiet individual who is invaluable to the group as a leader and mentor. Dave joined Oswego County RACES in 2008 with a General license classification and has upgraded his license to Extra, the highest level of FCC license. He is one of the instructors for the license classes held twice a year. Dave is a Volunteer Examiner to proctor initial licensing examination for prospective new hams and upgrade examination opportunities for those already licensed.”
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 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.
Anyone interested in the group may leave a message for Koch at the Emergency Management Office at 315/591-9150.