Bill Hanson, HCCDA, response to Hamfest Roundtable questions
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Bill Hanson, HCCDA, has clarified several issues that seemed to cause confusion for the participants of the Hamfest Roundtable. He is available to refine his responses, if requested, and answer any other questions. Please send all questions to this site. Thanks, Ceri
1) Who is allowed to participate in when ACS stands up for an event?
ACS is stood up for incidents and usually not events. ACS can be considered as a dispatch unit is to Fire and Police. ACS personnel are knowledgeable about handling traffic between field reporting personnel and Civil Defense, again, similar to a dispatch unit at Fire or Police and field personnel.
2) What is the relationship between ACS and CERT?
ACS is not a CERT Program. Participants are sourced from multiple areas, one being CERT.
3) What is the relationship between HCCDA and ACS?
HCCDA developed ACS. HCCDA is an ACS primary client. ACS’s sole goal is to service reporting needs of HCCDA.
4) What is the relationship between ACS and ARES?
ACS welcomes ARES as a partner. ARES may have other goals and objectives than ACS.
5) What message handling protocols and modes are used by ACS?
Those that are requested and required by HCCDA. Information pushed through ACS mirrors HCCDA request/requirement.
6) What training, exercises does ACS offer to learn those protocols?
HCCDA can set up training sessions to accomplish that.
7) Who is responsible for initiating the net when ACS stands up for an incident?
HCCDA is. The directive comes from HCCDA Administrator to me, then me to ACS.
8) Who determines what frequency is used?
Repeater frequencies of course are issued by the coordinator on Oahu. ACS does not only use radios to communicate information and data. ACS leverages and uses other existing technologies as well as radio such as internet. As for frequencies, HCCDA is still in the process of building out repeaters that HCCDA owns.
There was another question earlier regarding the general message form ICS-213. Over the years and many incidents, HCCDA has streamlined the process of conveying information to the field and reporting from the field. In short, the 213 is basically a blank piece of paper. However, HCCDA knows what information it seeks and asks upfront for specific information to be reported on. HCCDA determines specific information parameters and requests field personnel report accordingly. There is of course more than just field reporting and that is also taken into consideration. Those other considerations are primarily RFAs and RFIs that would come in from the field to HCCDA. These parameters are no different than information and data HCCDA asks Fire, Ocean Safety, Police, and DPW to provide. So, ACS reporting falls directly in line with how and what HCCDA askes of agency partners. In a nutshell, this is very much a streamlined process and takes much of the guess work and question marks out of field reporting. HCCDA welcomes its partners in the community, clubs, ARES and more to develop and have capacity.
Please let me know if you need me to explain any of the points.