JCARC Public Event Checklist

Check List for Public Service Events and Other Call-Outs

Operations

  • Read your emails, check the event website and attend any briefings to understand your assignment.
  • Know the operation procedures of your net control, program in all radio frequencies used in the event and know the frequency usage plan before your assignment.
  • Know your exact position before you leave your home. How familiar are you with the area? If possible check it out in advance if it’s an unusual location. In addition to driving to the location the by Google maps and Bing both offer satellite view. Using BING.com's aerial view to let you really see your location and so you can exactly what to expect.
  • As a courtesy to those in charge if you cannot make your assignment, contact event coordinator as early as you can before your assignment.
  • Be “a little earlier” to your assignment rather than “a little late”.
  • Printout and bring all maps, frequency lists, special instructions and the position assignment sheet.
  • JCARC Events are always well planned. Some other radio communication coordinators may or may not be as well prepared. You may just have just to show up early and ask Net Control “Where do you need Me?”
  • Find out in the Event Briefing how lost children are to be handled.

Radio Equipment

  • Fully charged programmed handheld radio.
  • Look at the frequencies used by the event and make sure your radio covers them.
  • Test your radio gear and check for proper frequencies and tones by checking in with Net Control on all frequencies.
  • Some events require the use of a mobile radio instead of a handheld. If it's requested, use it.
  • Spare rechargeable battery pack, fully charged or an alkaline pack with a spare set of alkaline batteries.
  • Antenna with better gain than factory rubber ducky. Consider a “tiger tail/rats tail” to increase range.
  • Earpiece & mic or a combo earpiece & mic. Test it.
  • Some events  can be especially noisy.  A dual-muff headset with a noise canceling mic is best. A speaker mic and pair of stereo headphones that surrounds the ears is an affordable choice. The most affordable choice may be an earpiece/lapel mic combo with a non electronic hearing protector such as the Leightinging L0F earmuffs over your earpiece.
  • Copy of your radio manual or a quick cheat sheet such as a Nifty or Data Sheet (you'll find them on E-bay). Know or have access to the operational features of your radio.
  • Belt clip or chest pack so your hands are free to take notes.
  • FCC ID , ARES ID (any event ID’s if required)
  • Turn off power-saving features & VOX features
  • Know how to lock your radio controls (but not the PTT though)
  • Do you have equipment quirks: does your PTT or Mic stick? Worn mic cords. Watch these problems during the event or purchase new accessories before the event.
  • Fully charged cell phone.
  • Be aware of the environment’s effects on your equipment. If your gear isn't waterproof be prepared to protect it.

Person Protection Equipment (PPE)

  • Consider the assignment, weather and the terrain. Consider what clothes and shoes to wear.
  • Sunglasses, Prescription glasses/reading glasses
  • Sunblock SPF50+
  • Chap-stick w/sunblock
  • Mosquito & bug repellent
  • Rain poncho for you and something to protect your radio
  • Hat with your call-sign. The event coordinators may have a special hat for you to wear.
  • Safety Vest Class II or III ANSI with "Radio Communications" or a changeable ICS panel on it.
  • Personal first aid kit
  • A night-time event? Flashlight, headlamp, extra batteries, reflective clothing.

Comfort & Other Items

  • Liquids (think of hydration & flavor)
  • Snacks or meals. Consider how long your shift is. In the case of a call-out for an incident be prepared to be self-sustaining for at least 24 hours.
  • Cash, for example: $20 cash $4 in quarters, $6 in single ones and two $5 dollar bills. An extra $80s in 20 dollar bills to round it to an even $100 can't hurt you may not need it but if you do then you have it.
  • Folding chair in case you can sit. Put your call-sign and 'Radio Communications’ on it if you don’t want it to walk away
  • Notepad, pencils or pens. A Sharpie is always handy.
  • Watch with the correct time. An atomic watch is preferred.
  • Medications in the original prescription bottle with label.
  • Wear all identifying event items (badges, vests, t-shirts)
  • Optional: bring a camera.

Event Considerations

  • Actively listen to the Net you are on.
  • If the Net goes quiet, check to see if you are still receiving it. You might have a stuck mic, or you knocked your radio off frequency. Some events may have long periods of inactivity.
  • Take notes and refer to them if needed.
  • Report what you see that is relevant to the Net
  • Defer to appropriate personnel in all cases. Occasionally that will be you, know when it isn’t. If approached by a member of the media don't offer any information. Direct them to the Public Information Officer.
  • If you leave your post for any reason, be sure to check out and back in with Net Control.
  • If there is a pre-event briefing, attend it, listen and take notes.
  • Your event location is on the course is approximate. You may have to move up or down the course to actually find a place to work from. Do not ask others to move for you. If you are having problems with your assigned location, contact your NCS.
  • You may not be sitting during the event, but moving around, you might want to have your jump kit as mobile as you are.
  • Know who the operators will be on either side of you, get their call sign and or tactical call.
  • Know how the Net Control will operate the Tactical Net
  • ID at the end of each exchange with your call-sign. Remember the FCC 10-min rule on IDs
  • Use Plain Language in your communications. No ten-codes or Q-codes.
  • Understand the purpose of the Net to which you are assigned including, what type of traffic is valuable. First male runner, first female runner, turtle (last runner)
  • Find out from Net Control how to handle: lost children, medical problems, etc.
  • Take notes on everything you hear. You never know when someone is going to ask you the same question.
  • Understand how to recognize when things have ‘gone wrong’ with your equipment, the Net or your assignment. Have a plan for reacting to these types of events.
  • Understand the meaning of Emergency and Priority traffic, their difference, and how to put the word ‘Break’ back into your vocabulary.
  • Listen, Listen, Listen, then Speak…
  • Get all the details BEFORE calling Net Control. Make a cue card on what info to get if you have a lost child report: (Name, Age, Description of child, clothing, last seen location)
  • Speak slowly and clearly. Don’t talk faster than you can write it yourself.
  • If the information you need to relay should not go out over the air, call your Net Control operator via cell phone. People do monitor the frequencies we use, you’ve also got people standing next to you. Choose your words carefully in these types of situations.
  • HIPPA laws require that medical condition information and personal identifying information can not be give out over the air. Use the runners bib number to report any medical needs.
  • If you need to pass information that is personal and identifying such as the name of an injured runner's spouse, the use a cell phone to call the information in. If that is not an option, switch to a simplex frequency that is not published to the public. IE, only given at the event to HAMs who are participating.
  • Don't wait for the runner to ask for medical attention. Call for medics at once if they exhibit any of these symptoms; vomiting, collapse, shivering (on a hot day) or shaking.
  • If a runner or rider is stopped and you ask how they are doing and they do not respond then they need immediate medical attention Or if they can not answer or give a bizarre answers to simple questions. Q:“How are you doing today?” A:“I'm looking for my cat Tippy” Ask them to stay there and call for medial assistance immediately. You can't restrain them if they refuse to stay, notify Net Control and follow them or radio Net Control with their bib number and clothing description so the medics can find them.
  • Be professional & approachable to the public. You represent not only the event sponsors, but JCARC as well. Smile and say hello.
  • Know how to have fun. If it’s not fun, then it had better be important or it's not worth participating in.
  • If you have a lost child or a parent seeking a lost child at your location. Call Net Control. Always get detailed information on/from missing person before calling it in. Will missing children go to the police? If a parent finds their child, have them report to the police so a missing persons report is not filed
  • Contact your Net Control if you have a person trying to take a lost child from you. Copy their ID information. No parent will mind this. If the person refuses, ask net control to summon event security of police to your location.
  • Any other concerns/questions not addressed here should be asked before the event begins.