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Sept. 27, 2010

Emergency Radio Group Names Operations Officer

Amateur Radio operator Ed Proto, AF2N, accepts a public safety radio from the Oswego County Emergency Communicators/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service Radio Officer John Darling, K2QQY. Proto was promoted to Alternate Radio Officer - Operations. From left are Mark Lewis, KC2JNI, Alternate Radio Officer - Logistics; Darling; Proto; and Tim DeMarais, KC2SKG, Alternate Radio Officer - Administration. Absent was Bob LaMay, WA2AFF, Alternate Radio Officer - Planning.

FULTON - The Oswego County Emergency Communicators/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) membership recently welcomed the promotion of Ed Proto, amateur call AF2N, to the position of Alternate Radio Officer - Operations.

Proto will oversee tactical operations during emergency communications events, monitoring for safe operations and coordinating assignment of resources. He is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as an Extra Class amateur radio operator, having passed the test for the highest level in February 2010.

"Ed brings his experience in large group facilitating and organizing to the group," RACES Radio Officer John Darling, K2QQY, said. "He has also been involved with various aspects of amateur radio transmissions that focus on the ability to get messages through under varying conditions."

The OCEC/RACES organizational structure follows the Incident Command System, a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Incident Management System. This structure defines critical functions that are recognized by responders all over the United States and allows better response during mutual aid requests. Certification in the Responder level is required for the emergency communicators.

Working with Proto is Alternate Radio Officer Mark Lewis, KC2JNI - Logistics, who oversees the communication's infrastructure and coordinates equipment needs during emergency events. Tim DeMarais, KC2SKG, is the Alternate Radio Officer - Administration. DeMarais manages training nets and oversees documentation of proper radio operating practices. Bob LaMay, WA2AFF, is the Alternate Radio Officer - Planning and participates in the Oswego County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Local Human Needs Committee to ensure that the various organizations will have communication ability during an event.

The OCEC/RACES is comprised of amateur radio operators trained as back up and primary communication providers to the Oswego County Emergency Management Office and the public safety agencies of Oswego County. The group meets on the third Wednesday of each month, except December, at 7 p.m. in downstairs in the Oswego County Branch Office Building in Fulton, across from Mimi's on Route 481. Meetings are open to all those interested in amateur radio and would like to give back to the community in case there is ever a need for emergency communications.

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