Troy Fire Department Trains for Phone Failure with Amateur Radio Operators
The training exercise, held Saturday in Troy, simulated a widespread telephone failure in the city.
The following information was provided by the Troy Fire Department
This past Saturday, the Troy Fire Department initiated a Simulated Emergency Test in conjunction with the Oakland County Amateur Radio Public Service Corps.
The ARPSC is a group of trained volunteer amateur radio operators organized under the Oakland County Homeland Security Division, whose purpose is to assist in public service and emergency radio communications. ARPSC includes Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES), and SKYWARN.
The SET scenario was that of a telephone failure within the city, necessitating the assistance of the ARPSC. Amateur radio operators were positioned at each of Troy’s six fire stations, ready to relay requests for municipal services from the public in the form of preformatted messages simulating various types of requests. Additionally, amateur radio operators were located at the Troy Fire Emergency Operations Center to receive those requests for service and relay them to the appropriate authorities.
While the Fire, Police and Public Works departments have radios and backup communications systems to communicate with one another, the public typically does not have any form of backup. If conventional landline telephone circuits fail for whatever reason, cell phone tower sites may also fail or be overloaded and otherwise unavailable. The public, therefore, may not have any means of obtaining assistance.
Our hope, and our intention, would be for people to report to the nearest fire station, or other municipal or public place, where amateur radio operators would be positioned, standing by to assist.
This was the first organized test with the ARPSC and the City of Troy. Saturday’s test, overall, was a success in that the ARPSC was deployed in an efficient manner, and operated effectively.