6 October 2012 SET very successful, a step up for services

MN Washington County ARES has completed another very successful Simulated Emergency Test (SET) on Saturday, October 6th. Nineteen (19) ARES members participated in the event from more than ten (10) locations throughout Washington County Minnesota. The drill also combined with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Walk-a-thon held in Stillwater at the same time under the leadership of George (KC0WOA) as communications director. The SET also communicated from three hospitals, three government buildings, Bayport American Red Cross, the (simulated) Washington County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and the Communicaitons Van which served as the Net Control Station. New this year were a total of five (5) digital stations located at the Walk-a-thon, two of the hospitals, the EOC and the Net Control station. They passed formal writen traffic in the ARRL Radiogram format. Informal traffic was also passed via 2m voice. Relays were used due to the distances involved. Eighteen of the stations ran on DC or emergency power for the drill and Walk-a-thon. A debrief was held at the Woodbury Old Country Buffet where the good and the bad were discussed, logs were collected, and hams were "refueled" before taking off for the home QTH. The drill also sent and received messages through the National Traffic System. These messages were exchanged with Washington County Oregon. The most common comments were: we had a good time, we upped our game, we learned some things, and our new addition of digital communicaitons went very well. The SET was viewed as a success by the participants and we're looking forward to next year.