Special thanks to Papa Delta-10 for sharing this great testimony.  This is the account submitted after a local AmRRON net activated in response to a smoke check, turned confirmed wildfire.  There are several great debrief points here, and will hopefully serve as an inspiration to others.  This is how it’s supposed to be done.  Great job to all the AmRRON radio operators involved, for practicing and maintaining their nets regularly, and being ready to serve when the moment they train for arrived.

Additional debrief points below PD-10’s testimony.



Thank you AmRRON!!

I thought you might be interested in a testimonial.

Tonight our local AmRRON net turned into a Wildfire Response Net. We maintain a persistent presence on 146.420 MHz and conduct a nightly net. On Monday nights, I receive the 80m Texas sub-regional AmRRON digital net and turn right around and rebroadcast the training topic to our 2m AmRRON voice net. Our official AmRRON net night is Thursday, on which I broadcast the AIB and any other digital traffic that I have received during the preceding days.

Tonight was supposed to be our regular AmRRON net. However, on the way home from work, one of our operators spotted smoke, and activated the net as a Wildfire Response Net. We are in serious drought conditions and under a red flag warning. In another part of our county today, a wildfire caused emergency evacuations and destroyed numerous homes and structures.

Multiple AmRRON base stations and mobile stations activated, coordinated the discovery of a wildfire, and notified emergency response. A firefighter at his mother’s house, who happens to be one of our AmRRON base station operators, was curiously monitoring our net. As soon as we confirmed the fire, he was out the door and on his way before the fire department could send out their notification tone. He was the first official responder on site. Our AmRRON operators stationed a vehicle at a main road to lead the responders in to the fire site, while other operators stayed at the site and made sure gates were set so cattle would not get loose and the fire department could get in quickly.

Through the coordinated efforts of our AmRRON stations using Amateur Radio via our persistent presence net, we were able to coordinate the discovery of a wildfire, notify emergency response, and assist the local Fire Department and Forestry Service to bring the fire under control and avert what could have been a serious disaster.

God is awesome and his mercy endures forever.

Papa Delta-10

Jasper County, Texas


Additional debrief points (by JJS):

  • They run a persistent presence net on their local VHF simplex frequency.  Any time you need to call out, someone is there.
  • They run a regular net (in their case, nightly)
  • They have HF/VHF liaison.  This is superb, and exactly how AmRRON is intended to function.  At LEAST one station in the net has HF receive capability.  Local VHF nets (whether voice or digital) are a great thing.  Most emergencies will be local.  However, critical regional information can be just as vital, and HF is the only free and independent way to communicate over the horizon.  If a local VHF net does not have a General class ham with HF capability, then invest in a SDR receiver or Shortwave receiver, with the appropriate data mode software to you can at least RECEIVE AmRRON regional/national traffic to relay to your local group.
  • They didn’t wait to be invited to provide emergency communications when their community needed it immediately.  You absolutely have the right, and some might argue, the duty, to employ your skills and equipment in response to an emergency, or to avert one.  And what’s more, you are federally licensed to do so.
  • Start a local net, practice regularly (better if you can meet regularly — monthly), establish liaison with the HF nets, be ready to serve.

Much like an armed citizen who stops an active shooter at the onset, we’ll never know how many lives might have been saved by quick action, and we’re fine with that.

Get you comms up!