The Sheriff's Auxiliary picked up a Wouxun KG-UV920P Dual Band Mobile Radio for purposes of evaluation in its last bulk radio purchase. We were looking for a bare-bones dual-band mobile at a price that volunteers could readily afford. The 920P is programmable to a wide range of channels, allowing us to use a single unit for Amateur radio (2m/148Mhz and 770cm/440Mhz), Part 90 Public Service, and, in a pinch, GMRS and MURS. The unit also supports cross-band repeat and, with the aid of a second unit and a cable, full repeater functionality.
I have posted an article on Gun Debate detailing our recent trip to Reno Nevada for the International Association of Emergency Manager's Conference. The three-part travelogue describes changes in Nevada's CCW laws, how we dealt with them, issues with open-carry, the status of Auxiliary volunteers traveling to other states, self-defense law, the panel presentation I particpated in on active shooters in education environments, the school shooting in Sparks, Nevada and other issues.
This week the Sheriff's Auxiliary is scrambling to make last minute preparations for our Apple Butter Makin' Days deployment. Apple Butter Makin' Days is Lawrence County's largest annual festival, held in Mount Vernon with attendance of approximately 25,000 people. Although the festival is exciting and a big draw for the city, it places a huge burden on emergency planners which could not be met without the help of many volunteers. This year the LCSA is deploying under the Mount Vernon Police to assist in parade and night security patrols during the festival weekend, resulting in long hours on graveyard shifts.
We operate in a community with some number of Latinos (3.39% of the population from the 2000 census), some of whom have little or no English skills. Spanish proficiency can therefore be a highly useful skill in emergency or disaster response. Spanish For First Responders is a handy resource with vocabulary (such as anatomy terms), phrase lists (consent, mentation, examination), and scenarios for first aid/medical response.
The bulk order of radio handsets (or at least the first set of radios for the community purchasers) have arrived! Some of you may even have gotten yours by now and may be wondering what in the heck to do with them. This post will start to answer that question and we (the local emergency response community) will provide (free) classes in the near future to get you further down the road (keep reading).
As a "uniformed civil service," the Sheriff's Auxiliary uses a rank structure and courtesies based closely on common military organization. The advantages of a military structure are clear lines of authority and chain of command in emergency situations, but they may not be familiary to people without a military background.