Nearing The Finish Line

Comm Trailer DecalsNine months almost to the day, and the Centralia ARES team’s Communication Trailer project is really nearing the finish line.  We’re currently working on installing the radios.  Batteries and some internal wiring will come next but today we reached a milestone of sorts when we placed the Centralia Police Department and Riverside Fire Authority decals on the trailer.

Because the equipment boxes had a diamond plate type surface, both decals had to be mounted on aluminum plates.  After cutting them to size and painting them black, the decals were “carefully” centered and put in place. You only get one chance to do this right.

In the photo above, you are looking at the trailer from the tailgate.  Radios, power supply and batteries will be mounted in the right hand box with miscellaneous equipment such as coax, first aid kit, took kit, rope, etc. stored in the left hand box.  Antenna masts are stored in wooden boxes under the aluminum boxes. Two generators, a 10′ x 10′ tent and cones won’t leave much room.  The box to hold the solar panel will just fit in the open area left in the middle of the trailer.

In just about four weeks, we hope to roll this project trailer out for viewing by the Centralia City Council as part of National Preparedness Month.  Designed as a stand alone communications platform capable of being towed behind our communications van, Comm II, to any forward staging area, shelter, hospital or disaster scene, it can be unhooked and set up in minutes allowing Comm II to proceed to yet another site.  There is still more work to be done, but we can finally see the end.

Root Beer Floats In The Park

In beautiful Western Washington you know it is summer when the temperatures hover around 85 – 90 degrees.  After several really warm days, the ARES team figured our normal meeting location, the Centralia Emergency Operations Center would be just a little too stuffy and warm for our mid August meeting and besides, there was an easy solution at hand.

Well over 100 years ago, Joseph Borst homesteaded on the Chehalis River near what would become Centralia, Washington.  His legacy remains today in the form of a beautiful 101 acre park, filled with huge fir trees and a beautiful lake.  The Fort Borst Park is also home to the Borst home, schoolhouse, arboretum, and the Blockhouse constructed in 1855.  Never actually used to protect local inhabitants from Indian attack, the blockhouse, still standing proudly today, served as a store house for grain brought in from around the region.

Monday evening’s meeting wasn’t really about content.  Yes, we discussed logging on Incident command system forms and planned several upcoming events for September – National Preparedness Month, but it was really the joy of being among friends, next to the lake, under the shade of the trees sipping homemade root beer floats.  Summertime in the Pacific Northwest is amazing.  Sometimes, you just need to sit back and enjoy the day.  All too soon, they will be gone and the rains that make our region lush and green will return.  Until then, we’ll be working on our tan!

Good Bye Linc and Teresa

Linc and Teresa

Linc (K0ZCO) and Teresa (N4MBA) Haymaker

I’ve always felt friends come into your life when you need them most.  Linc (K0ZCO) and Teresa (N4MBA) Haymaker came to Centralia ARES during a particularly challenging time.  They have been strong, hard working team members from the day they arrived.  Teresa developed this website and continues to manage it as well.  Fixing the problems I create is a never ending job.  Linc has been one of my Assistant Emergency Coordinator and maintains our K7CEM repeaters.  Needless to say, both will be missed very much.

Now it is time for them to enter someone else’s life who probably needs them, right now, more than we do.  They have promised to stay involved with the website and even help with the repeater systems from their new home in Denver, Colorado.  We wish them all the best in their new life.  I’m sure they will find an Amateur Radio Emergency Services team who can use their talents just as I’m sure someone on our team will step up and accept responsibility to fill their roles.

We wish you well, Teresa and Linc.  We miss you already.

Bob Willey (KD7OWN)  Emergency Coordinator

 

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