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RELAY STATION TRAINING SESSION OVERVIEW National weather service milwaukeewiMay 31 2014Tom Kucharski EC NOAA/NWS WFO Milwaukee WI
Milwaukee/Sullivan, WI (MKX)Weather Forecast OfficeCounty Warning Area (CWA)
Volunteer Support of the National Weather Service • The National Weather Service has a core mission and goals. • However, the area forecast offices are responsible for determining the approaches to employ in achieving its mission and goals. This is due to several factors; including but not limited to geography and available resources. • As a result each area forecast office has long standing relationships with volunteer support organizations for a variety of purposes.
Volunteer Support Models Used By MKX • Team Based – Through a Collaboration Model (Working Group) • Internal – Through a Team of Volunteers Focused on Support of Office for Inter - and Intra – Agency Needs • Partnerships (Service Organizations) • Individual (Spotters, Observers, etc.) • Focus of This Session Will Be on a specific role in Team Based Support Programs
Team – Based Programs in the CWA • Convective Weather Data Observation and Collection (Severe Weather) • Winter Weather Data Observation and Collection • Others to be Determined Over Time and as Required
The Sullivan Committee (SulCom) A working group consisting of Sullivan Weather Forecast Office representatives and representatives from local volunteer service organizations within the CWA • Used for development and execution of any support program that requires assistance from multiple team-based volunteer organizations • Current scope of responsibility includes: • Severe (Convective) Weather (Mainly Spring – Fall – 85%) • Winter Weather; Snowfall, Winds, etc. from Winter Events (Mainly Fall – Spring – 10%) • Other Program development and execution where the assistance of more than one team is needed (< 5%) Programs are Documented at: http://www.sulcom.info
Successful Team Attributes Among other things, successful teams emphasize the following in the order listed below: • Personal Safety • Achieved by working only with recognized teams and local management of people in those teams • Accuracy (Quality) • Achieved by using dataset requirements that are easily measurable • Speed/Efficiency (Delivery) • Achieved by use of standard tools and/or pre-planned comms systems and structured communications protocols where possible
Ingredients of the Field Team • Relay Stations… • are individuals/locations designated by their teams to execute communications between the team’s collaboration area (“net”) and Sullivan Weather • work within, and are managed by a field team (goal: Unity of Command) • and… • in voice comms, are responsible/necessary for ensuring the timely and accurate transfer of information to Sullivan Weather from the team’s “net” AND to the team’s “net” from Sullivan Weather systems (but optional for digital comms; we will explain later) • require continuous training: for effective/efficient management of data on/for reportable events • in the field team’s “net” • with Sullivan Weather
Ingredients of the Field Team • Net Control Stations… • work within, and are managed by a field team (goal: Unity of Command) • are responsible for maintaining a structured on-air field team environment during incident response activities • require regular training in effectively managing the field team’s operations and protocols during incident response activities.
The Final Haul to the Forecast Office for Voice CommsThe SulCom Backbone The SulCom Backbone: • Is used for passing datasets (that meet program criteria) to the Forecast Office when staffed to do so • allows structured voice communications between Sullivan Weather and the participating field teams through the Relay Station • NOTE: a Net Control Station is not used on the SulCom backbone • allows general/field voice communications to remain at the team level without disrupting data throughput to Sullivan Weather • eliminates Sullivan Weather’s impact on field team communications
The Final Haul to the Forecast Office for Voice CommsThe SulCom Backbone The SulCom Backbone: • gives the field teams the ability to manage assets and resources for fulfilling other support obligations without disrupting communications to/from Sullivan Weather • has two levels of contingency to ensure reliable transfer of necessary data from the field to Sullivan Weather (see the “sulcom.info” website for details.) • uses Amateur Radio Service allocations for the communications environment, where the field team environment can use a multitude of options for their needs • Is a universal communications model that can be used for a number of applicable support scenarios.
Voice Communication Path SulCom’s Domain Field Team’s Domain
Voice Communication Path A Typical View of the Entire Communications System During a Convective Weather Event
Digital Modes Use of Digital Tools is dependent on the program. To support the agency’s directive, the Milwaukee WFO has been adopting use of existing Social Media tools for submission of valid reports. However, there may be changes that occur over time. • Let’s go to the SulCom website (www.sulcom.info) and look at the current details.
Activation/Management of Program Participants • Internal support at Sullivan Weather is requested as deemed necessary by the Sullivan Weather meteorology staff and managed by the Emergency Coordinator of the Milwaukee/Sullivan Weather Forecast Office through the Sullivan Weather Amateur Radio Association (SWARA) • Field teams (including their relay stations) are activated and managed at the discretion of their team management. • Why? • “Home Rule” statutes in Wisconsin (Chapter 323) • Most teams have a scope of support that is broader than support of SulCom programs.
A Few (But Not All) Things to Remember • Although Amateur Radio is heavily used in all SulCom programs, it is viewed as nothing more than a tool to get the job done. The TRUE common thread in this program is teamwork. Many affiliations participate in these programs. • The Sullivan Weather Forecast Office actively participates in development of all SulCom programs and thus views those programs as a key to success in achieving its goals. • Success of ALL Programs = Teamwork + Understanding the Intended Goals + Understanding Where You Fit in the Program + Regular Training and Honing of Applicable Skill Sets • Contact your team manager, your SulCom team representative or the Sullivan Committee Webmaster (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions on this or Sullivan Committee Programs • The program content is available on line at http://www.sulcom.info. All field teams participating in this program must follow the standards on this website. If your organization does not follow the standards, ask why
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THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!! Tom Kucharski Emergency Coordinator NOAA/NWS WFO Milwaukee WI