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Operation Download
1998 Waterloo Region Emergency Exercise

I would personally like to thank Robert Gissing VE3ZLV, Hugh Baird VE3IYG, Dave Allen VE3DUA, Larry Gorman VE3LGN, and Norm Perrault VE3DEQ for their participation in the Emergency simulation. We all arrived at the Regional Headquarters at 150 Frederick Street at 8:30 AM to set-up for Operation Download.

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Norm Perault VE3DEQ and Larry Gorman VE3LGN

The simulation involved Kitchener being hit by a winter storm first depositing 20 mm. of ice, then 30 cm. of snow. Snow continued at the rate of 1 cm per hour. Roads in Kitchener are virtually impassable, and the 401 has been closed.

Now the real fun started. Fires are burning at a pallet company on Wilson Ave., plus other areas of the city including the Sunnyside Home. Of course what would fires be without lack of water due to the hydro outage involving pumping stations, a sulphuric acid spill after a tanker truck flips and takes out a fire hydrant in the fire area. Emergency vehicles are running short of fuel, and the London to Toronto Via Rail train has gone missing around Baden etc.

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Hugh Baird VE3IYG and Dave Allan VE3DUA

Various services lost communications, and the ham's came through again, passing traffic at times for the Police and Ambulance service as well as our main duties for Social Services.

Our group performed well, and only got better as the exercise went on. It was a good learning experience for all. We did find that numerous messages were handed to us for transmission without a signature. Sure makes trying to track down who, or what agency sent it when clarification or more details are asked for later. ALWAYS GET A SIGNATURE ( actually a clear spelling of the name).

Magnetic mount antennas were used for the operation as the reported permanent antenna at the EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) was not installed as stated. Social Services has stated to me they will pursue this and other antenna installations with the Regional Emergency Coordinator.

During a short debriefing session after the exercise as EC, I addressed all participants, that during the actual Ice Storm in Eastern Ontario and Quebec it was found to be very useful that a media release with updates on the situation be sent out via every communications facility being utilized. This was especially true for some communications personnel that had limited battery and recharging capabilities, when they knew that a predetermined time they were to monitor a frequency. They found information on exactly what was happening in other areas of the relief effort, gave them a better overview on the entire situation.

I have submitted a debriefing sheet to the Regional Emergency Coordinator, and will be attending an afternoon meeting at the Regional Headquarters to further discuss Operation Download.

Tnx again guys you did an excellent job.

John VE3DOS
DEC

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