PUBLIC SAFETY AMATEURS - The Public Safety Amateur Radio Association of the Permian Basin was organized to fill emergency communications and interoperable communications needs for West Texas. The Public Safety Amateur Association exists with a mission of supporting Public Safety efforts to respond to a myriad of disaster and emergency situations, and to effectively communicate while there. These volunteers, along with Public Safety agencies around the region, are involved in many Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security endeavors in the State and the Permian Basin.
The Public Safety Amateurs have served with Public Safety officials in several recent functional exercises, most recently the Regional Functional Exercise (May, 2007). During the Exercise, 15 hospitals in the Region were staffed with Ham Operators, and several EOC's were staffed. The DDC-4A at DPS Region 4 headquarters in Midland was staffed with several hams, as was the Midland Health Department, the Regional Communications Vehicle, and the Multiple Agency Coordination Center (MACC). Many Hams served alongside Emergency Management and Public Safety officials in the Region, and at the Exercise site in Big Spring. In all, 45 Amateur Radio Operators participated in the Exercise.
The Public Safety Amateurs are currently working with the J-RAC (regional trauma services committee) to install ham radios in EOC's and Hospitals in a 20 county area of West Texas (including the Permian Basin, Big Bend, and Trans-Pecos areas). The J-RAC undertook this ambitious project, and has successfully installed the radios in 20 EOC's and 17 Hospitals. Monthly nets are being held by the Public Safety Amateurs where many of the EOC's and Hospitals check in to assure their disaster preparedness.
Radio amateurs are a vital part of the overall communications strategy for this region in West Texas. The Public Safety Amateurs enlist the support of many volunteers from around the region to insure constant communications readiness.
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