Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management
Alternate Communications System (ACS)
Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
Kitsap County, Washington is a county of 566 square miles located directly across the Puget Sound from Seattle, WA. As of the 2010 census its estimated population was 260,131. It is among the most culturally diverse, densely populated and highly educated jurisdictions in the state. Kitsap County has a population density of 636 persons per square mile.
Included in Kitsap County are the cities of: Bremerton, Port Orchard, Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo. Other census designated areas are:
· Navy Yard City
· East Port Orchard
· Port Gamble
· Erlands Point-Kitsap Lake
Kitsap County is connected to the eastern shore of Puget Sound by Washington State Ferries routes, including the Seattle-Bremerton Ferry, Southworth to West Seattle via Vashon Island, Bainbridge Island to Downtown Seattle, and from Kingston to Edmonds, Washington.
The county is connected to Jefferson County and the Olympic Peninsula to the west by the Hood Canal Bridge.
The Kitsap County Alternate Communications Service (KCACS) is the designated communications reserve of the Kitsap Department of Emergency Management under Emergency Support Function (ESF) 2 - Communications. Its goal is to provide a variety of professional unpaid [volunteer] skills, including administrative, technical and operational, for emergency tactical, administrative and logistical communications with served agencies, and participating jurisdictions included in the Kitsap County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is provided for by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Part 97.
KCACS includes eligible members of who have successfully passed Kitsap County’s background check, training, equipment, participation and annual evaluation requirements.
I. Introduction Mission Statement
The mission of the Kitsap County Alternate Communications System is to provide communication support to government during periods of local, regional or national emergencies.
KCACS personnel are amateurs only in the respect that they may not receive compensation for their contributions. They are, however, professionals in their ability to provide many diverse forms of electronic communications such as voice, digital (Packet, CW, RTTY, radio fax, etc.) and ATV (amateur television) under less than ideal conditions.
The Kitsap County KCACS program is administered by the Department of Emergency Management. The KCACS unit is directed by the KCDEM Operations Coordinator as appointed by the KCDEM Director. While the need to register as a RACES station no longer exists, the RACES program does. It is under this program that KCDEM will operate during times of emergency.
Kitsap County KCACS is composed of FCC licensed amateur radio operators, GMRS, LMR and users of other licensed radio services who have volunteered their capabilities and equipment for use in Kitsap County under the ESF-2.
KCACS coordinates mutual aid communication requests, promotes effective resource management and personnel accountability for amateur radio operators, General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), Business Land-Mobile Radio (LMR) and other FCC licensees and radio services, such as Civil Air Patrol (CAP), and the Military Affiliate Radio Service (MARS) deployed in support of civil defense, disaster response and recovery.
KCACS provides essential personnel and equipment resources to augment served agency and public safety communications. Participants may be used at any time, from one to any number as may be appropriate. No declaration of an emergency is required. However, the use of the FCC Amateur Radio service frequencies is limited to training and emergency communications as permitted in the FCC regulations Part 97.
The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management is responsible for the overall operation and organization of the KCACS. KCDEM will appoint volunteers at various positions within the KCACS structure to ensure operational readiness.
KCACS is comprised of volunteer Amateur Radio Operators who have registered with KCDEM in order to serve during times of need when the incident may overwhelm, degrade or cause a loss in normal communications.
In order to become a KCACS member at the entry level (Field Operator), volunteers must:
1. Submit the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management Volunteer Application
2. Sign the KCDEM Volunteer Code of Conduct
3. Pass the required background check
4. Register equipment with KCDEM
5. Provide a suitable picture for use on ID badge
6. Choose a level of participation
General structure of the KCACS system follows NIMS guidance and is structured according to an Incident Command System structure. Daily activity structure differs from an activation structure which is defined later in this plan.
The KCACS administrative structure is as follows:
KCACS Manager – KCDEM Operations Coordinator: Responsible for the overall readiness condition of the group. Handles administrative duties such as creating plans, scheduling meetings and overall management of the system including volunteer registration. Oversees the KCACS Command Section which includes the Operations Sections Chief, Plans Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief, Finance and Administration Section Chief and Advisory Members. The KCACS Leader should also maintain regular contact with the Unit Leaders and Field Operators via meetings, email briefings or video conferencing opportunities.
Operations Section Chief – Appointed by KCACS Leader: Reports directly to the KCACS Leader.
· Overall operational readiness of the group.
· Conducting training for any personnel as approved by KCACS Leader or KCDEM Director.
· Assigning personnel to serve as net controls for weekly nets and planned exercises.
· Developing net scripts, maintaining regional and local frequency lists used by the KCACS communication system.
· Ensuring prior approval of all information distributed over nets.
· Assures that KCACS Bulletins are shared as necessary.
· Other duties as necessary and assigned.
Plans Section Chief – Appointed by KCACS Leader: Reports directly to the KCACS Leader. Responsible for creating exercise and event plans and recruiting.
Logistics Section Chief – Appointed by KCACS Leader: Reports directly to the KCACS Leader. Responsible for maintenance of KCACS controlled equipment including the Kitsap County Emergency Operations Center KCACS room. Also responsible for inventory of KCACS equipment.
Finance/Admin Section Chief – Appointed by KCACS Leader. Reports directly to the KCACS Leader. Responsible for filing any claims, time sheets and general administrative forms and requests with KCDEM through the KCACS Leader.
Unit Leaders/Assistant Leader – Appointed by the KCACS Leader. Report to the Operations Section Chief.
The units are designated as:
· North Kitsap/Poulsbo Unit
· Central Kitsap Unit
· South Kitsap Unit
· Bremerton Unit
· Bainbridge Island Unit
· Health/Hospitals Unit
· Support Agencies Unit
Each unit has an assigned Unit Leader and Assistant unit Leader. All units are responsible for the schools within their area.
Unit Leaders should maintain backup, hard-copy rosters, updated quarterly.
Field Operators – Volunteers registered with KCDEM in the service of the KCACS. Report to the Unit Leaders for their assigned area. Responsible for operating assigned stations. Required to meet standards for Type IV KCACS members.
Advisory Members – Advisory positions may include various subject matter experts, the county designated Communications Liaison and ARES Representatives among others as needed and requested by the KCACS Leader. These appointments may be temporary.
In order for a member to be a Section Chief, they must obtain and maintain the requirements for Type II team member status.
In order to qualify as a Unit Leader, team members must obtain and maintain the requirements for Type III team member status.
All members must obtain and maintain requirements for Type IV team member status.
KCACS Classification Levels
There are four resource type classifications of KCACS teams:
Type IV member serves as an independent communications relay point, generally from their residence or personal vehicle and is not called on to serve outside of their local neighborhood. These members will be assigned to their specific neighborhood as the contact for that area.
In order to become and maintain Type IV member status, volunteers must:
· Register with KCDEM
· Maintain current contact information with KCDEM
· Maintain Amateur Radio License
· Participate in the Kitsap County ACS-RACES net at least once monthly
· Participate in unit meetings, organized training and preparedness activities as applicable
· Maintain active member status
· Complete FEMA IS-559: Local Damage Assessment
Type III member supports local operations within Kitsap County by being assigned to a specific location not such as a fire station, hospital or school.
In order to become and maintain Type III member status, volunteers must:
· Maintain all standards for Type IV members
· Complete FEMA IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS 100)
· Complete FEMA IS-200.B: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents (ICS 200)
· Complete an orientation at the assigned station
· Participate in KCACS Message Handling Training
· Maintain active member status
Type II members may be assigned to the Kitsap County Emergency Operations Center KCACS Net Control center.
In order to become and maintain Type II member status, volunteers must:
· Achieve and maintain all standards for Type IV and III members
· Complete FEMA IS-230: Principles of Emergency Management
· Complete IS-800: Introduction to the National Response Plan
· Complete FEMA IS-242: Effective Communication
· Participate in KCACS Message Handling for the EOC Training
Maintain active member status
Type I members support operations during Incidents of National or Statewide Significance requiring prolonged, sustained, incident management operations and support activities with multiple agencies and jurisdictions.
These teams may also be called out to support other local, state or federal agencies outside of Kitsap County in accordance with in place Memorandums of Understanding or Mutual Aid Agreements. Type I members must agree to be called upon to be deployed outside of the county when available.
In order to become and maintain Type I member status, volunteers must:
· Achieve and maintain all standards for Type II members
· Complete FEMA IS-802: Emergency Support Functions (ESF) #2 – Communications
· Complete Incident Command System 300 and 400 Training (ICS 300 &
400) as available in your area
· Complete any training or administrative actions required by the requesting city, state or federal agency prior to deployment
Basic Standards of Behavior and Conduct
KCACS personnel shall maintain the highest standards of performance and behavior. As a volunteer organization entrusted to serve Kitsap County during emergencies KCACS is working with professionals, who expect professionalism in return. It is accepted that amateur radio operators are individuals, but KCACS personnel are those who make a personal commitment to serve the Kitsap County community as part of a team which has been formed for the purpose of executing the County’s Emergency Plans, in accordance with policies, procedures and rules. KCACS members are expected to follow the following standards:
1. KCACS members must have current issued identification badges and FCC license.
2. KCACS members must display their KCDEM issued identification prominently while on activation. Appropriate identification is required to ensure that volunteers are not mistaken by citizens, first response organizations or non-governmental organizations as professional responders which could result in personnel being inappropriately assigned non-communication tasks which exceed their legal authority, training or ability.
3. All personnel shall demonstrate a positive and enthusiastic image of Kitsap County and the KCACS program. KCACS personnel should always present a clean, well- groomed, neat, utilitarian and professional appearance which builds confidence in the minds of agencies and organizations we support.
4. All communications and statements made during an operation are to be treated as strictly confidential. Personnel will make no statements or provide information to the media or any non-departmental personnel at any time. Inquiries by the media must be directed to the agency Public Information Officer (PIO).
5. Personnel should avoid distasteful or controversial public discussions, which may reflect negatively on Kitsap County and the KCACS organization. Any such issues that do arise should be forwarded to the Unit Leader and up the chain of command to the KCACS Manager.
6. Personnel shall not consume alcoholic beverages or controlled substances while on activation with the exception of medically necessary and prescribed substances. Any member found under the influence of any prohibited intoxicant while activated will be removed from the scene and have his/her team membership immediately terminated.
7. Personnel shall not carry firearms or weapons of any kind while conducting business as a volunteer for Kitsap County per county code, regardless of permit status, except for sworn law enforcement officers, required by their supervising authority to be armed when off-duty.
8. Personnel should always operate in a safe manner. If you are asked to do something that you consider unsafe, you have the right to refuse and to notify the incident Safety Officer.
9. Station identification by both net control and field stations shall be kept to the minimum required by FCC regulations.
10. Minimum necessary transmitter power should be used to conserve batteries and prevent interference to other nearby stations.
11. There is to be no unnecessary conversation or chatter during KCACS operations.
12. Personnel provide, use and maintain their own personal equipment during KCACS operations, unless operating at a designated equipped local government station.
13. KCACS personnel deployed on activation will be required to maintain and complete an ICS 214 form for all shifts worked. KCACS personnel must also sign in and out upon reporting for duty on the State of Washington Emergency Worker Activity Report that will be provided at each duty station.
14. KCACS personnel must abide by applicable FCC regulations at all times when operating on Local Government, Public Safety, Commercial or Amateur radio systems.
Dismissal of Volunteers
Any KCACS personnel may be dismissed by the KCDEM Director or by the KCACS Manager for cause.
Any member may resign from the organization at any time upon notifying the KCACS Manager. The KCDEM identification card, and all issued county property must be surrendered to the Kitsap Department of Emergency Management immediately to avoid any possible financial recovery that may be sought by the county. Any display of credentials or use of any county logos, to include the KCACS logo after notice of termination, written or oral, is prohibited.
The membership of any person in the organization may be acted upon by KCDEM staff for violations of county procedures, rules and regulations. Such recommendation must be in writing and a copy of the suggested action must be forwarded to the KCDEM Director.
Upon notification of termination, affected personnel shall return all KCACS identification and/or equipment.
The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management will make a determination that KCACS assistance is needed based on the information provided by the requesting agency or situational circumstances.
There are two basic types of activations: Controlled and Spontaneous.
Controlled activation allows the Emergency Operations Center, Department Operations Center and Incident Command Staff to gather facts, perform size up, determine resource requirements and match mission needs to available volunteer resources. The lead-time can be measured in days, weeks or less often in hours or minutes. This could be in response to an emergency or disaster or may be as part of a planned activity.
A controlled activation should be utilized for the vast majority of KCACS responses as possible.
Appropriate information from the requesting agency regarding the incident type, location, equipment and personnel requirements, expected duration, hazards, point of contact, etc. can allow the KCDEM staff to control the volunteer response by activating only those KCACS resources necessary to support the incident action plan, relaying appropriate information.
Once initial incident requirements are determined, the KCACS Manager regularly re-evaluates mission requirements; receives situation updates and reports from agency representatives working the incident, adjusts staffing and logistical support needed for the mission, while still maintaining the ability to respond to other incidents that may occur.
Spontaneous activation occurs when an incident takes place without warning and is of such a magnitude that the general public becomes aware of the incident. Often this is the result of an off-airport crash, hazmat release, explosion, building collapse, tornado, or other sudden and noticeable events.
Improper spontaneous activations can cause confusion, stress on Unit Leaders and may result in incident and emergency management officials forming negative opinions regarding a unit’s discipline and control. However, spontaneous activations do occur and with proper training and fully developed procedures, they can be managed effectively.
The KCACS Manager must be advised of any spontaneous activation as soon as possible using the chain of command. KCACS does not self-activate without proper authorization.
During any spontaneous activation when a major event occurs without warning, KCACS personnel should first take necessary steps to ensure personal and family safety and security. Only then should they check in with the Net Control to relay their availability.
There are three activation levels within the KCACS structure:
· Level 3 – (Special events, organized exercises, localized incidents) Minimum activation of the system as deemed necessary to suit the incident. This will require minimal involvement by KCACS members as designated by KCDEM.
· Level 2 – (county wide incidents) May include events such as windstorms, snow events or other incidents that may require county wide response as deemed necessary. This type of event will require a higher involvement of KCACS members as designated by KCDEM. This type of event may require scheduling of KCACS members as multiple operational periods may be needed.
· Level 1 – (Regional, Nationwide) Large scale incidents such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks or other incidents that affect the region or nation and require county involvement. This will require full activation of the KCACS system and will require scheduling of KCACS members for multiple operational periods.
Not every incident will require actual activation of the KCACS system.
KCACS Member Activation Response Actions
Before departing for assignment:
· Ensure that emergency notification procedures within your agency are current.
· Ensure you are clear on what travel and pickup arrangements have been established for you.
· Review your assignment. Know to whom you will report and what your responsibility shall be.
· Determine what emergency communications procedures should be placed into effect to ensure that you can contact your control point if necessary.
· Recheck your personal equipment and items that you will need for at least seven days.
· Ensure that family members know your destination and how to contact you in the event of a family emergency. (Have family contact County EOC and request ACS room).
· Be sure to advise your section captain/unit leader of any physical or personal limitations that you may have. DO NOT respond when you are ill or sick. DO NOT accept an assignment that exceeds your physical, technical or personal limitations or abilities.
Responding to Activation - Review the pre deployment checklist prior to departing. When contacted for an assignment be sure to obtain and list on the Operator Briefing Sheet (OPBRIEF) job aid:
· Job Assignment, e.g., Shelter Radio Operator, Message Runner, Packet operator, etc.
· Order Number and Request Number (required on mutual aid requests)
· Incident Type and Location
· Reporting Location/Time
· Travel Instructions/Mode of Transportation
· Travel/Talk In Frequency
· Special Personal and Equipment Requirements
· Other information as available.
Upon arrival at the incident:
· Check in at designated Check-in location. Check-in may be found at:
· Incident Command Post
· Base or Camps
· Staging Areas
If you are instructed to report directly to a line assignment, check in with your supervisor.
· Receive situation / safety briefing and instructions from immediate supervisor.
General Guidance for KCACS Personnel
KCACS is a single communication resource whose chain of command is based on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) organization, which shall be followed at all times. Questions of management should be made in writing when possible. Unit assignments are made to support county and city response plans. Personnel may be rotated in and out of specific team positions, as determined by the needs of the incident.
Activation of KCACS personnel may be made only by KCDEM or their designee.
KCACS personnel are unpaid professional staff, who function at the direction of KCDEM directly or through authorized instructions of unit leaders or the net control station.
KCACS personnel are encouraged to participate in all available training and information functions.
Personnel not participating in organized training and exercises are considered “inactive” and are not deployable in emergencies.
Inactive personnel, regardless of previous training or experience, revert to Type IV Operator classification. Inactive personnel may not serve as Unit Leaders or be deployed on solo assignments, but only as a working member of a Type IV team, supervised by a Unit Leader Type IV.
KCACS personnel are expected to maintain a minimum level of family and personnel preparedness. This is necessary to ensure that their families are self- reliant and able to sustain themselves while the member is activated.
When activated, KCACS personnel are expected to provide their own radio equipment (if pre-stationed equipment is not available), supplies, suitable outdoor clothing, food, water and shelter to sustain operations away from their vehicle for a 12-hour operational period.
There are a number of roles that KCACS may be asked to do in the course of a mission. The most common are:
Portable Station: KCACS member usually assigned to a solo assignment of a tactical nature. This usually involves carrying a VHF, UHF or dual-band portable radio and walking/bicycling around. You might assist in damage assessment, neighborhood patrol, SAR mission, observation, weather spotting, and other activities that require being on foot. Your gear should be carried so that you are self-contained for 12 hours - including food, water, and battery power. The standard of service expected is the ability to maintain communications for a 12-hour operational period without re-supply from your vehicle.
Shadow Station: This is a specialized form of “Portable” (or occasionally Mobile) assignment assigned to “shadow” (stay close to) an official or NIMS Command Staff person, to ensure that they have “instant and continuously ready” access to radio communications. This function is performed in exactly the same manner of a radio operator in an infantry rifle platoon or company. When the official being shadowed needs to make or receive a call, the Operator must be “right there, right now” to relay the message verbatim or hand the official the microphone. The radio operator must remember that more often than not, the official or NIMS Command Staff person will not be Amateur Radio Trained and will not verbally convey messages in a standard KCACS message format. It is up to the shadow to translate into correct message formatting.
Mobile Station: Is a station working from a vehicle, and able to drive and perform a number of tactical or logistic functions. This may include neighborhood patrol, wide- area damage reports, storm tracking, personnel, equipment and supply transport, and dispatch runners which require the use of Mobile Stations. This is preferably a two-person team with one person driving and operating the radio and the other navigating, spotting and logging all traffic.
Relay Station: This is an experienced operator working a combination of Fixed and Mobile, always teamed with a second person. One operator handles the radio and driving and the other logs all traffic. In the event of repeater loss or failure, this team would drive to a designated location, establish an operational position and relay traffic as assigned. The relay may be performed on two or more frequencies, possibly requiring cross-band or cross mode operation, and may require setup of larger antennas than can be successfully supported by a vehicle in motion, thus making the Relay Station more demanding of equipment inventory and operating expertise than other assignments.
Fixed Station: Operators must be prepared report to a fixed location and operate a fixed station in any of a number of scenarios. Operators may serve as the connection from a partner organizations DOC, EOC or ACC to the Kitsap County Emergency Operations Center. An operator is considered to be operating a fixed station when operating from their home base or when stationed at a mobile camp on a fixed set of equipment. In other cases the KCACS operator must begin from a “cold start” and provide all equipment being used such as a personal residential base. If deployed outside of a personal residence, this is a two-person assignment with one person handling the radio and the other logging all traffic.
KCACS may be expected to operate from a casualty collection point, staging area, equipment / supply depot, shelter site, Incident Command Post, police, fire station, hospital or temporary EOC.
KCACS Functions in the Incident Command Post
During incidents which continue over several; operational periods KCACS may be asked to provide a communications team Type III to an Incident Command Post (ICP) that has been set up close to the incident. While most communication tasks are similar, there are additional aspects not found in smaller field posts served by a Type IV team.
Security. An ICP is usually a secure area. Expect to be required to sign in/out; you may also have to show a government issued photo ID, have equipment inspected and all packages or bags searched. Always carry a copy of your FCC license and your RACES call sign identification badge. Display any ICP or disaster area passes in the manner instructed by the issuing authority.
Personnel and Duties. KCACS operators assigned to an ICP will normally function as a two-person team, with one operating the radio, while the other will handle logging (ICS Form 309) and message routing between the radio operator and agency message controller. Team members should trade positions approximately hourly to minimize fatigue. Inexperienced Type III Operators should always be teamed with a more experienced Type III members or someone having greater experience.
When you go into the ICP, take your Go Kit and 24-hour pack with you. While a canteen unit or volunteer feeding agency may periodically go to an ICP, you may be too busy to take advantage of them. If that is the case, the food and water in your 24-hour kit will be essential! Remember that the ICP may be in a tent or other, unheated structure; so bring appropriate outdoor clothes.
In the ICP you will serve as Net Control Station (NCS) for an OPNET. In some incidents such as flood, hurricane or winter storm recovery, you may liaison with other incident facilities, such as access control points, debris, supply or equipment staging areas, and maintain contact with disaster recovery contractors and the EOC or monitor a LOGNET.
Primary duties are, but are not limited to:
· Relaying information from assigned resources which are performing active functions (responders and field personnel) to the ICS staff
· Receiving into the ICP and routing formal messages (ICS Form 213) to ICS personnel
· Sending formal messages from ICS staff out of the ICP
KCACS may be asked to perform other communications-related tasks, such as:
· Setting up communications for supply or equipment depots, reception centers
· Troubleshooting equipment, including computers, public safety radios, fax, telephone
· Arranging for temporary telephone service
· Answering telephones, making telephone calls to alert next shift relief team, etc.
Interaction with ICP Personnel
Remember: the Served Agency is always in charge. You must realize that these personnel may not necessarily be KCACS or HAM Radio trained. Regardless, you are there to work with them to provide communications services and support to the ICS staff.
You may be asked to do other things, but you must not allow those to interfere with your primary function of communications. If that should happen, request a “face to face” with the Communication Unit Leader or Logistics Section Chief, to advise him/her of the situation. If operating in a Department Operations Center (DOC), you may not have an actual Logistics Chief. Seek to speak to the person in charge of communications in the DOC.
In all cases, your interactions with other personnel must be thoroughly professional; if you have problems with an individual, wait until after the incident is over. The incident review or debriefing is where those issues should be handled. In the midst of the incident, your primary focus must be on accomplishing the mission itself.
Handling Information in the ICP
In the “heat of battle” priorities for information flow in an ICP can become confused or “clogged”. To prevent that from happening, remember the acronym “ASAP” to guide you whenever you make decisions dealing with messages or contacts – either incoming or outgoing:
· ACCURATE: Precise, clear. Repeat back critical information, confirm and authenticate the source. All written traffic originating from an ICP officialshould be either written and signed by that official or transcribed onto the message form by the agency message controller and initialed by the originating official to enable authentication.
· SPEEDY: Information is quickly copied/transcribed and delivered
· APPROPRIATE DISTRIBUTION: The information gets to the right person(s)
· PERMANENTLY RECORDED: All information/messages are correctly logged in the manner directed by the served agency customer.
The KCACS EOC Net Operations Controller will brief unit leaders to assist them in organizing teams for tasks to be performed and briefing deployed KCACS personnel. The incident briefing should be updated and repeated at the beginning of each 12-hour operational period.
The contents of the briefing should include:
- · Where to acquire work materials and personal protective equipment.
- · Information to organize and brief subordinates.
- · The need to use plain language and ICS terminology in all radio communications.
- · Completing forms (e.g., Unit Log ICS-214) and reports required of the assigned position
- · Sending completed forms through the supervisor to Documentation Unit.
- · Responding to demobilization orders and briefing subordinates regarding demobilization.
- · Demobilization/Deactivation
Demobilization of KCACS personnel and units assigned to an incident shall be at the direction of the Incident Commander. Personnel and units, upon being advised of demobilization, will report to the site demobilization unit for checkout and release.
Upon release, the unit leader will advise the KCACS Net Controller or an operator at the KCACS EOC location of the release and status of the returning units, equipment and personnel. Ensure that the supervisor or the unit leader completes a copy of the Overhead, Crew and Equipment Report (ICS-204).
If a copy was completed at the incident base, return a copy of that report. If not, complete an ICS-204 report and forward it to the KCACS staff at the EOC as soon as possible. Personnel and Units activated but not assigned to an incident will complete an ICS-204 report equivalent and forward it to the KCACS staff at the County EOC no later than the next day, if possible.
All activated KCACS personnel will complete an ICS-214 for each shift they work regardless of their assignment or location. Upon completion of shift turn the ICS-214 into the Unit Leader. The deactivation of various KCACS elements may be made only by the served agency unit coordinator or an official or designee of the activating agency.
Notification of deactivation shall be made to all participating units and personnel the same as in activation. An announcement shall be made on all frequencies used during the activation. Additional requests for services at a later time, even relating to the same emergency, shall be treated as a new activation. This shall be handled the same as all new activations. Appropriate notifications must be made.
III. Kitsap County Emergency Support Function 2 (ESF-2) – Communications Overview
The purpose of Emergency Support Function 2 is to support public safety and other county agencies by maintaining continuity of information and telecommunication equipment and other technical resources. This section describes the county’s emergency communications/notification and warning system.
The goal of ESF-2 is to save lives, minimize property damage and manage consequences of disasters. Achieving this goal will require reliable, coordinated, interoperable communications among public safety, other county agencies, inter-jurisdictional mutual aid, state, federal and non-governmental resources.
As part of the county’s ESF-2 support mechanism, The Kitsap Department of Emergency Management operates an emergency communications center located in the Kitsap County Emergency Operations Center at 911 Carver St, Bremerton, WA which is accessible to authorized persons only. The Emergency Operations Center has the capability to access the Emergency Alert System to deliver warnings to the public.
· Kitsap County emergency communications are heavily dependent on the commercial telephone and emergency radio networks under normal conditions.
· Amateur radio and other non-governmental communications capabilities are available.
· Use of all available forms of warning and notification will not provide sufficient warning to the general public and special needs population.
· Emergency/disaster occurrences could have an unfavorable effect on the County’s communications system.
· The commercial telephone system serving Kitsap County is vulnerable to the effects of emergencies/disasters and to possible system overload due to increased usage.
· Electricity may be lost during emergency/disaster situations, necessitating the use of alternate power.
· It is possible for neighborhoods within Kitsap County to be isolated from communications for extended periods of time. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and Neighborhood Watch supported by amateur radio communications are important volunteer resources to mitigate this condition.
· Technical failure or damage to a telecommunications central office, a communications tower or repeater could hamper communications or the ability to page emergency personnel throughout the region.
· The ability to repair damage to the county communications system is contingent upon the availability of private commercial repair technicians.
· State assistance may be needed to procure supplemental communications equipment or to locate available repair technicians following a major emergency/disaster.
· Mutual aid repeaters in contiguous jurisdictions may not be available, or may not be able to provide sufficient coverage or channels to compensate for technical failure or damage to telecommunications resources in the county, during an emergency.
· The Emergency Communications Center will initiate notification and warning of appropriate personnel. Landline telephone, voice or data 2-way radio, and wireless telecommunications devices may be utilized to notify public officials, Emergency Operations Center staff, emergency personnel and others as required.
· Emergency service vehicles equipped with public address systems may be used to warn the general public.
· Local radio and television stations KITZ and BKAT have entered into an agreement to serve as part of the Kitsap County Emergency Information Network during times of emergency/disaster.
· The Emergency Operations Center is operated 24-hours a day and serves as the hub of the Kitsap County Emergency Notification Network.
· Notification of governmental officials and emergency personnel by the Emergency Operations Center will follow established procedures.
· Emergency communications standard operating guidelines will be implemented. Back-up capabilities will be activated as necessary.
· The Director of Emergency Management or his/her designee must authorize the use of the Emergency Alert System.
· Emergency warning may originate at the federal, state or local level of government. Timely warning requires dissemination to the public by all available means:
- Kitsap County Emergency Operations Center
- Kitsap Emergency Information Network
- Employee Alert Systems and Plans
- Local radio and television stations
- NOAA Weather Radio (National Weather Service)
- Mobile public address systems
- General broadcast over all available radio frequencies
· Field emergency service personnel utilize the county emergency communications networks to communicate with the Emergency Operations Center and the designated Department Operations Centers.
· Authorized amateur radio volunteers may augment primary communications. The Emergency Operations Center may authorize the operation of an amateur radio station during periods of activation.
List of Appendices to come (not in this order)
1) KCACS Operational Guidelines and Checklists
2) Simplex Frequency and Repeater Use Scripts, use during an activation
3) List of Kitsap County Tactical Call Signs
4) VHF/UHF Amateur Frequency List
5) HF Radio Frequency List
6) EOC Message Flow
7) KCACS Station Locations List
8) Annual Performance Rating
9) KCACS-RACES Resource Type Classification Table (NIMS)
10) ICS Forms Pack
a. ICS 201 Incident Briefing
b. ICS 205 Communications Plan (template, for amateur and GMRS)
c. ICS 213 Message Form
d. ICS 214 Unit Log
e. ICS 309 Radio Operator Log
11) OPBRIEF Job Aid (may be used in place of ICS201
12) Vehicle Checklist for Local Deployment
13) Vehicle Checklist for Mutual Aid Deployment
14) Personal Equipment Checklist for a 12-hour Operational Period
15) 24-Hour Pack Checklist for Mutual Aid Deployments
16) Pre-Deployment Checklist (for Mutual Aid, beyond the NCR)
17) Script for Weekly KCACS-RACES Net (Repeater)
18) Script for Monthly Simplex Communications Test
19) ACS-RACES Quick Reference Job Aid
20) Glossary of Emergency Management and HAM Radio Terms