February 17, 2015
Rainbow Radio League – 2014 in review

Tue, Feb 17, 2015

The Rainbow Radio League Inc celebrated its 19th year as a non-profit, community service organization in SVG in 2014 and the first activity was a hike to the summit of this country’s third highest mountain, Grand Bonhomme. From the summit we tested a portable repeater which worked well from reports received. This activity was held in January.{{more}}

In February, the RRL conducted another Ham radio training course, conducted at the Kingstown Government school. On that occasion over 20 persons were trained as radio operators, most of whom are now actively enjoying this important hobby and service. Emergency communications (Emcoms) services are especially important in the aftermath of any national disaster when phone service has been disrupted.

For the next few months several planning sessions were held, leading up to the successful staging of “OPERATION MIKE CHARLIE,” an ‘open water rescue’ simulation, involving the SVG Coastguard, local fishermen, and an inter-island ferry. This training exercise was held on May 30, the main purpose being the fostering of inter-agency cooperation. If there is a maritime accident involving mass casualties, the Coastguard alone will not be able to handle it; therefore, all stakeholders need to know what their roles and responsibilitlies are to avoid conflict and confusion in a real situation. (See Operation Mike Charlie on YouTube). During this period RRL members also did a refresher course in First Aid and CPR. This training was coordinated by J88NEL Vulon, who is also a Red Cross instructor.

Also in May, a small team of radio operators went to Bequia to clear an area for the possible relocation of our 144.185 repeater. We are currently awaiting formal permission from the owners to lease the property and refurbish the building, in preparation for the relocation of that repeater, which will enhance the range of VHF communications in the southern half of the island and most of the Grenadines.

The RRL also provides radio coverage from a safety standpoint for sporting agencies. In June RRL provided coverage for an OECS bicycle race staged in the Mt Greenan to Georgetown area, while during the Independence weekend we provided safety communications services for a motor sporting event held in the Byera/Mt William area. In October, the RRL, teaming up with the Department of Nursing Education (DNE), successfully conducted a mass evacuation at the Division for Technical and Vocation Education (DTVE).

Early in November we tested a portable repeater from Fort Duvernette (Rock Fort) with reasonable success and in mid-November conducted the second Ham radio training course at NEMO HQ.

The final formal activity for the year was a radio mapping activity, held on December 28. In an effort to broaden the coverage area for VHF communications, a second test was conducted from Rock Fort to ascertain the effectiveness of that location. A report of our findings, along with pictures, appears on the RRL FB page.

The RRL wishes to thank all stakeholders and in particular all radio operators who contributed to the success of our activities. To those agencies that sponsored our training programmes by providing a healthy snack, we extend our sincerest gratitude to you and look forward to your continuing assistance as we strive to increase the pool of trained radio operators island-wide, on whom we can rely to provide Emcoms services in the aftermath of any disruptive event.

2015 marks an important milestone in our history, as we will be celebrating 20 years of service to our beloved nation. The main event for the 20th anniversary will be an awards dinner, to be held on Mayreau.

Submitted by: Donald A De Riggs