First Net Control Operator Boot Camp a Big Success!

Thirteen amateur radio operators from Missouri and Illinois attended the first ever Net Control Operator Bootcamp sponsored by St. Louis Metro ARES/RACES on Saturday May 7th at Barnes Jewish West County Hospital.

The course was suggested by Gary Hoffman/KB0H as a way to help fellow radio operators in developing their desires and skills as net control operators for local nets, public service events, and in the event of emergency activation. The course was instructed by Peter B. Brisbine, N0MTH.

Topics that were discussed included; different net formats, the Incident Management System, the role of the Net Manager, what qualities make a good Net Control Operator, having a Net Control Station admin kit, records management & proper logging, handling shift changes, organizing status checks, and properly closing down a net. As well as tips and tricks to practice & develop skills on your own.

A 40 plus page manual was handed out as a first draft with suggested updates provided by students in class. Once the manual is finalized, it will be offered on the STLARES.ORG website.

The manual was based off of the manual that Ann-Marie Ruder/K8AMR assembled in 2003 and was updated with current topics from the ARRL Intro to Emcomm book, the ARRL Operating Manual, the Air Force MARS Net Control Station manual, the Net Control Training Manual by R. Bruce Winchell/N8UT, the Michigan Net Public Service Communications, and the SATERN: Guide to Net Operations.

The list of graduates are:
Ed Berkel – AE0EB
Steve Brown – N9MNF
John Bunyan – KB0OJS
Bill Carroll – KC9CIK
Rebecca Carroll – KC9CIJ
Russ Goss – KD9FAL
Dolores Guittar – KD0CIV
Gary Hoffman – KB0H
Jeff Jacks – KD0ZVI
Jacqualine Koenig – W6AXX (old call KD0ICC)
Kyle Krieg – N0KTK
Rick Sauer – KD0RMK
Roy Tribble – K0TRB
Larry Wessels – KB4FIO

Suggestions for a second class to go over more advanced items such as script writing, message flow, and a table top exercise were received and are currently in the works for a second “advanced” class to be held at a later date.