Operation Chemical Hazards and Other Stuff (CHAOS) Exercise

Operation Chemical Hazards and Other Stuff (CHAOS) Exercise

Region 1 District 1 ARES participated in the full scale exercise hosted by Adams County and City of Brighton.

On the morning of May 11th , 2016 at approximately 0800 hours, ADCOM911 receives reports of a train derailment, potentially affecting a chemical storage site at Agfinity, 124th and 85 (simulated location), resulting in an unknown number of injuries and release of an unknown substance.

Brighton Fire is dispatched to Adams County Fairgrounds (area for field play designated for Incident Command Post) and confirms train car having made impact with the chemical storage site. Upon initial size up, the chemical storage tank affected contains Anhydrous Ammonia and the contents of the train car is Liquid Petroleum Gasoline.

Current concerns will be any potential leaks and explosions. It is initially unclear what caused the accident.

Upon further investigation the storage site appears to be leaking Anhydrous Ammonia, creating a toxic plume traveling at 10 mph with winds from the west. There are several homes in both the City of Brighton and unincorporated Adams County directly to the east of the facility. Evacuation notifications are sent and unified command is established.

Fire and EMS will perform onsite triage of affected employees and incident casualties will be transferred to Plate Valley Medical Center for decontamination.

Adams County and Brighton EOCs will activate to support the evacuation and any incident related needs, a Joint Information Center (JIC), City of Brighton Call Center and remote shelter will be established in support of the incident.

R1D1 ARES was dispatched to five locations, the Adams County EOC, City of Brighton EOC, the Brighton Incident Command Vehicle, Thornton Shelter and the Platte Valley Hospital to provide a network of communications to all sites.

The exercise lasted from 8:00 AM till 11:30 AM. There were 23 Agencies involved and 3 jurisdictions. While it was not perfect the knowledge gained and relationships built made it a great success.

R1D1 Practices Digital Using RMS Express

Norm Brown, KB1SGJ, R1D1 EC, invited others from R1D1 ARES to his house on Saturday, April 9th, to practice using digital messaging based on the RMS Express platform. John Murphy, KC0JPO; Eric Bettinger, KD0QCJ; Newell Besendorfer, W4PRG; Derek Jackson, KC0LCD; and Terry Young, N0VE all showed up with their equipment and set it up in Norm’s garage, using dummy loads as HF antennas. Everyone helped everyone to set up and get RMS Express working. As well, Norm had his home station set up and received messages from several in the group, passing ICS Forms, such as 214 and 205’s. Norm bought pizza for lunch, as we ate, we discussed what we had practiced and the possible uses that might be required by our ARES leadership. A good time playing radio, as well as in fellowship with fellow amateurs, was had by all.


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Randy Reynard, COARES WX Liaison Gives Presentation to Adams County R1D1 ARES

On Thursday, March 3rd, 2016, Randy Reynard, W0RDR, who is the COARES Skywarn liaison as well as the Region 1 EC gave R1D1 a presentation on weather spotter techniques and reporting criteria as well as how to go about setting up a weather net as well as procedures to use during a weather net.DSC_0035 DSC_0034 DSC_0033 Continue Reading

Adams County ARES Announces Its Annual Meeting

Norm Brown, KB1SGJ, the Emergency Coordinator for R1D1 ARES, announced today that the annual meeting for Adams County, R1D1, ARES will take place on February 4th, 2016, at the normal location for our meetings, which is the Adams County Sheriff’s Substation located at 4201 East 72nd Avenue Commerce City, CO 80022. The meeting will take place in the 2nd floor training room. All members are requested to attend this very important business meeting. Of course, the public is invited to attend as well. See you there.

Adams County R1D1 Participates in Colorado Statewide SET

On October 17th, 2015, Adams County R1D1 ARES participated in a statewide Colorado ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET) which was setup to simulate a wide area power and communications emergency and requires ARES operators to be resourceful in getting the information pass to the State Emergency Operations Center. R1D1 ran a simultaneous test using simplex frequencies to acquaint members with passing traffic across long distances via a relay method. The members that participated were: Norm Brown KB1SGJ, Terry Young N0VE, Steve Taylor KD0CRX, Diane Drake KD0ZXE, Richard Atkins KE5HQK, Eric Bettinger KD0QCJ John Murphy KC0JPO, Derek Jackson KC0LCD and George Rabtzow KD0RLT.

N0VE operated HF from home location; KB1SGJ and KEHQK operated HF from the Adams County EOC and KC0LCD operated HF from a remote Station in Strasburg. All tried to check into the State EOC on 80 Meters SSB Voice, 60 Meters SSB Voice and 40 Meters SSB Voice with no luck. We could here other Regions checking in but could never hear the State respond. KB1SGJ tried connecting with WC0AAX on WinMor on 80 Meter HF Digital; 60 Meter HF Digital and 40 Meter HF Digital with no success. Our NVIS antennas need some work.

At 10:00 AM members tuned to the R1D1 Primary VHF Simplex frequency calling “CQ” to determine whom was within their calling circle. Of all the participants only three could hear each other.

At 10:30 AM members tuned to the R1D1 Primary UHF Simplex frequency calling “CQ” to determine whom was within their calling circle. Of all the participants only three could hear each other.

The R1D1 exercise ended at 1100 with the following results:

The HF SSB voice net was unsuccessful having no contacts being made. It should be mentioned here that most of these in R1D1 live in areas with HOAs and are therefore limited in the types and size of antennas with which to operate with. Most are limited to 20 meters and up and therefore could not operate in the 80, 60 or 40 meter bands. The HF digital operation was also unsuccessful, with no message traffic passed. The R1D1 simplex VHF/UHF part of the exercise was unsuccessful as well, with no message traffic passed. It was agreed by all that we need to get more of our members involved in learning about, and passing, message traffic, as well as get more involved in the digital modes of operations.

September 11, 2001


Adams County ARES Participates in Field Day 2015

On June 27th, several participants from Adams County ARES took part in the annual amateur radio Field Day at Veterans Park located in Brighton, Colorado.  Once every year, amateur radio operators across the country establish temporary ham radio stations, usually in a public place such as a park, shopping center parking lot, etc., for several reasons.  One of which is to practice setting up a temporary operating position, such as might be needed during a disaster scenario, usually using emergency power (such as batteries or generators). Another reason the “hams” do this would be to contact as many other “hams” as possible during the 24 period, earning points, which I guess also turns this activity into a contest.  Another reason is to try to showcase amateur radio to the public, so they are aware of “ham” radio and it’s capabilities. This reason, as well, introduces new people to ham radio, and tries to generate interest in those that may have thought about becoming involved in amateur radio.

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Adams County ARES Announces Its Annual Meeting

EC Norm Brown, KB1SGJ, announced at our February 5th meeting that our annual meeting for Adams County, R1D1, ARES will take place on March 5th, 2015, at the normal location for our meetings, which is the Adams County Substation located at 4201 East 72nd Avenue Commerce City, CO 80022. The meeting will take place in the 2nd floor training room. All members are requested to attend this very important business meeting. See you there.

CBS Ch. 4 (KCNC) Mobile Weather Lab visits Adams County (R1D1) ARES Meeting

On August 7, 2014 the CBS Ch 4, Denver, Mobile Weather Lab vehicle visited the Adams County (R1D1) meeting at the Adams County Sheriff Substation at 4701 E. 72nd Ave. in Commerce City.

The Mobile Weather Lab (MWL) was operated by Mr. Rob McClure, a News Photojournalist at CBS Ch. 4.  This visit was set up by Mr. Tim Wieland, News Director with help from Mr. Ed Greene, Senior Meteorologist at the television station.

Because weather plays a big part in the lives of Coloradans, the ARES group was happy to see a vehicle that was dedicated to following the weather and allowing the public to keep track of it.  As storm spotters with the National Weather Service, it was fun to see technology that was used by the local television stations to track the weather, especially severe storms,  and keep the general public informed and safe.

Adams County (R1D1) ARES would like to thank CBS Ch.4, Denver along with Mr. Tim Wieland, Mr. Ed Greene for helping to set this event up, and especially Mr. Rob McClure for taking the time to come and set up the Mobile Weather Lab and discuss it with us.

Another view of the center console And it was still here with lightning even And a camera to show the inside when you are on the move ...And still more wiring...

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Formidable Footprint Exercise: Tornado at Broken Willow (Brighton, CO)

On June 28, 2014, Adams County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and Brighton Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) participated in a tabletop exercise called Formidable Footprint, a nationwide exercise (found on the Disaster Resistant Communities Group website: http://www.drc-group.com/project/footprint.html ). Various disasters are setup by this group so that disaster response groups from around the country can exercise and respond to simulated disasters that might occur in their areas and exercise their operational plans and procedures.

Adams County ARES and Brighton CERT responded to a tornado that hit the town of Broken Willow (which replicated the town of Brighton, Colorado). The day started out with a simulated severe thunderstorm watch issued the National Weather Service (NWS) office, which soon was escalated to a tornado watch which involved Adams County ARES in their roles as weather spotters for the NWS. This soon evolved into a tornado warning, with several funnel clouds observed in and near the town of Broken Willow.

Within a short amount of time a tornado swept through the town, cutting electrical service to about 200 residents, and damaging numerous homes and businesses. Brighton CERT and Adams County ARES moved into town to start on initial search and rescue while Broken Willow’s emergency services organized, set up an incident command post, and took over the search and rescue efforts, while the CERT team continued to perform primary searches in other, less damaged parts of the town, and ARES took on a communications role within the incident command post as well as in a shelter established for those whose homes were deemed unlivable.

As the group was handling this incident, another incident occurred on the main highway that runs through town in which a semi-trailer truck transporting chlorine overturned and damaged the transport container releasing chlorine gas in the vicinity of the town of Broken Willow. The drift of the chlorine was into town and forced the relocation of the incident command post, as well as residents.

The simulated tornado and chlorine leak incidents were ended for the ARES and CERT teams as Broken Willow emergency management was able to regain communications and determine that everyone in town was accounted for.

This was a simulated situation, however, here in Brighton, CO it could happen and this is what Adams County ARES and Brighton CERT is training for, so when the real thing happens, they will be prepared.  Lessons learned from this, as well as future exercises can go a long way to insure that we are ready for whatever comes our way.

Treats for later The town Broken Willow Terry Young, Eric Bettinger, Bob Heaton, Diane Stephanie Hackett Brighton PD Emergency Manager making a point during the exercise

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