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Surrey Emergency Program Amateur Radio

Volunteers in a mock exercise for the Surrey Emergency Program Amateur Radio

SEPAR (Surrey Emergency Program Amateur Radio) is a volunteer group of screened, licensed and trained radio operators willing to be deployed when needed under the direction of the Surrey Emergency Program. 

During a local emergency or natural disaster, the most common forms of communications including telephone lines, cellular service, texting, email, internet, even satellite phone service often quickly become overloaded, unreliable, and in most cases completely non-functional.  SEPAR members are trained in establishing and providing emergency communications as required by the Surrey EOC (Emergency Operations Centre).

Our Mission Statement

“To be communicators, to respond in an emergency with communications between various agencies that may be without their own communications systems or network in the event of an emergency such as a natural disaster."

What we do

SEPAR members monitor specific assigned radio frequencies in the event of a known emergency or disaster and to check-in to report current status of themselves and the area they are currently located in. From that initial check-in, communication assignments are made as needed by the EOC station based on the SEPAR members current capabilities and location. Other methods of call-out are also used depending on what is available including telephone, texting and email.

In addition to each SEPAR member’s personal radios, additional emergency radio equipment is deployed throughout the City. We also have several mobile grab & go kits in addition to our radio communication trailer. Each of these has the capability of establishing remote emergency communication stations with multi-band radio operations including digital messaging. We establish a communication link between each remote station in addition to the Surrey EOC station and other stations as required.

As a result we can maintain a critical communications link between responding agencies, government departments, and support teams when other communication methods are not available. Members also have the ability to report status and needs in their area that might otherwise not be reported due to normal communications methods being damaged.

When we practice

Up to twice a week, SEPAR operates test networks to allow operators the ability to check-in and test communications ability from any location they choose.
Every Tuesday evening at 1930 hrs (7:30pm) we start a ½ hour net on a local repeater provided by the Surrey Amateur Radio Club (SARC) on 147.360mhz. At that time we call for check-ins and provide any announcements to the SEPAR membership. We follow that with a change to simplex operation to further test communication capabilities.
On Thursday nights we only provide Simplex operations starting on frequency 146.550 and changing frequencies and bands for further signal checking. During these tests, we encourage those with mobile capabilities to try different locations each time to become more knowledgeable as to what to expect in a real disaster. We are unable to predict where we will be located when we are needed.  Additional training sessions and practice exercises are scheduled throughout the year including participation with other departments and agencies.

If you are Licensed Radio Amateur, we invite you to please check-in to any of our nets on Tuesday or Thursday evenings.

How to join SEPAR

SEPAR volunteer requirements

  • Must be 16 years of age - for applicants aged 16 to 18 years, parental/guardian consent is required.
  • Must complete a consent for criminal records search and personally take it to the Surrey RCMP (there is no charge for this search).
  • If you have a driver's license, you must provide a driving record, available from the Motor Vehicle Branch.
  • Complete a PEP enrollment form. (Note: The PEP card that you receive is valid for 5 years.)

Visit the SEPAR website for more information, or see the group in action in the SEPAR photo galleries.

Contact information

SEPAR Amateur Radio Coordinator
Alan Saunders, VA7BIT
separ.mail@gmail.com

Surrey Emergency Program
surreyemergencyprogram@surrey.ca
604-543-6795

 

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