Yukon Amateur Radio Association (YARA) header

YARA EmComms

Yukon-wide Internet and cell phone outage, May 11-13, 2024

Not long after the regular YARA Emergency Preparedness Net on Friday night, a new amateur operator working for EMO made a call on the YARA repeater seeking comms assistance because the Internet and all cell phones were not working throughout the Yukon. VY1IRM Ian, YARA president, responded immediately and asked VY1MGS Michael to call the Net to see who was available to provide support. Over twenty operators, including some in Haines Junction and Teslin, checked in.

Ian then worked with EMO and set up a schedule of volunteers to operate the comms room at EMO, with VY1SW Scott, VY1LW Laura, and VY1AE Adam starting the first shift. VY1JC James took the first shift at CBC and VY1MK Mark took the first shift at CKRW, and others where postitioned at other places around Whitehorse.

VY1RF Ray, in Teslin, set up connections with the ambulance station, and VY1FC Malcolm, driving on the highway north of Whitehorse monitored the Wide Area Network and trucker frequencies. VY1PJB Pam kept a communications log from home, and others monitored the network throughout the weekend and filled different shifts.

The team passed messages initated by EMO Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Ian advised late Sunday morning that they could stand down.

YARA was recognized for its support by EMO and other agencies, and there were several media stories and interviews with the media.
CBC Elyn Jones with Ian Macdonald YARA President
Letter from the RCMP
CBC "Within about half an hour of the telecoms going down, we had ham radio operators across Whitehorse and a little further afield activated"
Yukon News
CBC - Yukon Morning with Elyn Jones
CKRW Mid-Day Grind - Jeff interviews VY1IRM and VY1JC

How the call for comms support works: Yukon and Southeast Alaska Emergency Preparedness Net

This page was created in 2019 and is currently undergoing updates in view of the recent changes with the RAC Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS). See below - the webmaster

National HF Emergency Communications Frequencies Radio Amateurs of Canada

YARA Repeater VHF Frequencies Yukon Amateur Radio Association

Other Candian HF Nets Chez VE6LK

Alaskan HF Nets Anchorage Amateur Radio Club(AARC)

YARA is Prepared

Members of YARA are involved in emergency communications preparedness in a number of ways. First, some members particpate in a nightly emergency preparedness net. Others have completed certification in the Incident Command System (ICS) and others are involved with the RAC Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS). Certified Emergency Coordinator. ARES Operations Training Manual

YARA volunteers are involved in Canadian Forces and government training exercises:

They also ensure that their equipment is working and they hone their communications skills by participating in community events such as the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Race and the Klondike International Road Relay and other partners that require communications support .

YARA has built and maintains a Yukon-wide linked repeater system that is powered by batteries and solar power and can provide communications support for simulated and real emergencies. YARA Repeater System

YARA puts on training sessions for its members and for the public and conducts field communications exercises. See photo page for YARA's activities which include training , field exercises, and repeater maintenance. Photos

YARA EPN volunteers and the Emcomms training/workshops/skills they have acquired. List of Volunteers

YARA maintains a list of EPN volunteers with their contact information and locations if all communications fail. This list is available to the EPN Coordinator and the President.

Yukon and Southeast Alaska Emergency Preparedness Net

YARA operates a daily emergency preparedness net at 6:50 pm. A number of Yukon and Alaskan amateur radio operators check-in and indicate that they are available for volunteer emergency communications support if they are required. In Oct 3, 2012, when all communications in Yukon failed, 20 YARA members checked in and were ready to help out with communications support. Several participated with emergency preparedness agencies operationg out of the EMO building during the day.Emergency Preparedness Net

DRAFT YARA Emergency Communications Plan (2019)

This has been posted for review and comment.

Draft YARA Emergency Communications Plan pdf - 1 meg

Draft YARA Emergency Communications Plan Word - 3 megs

Draft YARA Emergency Communications Plan Open Office - 3 megs

Draft YARA Certified Radio Emergency Communicators Exam pdf - 250 kb

Emergency Communicator's Vest

Incident Command System (ICS)

The Incident Command System (ICS) is an international standardized on-site management system used to manage an incident or a non-emergency event, and can be used equally well for both small and large situations. It offers several levels of training for responders, agencies, and radio operators. Incident Command Canada
Incident Commanda Courses

The number of YARA ICS-certified members:
ICS-100 - 9
ICS-200 - 3
ICS-300 - 2

YARA Members with ICS Training

If you are interested in taking the on-line ICS-100 course or other courses, contact the President of YARA. Contacts

RAC Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS)

The following paragraphs are excerpts and information from the RAC web pages.

RAC’s new Auxiliary Communications Service: A presentation by CSO Jason Tremblay, VE3JX. (Presentation Video)

At its meeting on March 18, 2021 the RAC Board of Directors expressed support for the new RAC Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) and directed the Executive to continue with its implementation.

Auxiliary Communications (AuxComm) covers a wide range of Amateur Radio techniques and systems that could potentially be used during an emergency or disaster situation.

The new RAC Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) will assume the original function of the RAC Amateur Radio Emergency Service (RAC ARES), but its focus will shift to recognize that disaster response management and telecommunication standards are now mandated by Canadian federal, provincial and territorial legislation and regulations and by international agreements.

While the focus of non-government organizations will continue to be disaster relief operations, the role of the new RAC Auxiliary Communications Service will be to provide certified communications operators to supplement communications for local emergency management groups and non-government organizations and provide backup radio operators when required . ASC teams are in essence an integrated unpaid member of the sponsoring agency.

Hank Koebler, former Chief of Operations for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (Currently, DHS/CISA COMU Instructor/ICTAP SME), described it in this way:

“First of all, I’ll state my premise for volunteers working on behalf of an ‘Agency Having Jurisdiction’. It is simply that anyone, regardless of affiliation, professional or volunteer, who works in the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) during an emergency, works for us.

Their parent organization has no operational control once they set foot in the Ops centre. The parent organization has the responsibility to train and provide communications personnel to the agency. That is where their job ends. They are a functional unit, and do not command operationally in any manner. This avoids any ambiguity in the chain of command.”

As described in the quote, Radio Amateurs of Canada will continue to liaise with national agencies and NGOs to provide sections with the requirements expected from these organizations when working together in the field.

We will provide a foundational guideline of best practices for training to meet the obligations of today’s disaster response management teams. This training program is in development with the education/training committee directed by the National Training Coordinator Peggy Foley, VE3PGY. I will be providing updates as they come available.

RAC’s role today will be to provide a trained Auxiliary Communicator, meeting a minimal standard across the country. These operators will be able to adapt to the obligations locally or if called to assist in other areas throughout their sections or the country.

Connecting communities across the country will be a focus of the Canadian Field Service, with an emphasis on dissemination of information through on-air bulletins, mutual aid training and online meetings to help facilitate new ventures.

This venture will take some time but notices of meetings and other developments will be posted on the RAC website and published in upcoming TCA magazines.

Learn more about ACS and emergency communications. Look at an overview of the RAC ACS web page and links and the ARES Operations Training Manual (2019). What would be expected from you? Check Vol 1, Section 2, Page 2.5 The manual is "clickable" and will open to this section quickly.

ACS Section Managers

ARES Application Form You can mail your application to the RAC Section Manager for BC / Yukon and make a copy for the YARA executive, or give your application to a member of the YARA executve.

EMO Partners

EMO Newsletters with YARA and YSAR
Summer 2008 page 1 & 2
Summer 2008 page 4
Summer 2008 page 5
Summer 2008 page 6 & &