City Manager’s Report: Seal Beach/Los Al radio repeater goes online

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Thanks to the Seal Beach/Los Alamitos RACES team a new ham radio repeater is now operational. Disasters are always “come as you are” parties and we want to be ready.

On Wednesday, Sept.  8, at their bi-monthly meeting held at the Seal Beach Police station, Seal Beach/Los Alamitos Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service held a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the official operation of the city’s RACES repeater, which is located on top of a local Boeing building.  The RACES group has been testing the new repeater since Aug. 31.

The repeater is a vital component for communication between emergency responders within the city and the Emergency Operations Center and with county, state, or federal agencies during emergencies.  This form of communication is used when normal channels of communication fail. Previously the city borrowed the use of a repeater and was dependent upon its availability in order to be able to communicate beyond “line of sight.”

RACES and the city have been in the process of acquiring a repeater since July of 2008 and have gone through a lengthy timeline of events to reach this successful conclusion starting with locating an available frequency, getting approval from Boeing, submitting applications, coordinating with appropriate agencies, and ending with final installations and testing.  Many thanks to The Boeing Company and the leadership of our RACES team including especially Mike Maronta, Alan Ginsburg, Tom Rothwell, and John Unrath for making this happen.

Founded in 1952, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is a public service provided by a reserve (volunteer) communications group within government agencies in times of extraordinary need.

During periods of RACES activation, certified unpaid personnel are called upon to perform many tasks for the government agencies they serve.

Although the exact nature of each activation will be different, the common thread is communications.

Traditional RACES operations involve emergency message handling on Amateur Radio Service frequencies.

These operations typically involve messages between critical locations such as hospitals, emergency services, emergency shelters, and any other locations where communication is needed.

Junior Lifeguards

Following the completion of the annual summer Seal Beach Junior Lifeguard Program, the Marine Safety Department distributes an evaluation form to all program participants.  The evaluation is voluntary and anonymous, and is utilized as a helpful tool to enhance and improve the program.

The following comments about the Junior Lifeguard Program say it all—they are truly representative that the city’s recreational facilities and programs in Seal Beach are held in high regard.

By the way; these are not just the positive comments, there weren’t any negative ones:

“Our family thinks this program is a great opportunity for our children to become more knowledgeable and confident at the beach and in the ocean.  Thanks again for all you do!”—Jamie Kaminski

“We loved this opportunity for our child.  His swimming abilities and water safety were greatly improved—very important for kids living in a beach town.  Oliver worked very hard and had a blast doing it. Thank you for running such a great program.”—Jill Schulten

City Manager’s Report: Seal Beach/Los Al radio repeater goes online