Finessing Format Forms
FAQ #197 – How do I handle ICS-213 formatted messages? Our served agencies often use formal messages for accuracy, accountability, and documentation. If you've attended an ARES/RACES conference, you've heard about the necessity of learning the ICS-213 format. Yes, it's used by many served agencies so we should be familiar with it. We should also know the NTS format well. In most respects, both forms have the same elements and both message forms are passed using the same sending methods, same procedural words, same ITU phonetics.
We're especially lucky to have the efforts of W9REL, Wisconsin RACES Chief Radio Officer, to assist us. How does the ICS213 form work? See this: http://www.wi-aresraces.org/Documents/ICS-213%20General%20Message%20form.pdf Do you need an ICS-213 message blank? You'll find a book of ten in easy-to-use spreadsheet format on the Wisconsin ARES/RACES web page. Just go to http://www.wi-aresraces.org/index.html. On the left, under “Resources,” click on ICS213 Gen. Msg Form Pkg. Have use for an easily-filled form for NTS messages? Download the Radiogram Format program from the same “Resources” section. Each of these spreadsheet programs lets you tab from part to part – from the preamble through the text to the signature. They even can fill in the current date, time, and other elements from drop-down menus and automatically calculate the check (group count).
If you're at an incident or event, storing the messages electronically is easy. Need hard copy? Not hard. Just print the message you need for hand delivery.
Good operators practice flexibility. They can smoothly shift from one form to another for formal messages and, if they choose, they have some excellent programs to help. Learn to easily shift. Don't be shiftless. 73 - K9LGU/ STM-WI
Here's how we did in 2017. Another year, another 2378 section nets. How did we do? What did we learn? How will we change?
Here’s a chart comparing check-ins and traffic for some previous years.
So why the drop in stations participating in nets? We eliminated the Wisconsin Novice Net this year. That accounted for 2556 check-ins fewer than the previous year. Propagation presented some extreme challenges. The Badger Weather Net changed due to NWS policies. So Check-ins were down. On the other hand (where we do more counting) traffic was up 2%. SIMCOM, the SET, and other exercises added traffic. The daily nets continued to handle plenty of routine messages (especially those sent and received nationally by NX9K and N9VC) for practice. Most importantly, we maintained our skills, equipment, and camaraderie. We stayed in practice. We're ready, if we're needed. Now we need to involve more of us. Tell your friends.
A new QNI Roster – showing those stations who check into our section nets -- will be posted soon on the Wisconsin page of the ARRL web site and the Wisconsin ARES/RACES web page. We'll also publish an updated Routing Guide so stations can be found in specific communities for traffic outlets.
Thanks to all those who made 2017 a successful year for the NTS in Wisconsin. 73– K9LGU/STM
WISCONSIN SECTION MONTHLY NET ACTIVITY
STATION ACTIVITY SUMMARY
P S H R SUMMARY