A big Thank You from our SEC to all the Operators who participated during the Capital Region’s hosting of the Maccabi Games

To All Who Participated,

A very big thank you to all of you. You stepped up to support the largest public service event in this area in memory. Everyone performed at a level that was a credit to amateur radio. Complements have been coming in from all corners including the leadership of the Games. Going in, I believe they had very little idea of what our contributions would mean to the running of the event. Coming out, they were impressed. A national level staff member of the Games will be recommending that amateur radio be included in all games going forward.
When a request for our help was made by the Games Safety Coordinator and by the Albany County Sheriff”s Office several months ago, this task appeared daunting. As time went on, and the mission kept growing, it looked almost impossible. Since the requirements of this event quickly began to dwarf the resources of Albany County ARES members, the addition of then Northern DEC (now SM) John Fritze K2QY to the communications planning team which included Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, NY DHSES, Albany Medical Center and others proved indispensable.
Thanks for patiently watching the recruiting road shows brought to ham groups across the region as the need for operators was slowly filled as you volunteered.
Thanks to the amateur radio planning group including Albany EC Ridge Macdonald KB2HWL, Saratoga EC (and now Northern DEC) Fred Halley W2EMS, Assistant DEC Jerry Murray W2IWW, Net Control Lead John Farina W2QCY and K2QY that worked out how this all might work. From frequency planning, paperwork, net operations and venue staffing, this group brought the response into focus.
The final totals are still being worked out, but having 18 stations working simultaneously at venues, Games office, Command Post and NCS worked. It worked because you all made it work by your professionalism and skill.
Kinks, yes we had some, but they were handled with efficiency and flexibility. Last minute schedule changes, illness, bad HT locations, weather delays and venue changes came and went but the level of service stayed high. Of particular note was the fire alarm and evacuation of Guilderland High School on the first day. All on duty kept calm and kept everyone informed of their condition. Net Control had full situational awareness and kept the net operating throughout making sure all were safe. W2QCY and the NCS Team; Kathy Farina N2SHC, Kathy Casey N2SQY and Skip Chaffee WB2T did a fabulous job keeping order and an excellent job of updating the log. “Team Smith” Karen KS2O and Mac W2VLT moved the chuck wagon out to the venues bringing lunch while covering a couple of early morning baseball games.
Thanks to the Albany Amateur Radio Association for the use of the K2CT repeater as our primary channel during the week as well as for the use of their tower trailer which allowed the operation of the on site UHF repeater. Specific thanks to AARA President Ernie Popp K2EP for his help in moving the trailer on to the site.
Now a request. As we put the final report on this event together, since another general meeting of all of us is unlikely, please send any suggestions and reactions to . While this specific event is probably not going to be repeated anytime soon in this region, we have learned much about a large, multi-venue, extended event. Your comments will help shape and improve any future large scale event.
Thanks again and 73!

David Galletly KM2O
Section Emergency Coordinator
Eastern New York Section

Twitter @enyARES