Emergencies happen all the time, major emergencies happen less frequently. When a major emergency does occur, it is imperative that all responding agencies can communicate with each other. This is accomplished with the Town's radio system. The Town can communicate with its neighboring towns, the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), the State Emergency Operations Center as well as other agencies. However, what would happen if the radio systems failed?
We have a back-up system in place in the Town of Manchester. It is called METNet (or, EMCOMM), which stands for Manchester Emergency Telecommunications Network. This system is a great asset to the Town (not many towns in CT. have an EMCOMM team). METNet is staffed during an emergency by an all-volunteer group of amateur radio operators, or hams. Ham radio operators are experts in the field of radio communications.
The METNet team meets on a monthly basis (mainly on the 4th Wednesday of each month). They also practice their skills every Tuesday and Thursday night, using a radio check-in system. This enables the Team to test various methods of communication, as well as keeping their radio skills sharp.
The METNet team activates whenever their specialized skills are needed in the Town, such as; a lost hiker on Case Mountain, the Thanksgiving Day Road Race, Cruisin' on Main, or during an activation of Manchester's Emergency Operations Center.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this Team and are already a licensed Ham Operator, contact Manchester Emergency Management at 860-647-5259 or by email at Djanelle@manchesterct.gov. If you are not a licensed Ham, but are interested in getting your license and joining our Team, please contact us by using the same contact information above.
Certification classes are run at different times throughout the year. The classes usually run 5 or 6 weeks, one night a week. There is no cost for the course, textbook or the examination - all we ask is a one-year commitment to the Team. This is a great opportunity to learn about the exciting field of amateur radio and be able to help your neighbors during a time of emergency. For more information on this subject, contact the Emergency Management Office 860-647-5259 or by email at Djanelle@manchesterct.gov.