Amateur Radio Emergency Communication Center Opens
As summited to: North County Times,   Photos: W6VR

FALLBROOK ---- The Dewey Emergency Communications Center, the base for amateur radio operators who provide communications help during an emergency, opened Saturday in Fallbrook, authorities said.

The center opened Saturday at Roy Noon Hall, within the Emergency Operations Center for the North County Fire Protection District, said Randy Jones, a Fallbrook radio operator and Fallbrook emergency coordinator for the Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

Through the Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club, the center will organize more than 30 available operators in emergencies, such as fires and earthquakes, dispatching them to relay activity in locations throughout the city.


“Bigs” Parker (KG6GIU), Randy Jones (KD6UAK), and Ron Patten (KG6HSQ)

The center will also allow the fire district to communicate with the Community Emergency Response Teams that respond to emergencies in Fallbrook, Bonsall and Rainbow, and serves as backup for the Red Cross and Fallbrook Hospital communications.

"If we hear about an emergency in Fallbrook, we'll have (operators) in all schools, the hospital and the senior center," Jones said. "There will be communication established between the hospital (and other hospitals), in case communications at the hospital go down."

The idea for the center was born after the Gavilan fire in 2002, when amateur radio operators dispatched information from the field to firefighters in the early stages of the blaze.

"(Operators gave) information to the fire department, as the eyes and ears where they didn't have it at the time," Jones said.

Wayne (WD6AHX) and Bill Dewey (WD6AHW sk)
The Dewey Emergency Communications Center is named after Bill Dewey, pictured,  who passed away November 24, 2002.

Mr. Dewey was a dedicated and well respected Amateur Radio operator in Fallbrook.

After serving as a pilot for American Airlines for 34 years - and finally as the Chief Pilot for American in San Diego - he devoted himself to Amateur Radio activities.

 
He mentored many individuals in obtaining their Ham Radio licenses, organized an extra-curricular Ham Club at Fallbrook High School and established a weekly radio "net" (on-the-air practice meetings) to serve Fallbrook and vicinity in the event of an actual emergency.

Mr. Dewey was the Radio Emergency Coordinator during the De Luz Floods in 1993 and the Fallbrook/Gavilan fire in 2002.

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