Our Non-Emergency Activities

Non-Emergency Activities
We offer classes and other skill building activities to prepare our members for being able to effectively and confidently respond in emergencies. We utilize social media, the web, and email to communicate with our current and future members and clients.

Classes
We currently offer a two class sequence to get non-hams an FCC Amateur radio license, and the practical knowledge to choose and purchase a suitable radio and be able to join us on-the-air in our various skill building activities. 

The first course of the sequence is called a Ham Cram. It's purpose is to get interested persons an FCC Amateur Radio license sufficient for all Emergency Radio use.  

One month following the Ham Cram we offer a very practical class (Hand On Training, aka HOT Class) to get new hams "on-the-air" so they can use their new ham license for Emergency Communications immediately.  These classes are offered quarterly.  

The Ham Cram is offered in February, April, August, and November.  The HOT class is one month after each Ham Cram (March, May, September, and December).

Communication using Social Media, Website, eMail, and meetings
We encourage and provide guidance to members who wish to maintain our presence on Facebook and Twitter.  Similarly, we maintain this website.  In addition, we utilize email and meetings to communicate with Members and Clients.  All contributions and suggestions are welcomed.

Emergency Radio Skill-Building
These activities include weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, and annual amateur radio practice using our own and government provided ham radios to learn and practice communication skills and ensure that all the radios we use are ready for service.  See the next page for additional details.

Weekly Net Controlled "check-in" sessions are regularly held for Los Gatos-Monte Sereno residents on:
  - Monday at 8:00p (principally for those with CERT training, but all are welcome, including all visitors) 
  - Tuesday at 7:30p (principally for those without CERT training, but all are welcome including all visitors (meaning guests from other locations who happen to be in range of our Repeater).  

We occasionally add optional activities after check-ins for additional skill building, such as use of other than the W6PIY-2 repeater or other skill building, such use of formal ICS-213 message passing.

Weekly Express Check-in sessions are available upon request for Los Gatos-Monte Sereno residents.
To obtain an Express Check-in, send a text message to 408.315.0209 to make the arrangement.

Weekly Net Controlled Check-in sessions for the Santa Clara County-wide SVECS cities are regularly held on Tuesday evening at 8:00p
   * SVECS includes the following cities plus NASA Ames:  Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno, Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, South Santa Clara County (Morgan Hill/Gilroy), and San Benito County.  

   * SPECS is similar to SVECS but provides the weekly check-in opportunity for the other cities of Santa Clara County (Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Stanford University). Their weekly Net controlled session is on Monday evenings at 8:00p.  See www.specsnet.org for more details.

Monthly Meetings (Information Exchange, Tutorials or Field Exercise) of LG-MS EmComm Group members
We meet once a month (usually the fourth Saturday of the month from 3:00 - 5:00p) at the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Operations Center (15900 Los Gatos Blvd) for either an exchange of relevant information, tutorials, or a field exercise for hands-on learning of new, or practice using existing, emergency communication skills.  

Monthly Express check-in is available before or after our monthly LG-MS EmComm Group member meeting on the fourth Saturday of the month for those unable to join one of our weekly evening on-the-air practice (check-in) sessions.

Monthly Hospital Net
The Hospital Net (a controlled Net) is conducted on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 1900 hours on N6NFI for voice message practice and on W2XSC for practice Packet Messages.  Los Gatos participates at the El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos.  Once every year, in May, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno is the Net Control for Hospital Net. 

In addition, in November each year, there is a state-wide Emergency Medical response drill.  This year the drill will be held on November 17.  Here is the website with a description of the Statewide exercise.

Bi-monthly (approx) 
Once every 10 weeks we are Net Control for the SVECS Tuesday night check-in for most of the cities of Santa Clara County (NASA Ames, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno, Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, South Santa Clara County, and San Benito County emergency radio groups).  

Quarterly
Once a quarter we participate in Emergency Communication drills organized by the Santa Clara county ARES-RACES organization. The activity is different each quarter.

Annually
Finally, as a regular, non-emergency activity, we provide Radio Communications during the annual Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Children's Holiday Parade to support the LG/MS Lions Club, DART, and Police Department. Our most valuable and satisfying "emergency" activity (during the parade) has been to help the various support people connect lost parents to their children.