IDEC is a volunteer organization of licensed Amateur Radio operators supporting the City of Irvine’s emergency preparedness plan and general public safety by providing a flexible, technical resource which is skilled in disaster response functions and emergency communications.
What is IDEC?
IDEC (Irvine Disaster Emergency Communications), is an organized team of over 50 experienced, trained and dedicated amateur radio operators (Hams). Members routinely volunteer their time and extensive radio communication skills and talents to perfect an auxiliary radio communications network designed to augment (or replace) normal methods of communications used by the citizens of the city of Irvine in times of emergencies or major disasters.
As a subset of the Irvine Police Department, IDEC is a valuable component of the City’s Emergency Preparedness Plan. IDEC was organized in 1982, operates at the direction of the Irvine Chief of Police, Mike Hamel, and is supervised by Sgt. Bill Bingham. Operating state-of-the-art radio equipment,IDEC is able to immediately establish a lifeline communications network between the Irvine Police Department, citywide evacuation centers, school sites, public buildings, medical facilities, local parks, and any other location where normal means of communication has failed.
IDEC members undergo continual training, which hones their skills and abilities in providing emergency communications to the PD. In addition, IDEC members receive training in routine duties that police and fire personnel might not be able to perform due to overriding obligations as a result of a cataclysmic event.
IDEC members are divided into 3 geographic teams, the leader of which is a sitting member of the Board of Directors. The IDEC Board is responsible for setting the mission, goals and training objectives for the group. IDEC’s motto is OBSERVE AND COMMUNICATE.
Some of IDEC’s technical capabilities, equipment, experience and training include:
- Two UHF repeaters, one located at City Hall, and one on a nearby hill top each with emergency power back-up. Both digital controllers feature telephone access and Digital Voice Recording (DVR). Coverage is Citywide.
- Portable emergency communication stations (Shelter Communications Boxes) are located at the high schools in the city of Irvine. These schools are designated emergency shelters. Each station is equipped with battery power, a dual band amateur radio,and laptop computer. They have voice, Slow Scan TV (SSTV), receive, and Packet (digital text) capability.
- A Radio Room with 6m, 2m, 70cm, and packet capabilities across the hall from the City's EOC. The radio room also supports the Orange County WinLink 2000 digital communication system.
- A local area computer network system operating within the PD in order to pass written messages from the field to the Incident Commander during emergencies.
- IDECers participate in two drills and three public service events each year to sharpen communications skills and develop a sense of "team".
- IDECers are offered a varying number of classes including first aid, CPR, lectures, and hands-on exercises in subjects ranging from First Response Training to HAZMAT recognition, emergency shelter management, windshield surveys, etc.
- IDEC participates in the annual ARRL Field Day emergency operation exercise held in June.
IDEC operates and maintains a fully equipped, self contained communications van and lighting trailer. The ComVan, forms an important cog in the IPD’s “Circle the Wagons” concept of emergency preparedness, communications, and command and control.
IDEC Calendar of Events
General Meetings - Held on the 4th Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM. Check website http://www.n6ipd.org/ for location. Visitors are welcome!
Weekly radio Net - Every Thursday at 7:00 PM except General Meeting night.
IDEC operates two closed UHF Amateur Repeaters. Repeater "Tango" is the primary at 449.580- Repeater "Sierra" is the secondary at 446.720- People interested in joining are welcome to listen to the net.
During a disaster or critical incident in which IDEC personnel are mobilized, it is both permissible and encouraged that licensed amateur radio operators (irrespective of IDEC membership) utilize City of Irvine ham radio repeaters to communicate urgent matters, or pertinent and brief questions that may arise, when other forms of communications (e.g. cellular/landline phones) are compromised or may not be readily available. In these instances, it is preferred the Tango frequency be utilized.
HAM Radio Operators Needed!
IDEC is looking to expand its ranks. If you would like to:
- Volunteer For Various Irvine Community Events
- Volunteer In The Event Of A Disaster Or Emergency
- Work With Irvine Police Department & Emergency Management Services
- Have A Greater Understanding Of Disaster Preparedness…..Join IDEC!
Want to become a HAM?
You need to take a 35 question written test on amateur radio rules, operating practices, basic electrical and radio theory. No morse code is required! Sample tests are available on the internet at qrz.com/hamtest. Test preparation classes are held at various locations in Orange County for a fee. Locations for the classes are listed below. IDEC members are willing to help you learn the material.
What's my time commitment?
You must attend at least six meetings per year held on the 4th Thursday of each month and participate in a combination of any two of the following: Drills, community service events, field day.
What's in it for me?
- The ability to communicate during a major disaster when other methods of communication are down including cell phones
- The camaraderie of friendly helpful fellow Hams
- Contributing to the community in which you live Or work
For more information
Visit the IDEC website