Santa Clara County, CA ARES®/RACES

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2020 Masked Pumpkin Festival Parade
October 10, 2020

Overview     |     Travel

Overview Information

Activation Number XSC-20-02T

This is a simulated public service event. That sounds weird. What does it mean?

We will conduct a faux parade in a park. Each person that attends will spend half of their time as a radio operator and half of their time simulating non-radio operator positions, such as parade officials, spectators, vendors, etc. The simulators will interact live with the radio operators, giving the radio operators an experience that is as close to a real event as we can make it.


Open to all individual amateur radio operators interested in emergency communications.

You must be registered for DSW with Santa Clara County ARES/RACES to participate. If you haven't done that yet, you will be able to complete the process when you arrive. See the DSW section below for details.

Everyone MUST sign up in advance. Sign-ups will close on Wednesday, October 7.


Participants can sign up by October 7th for one radio-operator position from among the following types:

  • Field Checkpoint
  • Shadow
  • Net Control

We will make every effort to honor your choice of position. You will spend half your time operating as the assigned position type and half your time as a simulator.


Saturday, October 10, 2020  (rain or shine!)


Hellyer County Park
985 Hellyer Ave.
San Jose, CA

We will be in the grassy area around the velodrome

Map highlighting velodrome area

Pre-Event Briefing

This is definitely a different sort of event than you have attended in the past. And we don't want to spend a bunch of time on Saturday morning explaining everything to everyone.

So, we will hold a MANDATORY pre-event briefing. (If you don't attend, you can't come to the event.) The briefing will be held at two different times to accomodate different peoples' schedules. You need to attend ONE of them:

  • Thursday, October 8th @ 7-8 pm
  • Friday, October 9th @ 7-8 pm

The briefing will cover how the event will be run and the specific COVID-19 precautions we'll be taking. Zoom invites will be sent out on Wednesday, after sign-ups are closed.


A detailed schedule will be emailed to all participants. The key times are:

  • 0830 - Staging Opens (please plan to arrive at this time or shortly thereafter)
  • 0920 - Briefings
  • 1500 - End of event


  • A more detailed schedule will be available after more of the planning has been completed
  • Leave sufficient time for Staging
    • Depending on when people arrive, staging can get crowded
    • All drill participants should plan to spend at least 20 minutes in staging.
    • Drill participants who need to register for Santa Clara County DSW will need and additional 30-45 minutes

Anticipated: Highs in the low 80s F; Lows in the high 50s F. Sunrise: 07:12. Mostly Sunny. Average precipitation: ~1" (be prepared for rain). 10% chain of showers. Can be windy (use weights for papers, pop-up tents).


Each individual is responsible for his/her own food and water. There is a brief break around noon. We suggest a light snack.


ALL participants, must bring with them or wear on their person the following minimum equipment: 

(Partial list - more detail to follow)

  • Information pack that will be sent to you via email (including all forms contained therein)
  • Driver's license or other State-issued identification card
  • Amateur Radio License
  • HT (2m minimum; 2m/440 dual-band preferred) with sufficient batteries to operate for the time you are there
  • Headset (required for net controls; STRONGLY recommended for everyone else)
  • Clipboard, note pad, pens/pencils
  • Forms: ICS-213, ICS-214, ICS-309
  • Sufficient food and water for the time you are there
  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes (wear)
  • Long pants (wear)
  • Safety vest (wear) [ANSI 107 Performance Class 2, fluorescent safety yellow/lime yellow]
  • Sun protection (wear) [hat, sunscreen, etc.]

A chest pack, vest pocket, radio harness, belt clip, or something to hold your radio and a headset. It's much more difficult to hold your radio and operate at the same time.

A small backpack or something similar is suggested to carry your water, forms, spare batteries, and other personal gear.



All participants (including staff) must be registered as a Santa Clara County Disaster Service Worker.

Download a blank registration form and the instructions here. Follow the instructions to fill out the blank form BEFORE you register. This will speed up the process.

Also download a copy of the Instructions for completing the Emergency Responder Identification card. You will receive the card to fill out when you are sworn in. Having your own copy of the instructions will make it easier and faster for you to fill out the card correctly.


We aim to set up two times where you can go by the Office of Emergency Management to register for DSW ahead of the event. This will save time at the event. Stay tuned for more info.



Everyone is responsible for following the recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Review these screening questions and, if you have any of the listed symptoms, please remain at home.
  • If you are the higher risk category (see county health guidelines), it's best to stay home.
  • Practice social distancing (stay at least 6 feet apart from others) at all times
  • Wash your hands (or use hand santizer when washing is not possible)
  • Wear a mask at all times (a double precaution)

We will hold a best mask contest!

The event IC will choose the best mask. The general theme will be pumpkins. The most creative/interesting mask that fits that theme will win.

Credential Evaluations Credential Evaluations will not be offered (we won't have enough staff)


Travel Information

Before Leaving

Before you travel to the event, remember to start your ICS-214 Unit Activity Log.

If you are new to the ICS-214, view the ICS-214-SCCo Unit Activity Log video training. It takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Travel to Drill

Everyone is encouraged to use the Resource Net while traveling to and from the exercise. For this exercise, the Resource Net will be used exclusively for tracking your travel progress. DSW activation will occur once you reach Staging.

Resource Net The following repeaters will be linked together for the drill and will function as the resource net:
  • AA6BT:  146.115 (+) 100.0  (Main; located in East San Jose)
  • W6ASH: 440.800 (+) 100.0  (North; best for North end of the county; please avoid use near the exercise site)
  • N6NAC:  444.625 (+) 110.9  (South; best when South of San Jose intersection of Hwys 85 & 101)


  • Program all three repeaters into your radio memory so you can easily switch between them while driving. 
    • If you are coming from the southern end of the county, you will need to switch from N6NAC to AA6BT approximately when you reach the 85 and 101 intersection in South San Jose.
    • If you are coming from the northern end of the county, you will need to switch from W6ASH to AA6BT as you get closer to San Jose.
  • Remember that linked repeaters require you to insert extra delay.  Leave plenty of space before keying up.  Pause after keying up, before speaking.
  • Prior to departure from home:  Check into the Resource Net. When called, tell net control your starting mileage (last three digits of your odometer) and your street location. (Your odometer does not have a decimal point. If you see a decimal point, you're looking at your trip odometer.  We don't use that because it can be reset.  Switch to your odometer and provide the last three digits to net control.)
  • Note: If you do not yet have a current county DSW registration, net control will not be able to officially activate you and you will not be covered under the DSW program until you reach the drill site and complete your DSW registration. While traveling:  Stay tuned to the resource net and respond to health and welfare checks by net control. A proper report includes the last three (whole) digits of your odometer, your street location, and your call sign.
  • Refer to the above map as you get near the drill site.
  • Upon arrival at the drill: Stay in your vehicle and contact net control to check out of the Resource Net.
Staging Net

Instructions will be sent to all participants via email.

Training Info Additional information on the disaster server worker program, Resource Net procedures and net types and usage can be found in the Fundamentals of Emergency Communications training course materials. If you have not taken this course, you are advised to review the course presentation prior to the exercise.
Net Usage Everyone is required to be on the proper net at all times. The county Resource Net is used for travel to and from the event.  Be sure you always check in and check out properly when moving from one net to the other. Always pay attention to the net control operator for whichever net you are on and answer promptly when called.
Check-Out After you have completed each assignment, return to the Staging Area for re-assignment or to check out.  Be sure to fill out an evaluation form and participate in the debrief so we can capture your feedback.
Travel Home Although we don't require the use of the Resource Net when leaving a public service event, we recommend that you use it for practice. Check in to the Resource Net from your car, prior to leaving the park.


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This page was last updated 07-Oct-2020