2017 Labelle Swamp Cabbage Festival

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The Labelle Swamp Cabbage Festival is a February tradition, pulling in more than 6,500 visitors to Hendry County. The 51st edition over the weekend of February 26th and 27th was one of the largest, with over one hundred vendors offering food, drinks, crafts, games, and live music.

Setting up the Big Green Canopy

This year, legacy country band Shenandoah was on the ticket, kicking off their 30th Anniversary Tour, along with two days of entertainment, food, river cruises, food, car shows, and the Swamp Cabbage Parade, Saturday and Sunday, February 25 & 26.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Billy Griffin briefing EM Reservists

Fifteen members of Big Lake ARC and Hendry CERT worked the Parade Saturday morning, taking assignments at key intersections along the route, and then after the parade, throughout the festival grounds.

KN4AFW performed well as net control, maintaining communications on 446.000 simplex and the local Labelle repeater.

During the parade, one of the Reservists fell ill due to the heat, and the difficulty of moving emergency vehicles through a densely packed parade route was never more clear. A Hendry EMS team checked the Reservist out, and sent him home to rest. Thanks to Belle’s Ice Cream Bar for their hospitality during the action.

A missing child put everyone on alert for a few minutes. KN4AFU and KN4AFV were able to locate the parents within moments of the alert being posted by Sheriff’s dispatch.

Hendry County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Billy Griffin, in a note of appreciation to EM Director Brian Newhouse KJ4WIC, said, “Thank you so much for your assistance during the Swamp Cabbage Festival.  The group of volunteers you have are Top Notch and I enjoyed them immensely .  Please share with them my sincerest Thanks and appreciation for all they did that day to make the 2017 Swamp Cabbage Festival not only successful; but safe as well.  Great job from some even greater people.”

Everglades guide George L. Espenlaub prepares a pot of swamp cabbage (photo circa 1950s). Photo courtesy floridamemory.com.

The takeaway from this event was that 70cm proved to be at the edge of range using handhelds for all functions, including net control at the command post. Future operations will use a higher-powered mobile 70cm at the command post with an external antenna.

2017 Severe Weather Tornado Drill Report

The week of January 23-27, 2017 is the National Weather Services Severe Weather Awareness week in Florida.

On January 25th, at 10:10 AM local, the Miami NWS office issued a practice Tornado Warning alert tone on NOAA Weather Radio and began the drill. Participants were asked to find a safe place to shelter, and post a photo fo themselves to social media.

Hendry County Amateur Radio Emergency Service operators took the opportunity to practice emergency communications by scheduling a Severe Weather Watch exercise net at the same time.

Over the course of thirty minutes, controllers and participants passed exercise messages relating to what they were experiencing at their location.

Amateur radio operators worldwide can be found providing primary and backup communications for municipal agencies and NGO’s during times of crisis.

Big Lake Amateur Radio Club works with Hendry County Emergency Management to provide training and a pool of communicators that can be called up when needed. If you would like more information on amateur radio, emergency communications, or Big Lake ARC, please contact us at biglakearc@gmail.com.

Click on the link below for the exercise final report.

Tornado Drill Final Report 01-29-17


Tuesday Self Test (GROL)

This Tuesday Self Test question is from the Element 3 General Radiotelephone Operator Class question pool:

3-41F1 (A)

What is the limiting condition for sensitivity in a communications receiver?

A. The noise floor of the receiver.

B. The power supply output ripple.

C. The two-tone intermodulation distortion.

D. The input impedance to the detector.

Tuesday Self Test (Extra)

This Tuesday Self Test question is from the Element 4 Extra Class Question Pool:

E1F01 (B) [97.305]

On what frequencies are spread spectrum transmissions permitted?

A. Only on amateur frequencies above 50 MHz

B. Only on amateur frequencies above 222 MHz

C. Only on amateur frequencies above 420 MHz

D. Only on amateur frequencies above 144 MHz

Tuesday Self Test (Technician)

This Tuesday Self Test question is from the Element 2 Technician Class license question pool:

T1F01 (A)

What type of identification is being used when identifying a station on the air as “Race Headquarters” (Not “ARES/RACES”)?

A. Tactical call sign

B. An official call sign reserved for RACES drills


D. Broadcast station

Tuesday Self-Test (GROL)

This Tuesday Self Test question is from the Element 3 General Radiotelephone Operator Class question pool:

3-33E1 (C)

What is the voltage range considered to be valid logic low input in a TTL device operating at 5 volts?

A. 2.0 to 5.5 volts.

B. -2.0 to -5.5 volts.

C. Zero to 0.8 volts.

D. 5.2 to 34.8 volts.

Workplace Down Active Shooter Exercise

Carlson United Methodist Church, 310 Campbell St. LaBelle, will be hosting Disaster Resistant Communities’ tabletop exercise “Workplace Down – An Active Shooter Exercise”, Thursday, 9-29-16 from 9 to Noon, , in the Narthex.

The exercise is free, and open to the community.

It will work through a scenario dealing with an active shooter incident occurring in the workplace, and serve as an opportunity for the staff and management that make up an organization’s workplace to work through scenario information and injects dealing with an active shooter incident occurring within the office.

Register here before noon Wednesday September 28th.

IS-300 Free Training Offered

Hendry County Emergency management will be hosting an ICS 300 class at the EOC, August 17-19, 2016. You must pre-register on SERTrac.

Intermediate Incident Command System for Expanding Incidents provides training on and resources for personnel who require advanced application of the Incident Command System (ICS).

The course expands upon information covered in the ICS-100 and ICS-200 courses.

Attendee selections for this course are restricted to those individuals who are slated to, or are already identified to assume a supervisory role in expanding incidents (Type 3), or perform Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Agency Liaison or Agency Emergency Coordination Officer (ECO) roles.

During an expanding incident, some or all of the Command and General Staff positions may be activated, as well as Division/Group Supervisor and/or Unit Leader level positions. These incidents may extend into multiple operational periods.

Prerequisites are: IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, IS-800

Contact Amy Howard at the EOC for additional information, 863.674.5402