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Congratulations to the VE4WWO CANWARN Net Controller Team!

28 October, 2013

Radio Amateurs of Canada announced earlier today that the recipients of the First ever RAC Member Recognition Extraordinary Award is the VE4WWO CANWARN Net Controller Team.

VE4WWO is the Amateur Radio Station in the Prairie & Arctic Storm Prediction Centre (PASPC) in Winnipeg. Our Net Control team includes 13 ARES members who are all Certified Amateurs, ARES members and CANWARN Spotters who have committed to operating VE4WWO during severe weather in the Summer Severe Weather season.

Our Summer Severe Weather Season runs one week before Victoria Day to one week after Labour Day (17weeks). Our on-call shifts are one week block of on-call days (0930-2130h) or on-call evenings (1730-2130h). We are concerned about Spotter safety after dark so the evening on-call shift ends at 2130h. Every season we actually have 34 on-call shifts to fill (17 day & 17 evening).

In addition to being registered ARES members (with Manitoba ARES photo-ID), each CANWARN Net Controller in Manitoba must pass a Federal Security Clearance (Reliability) check to gain access to the PASPC Weather Centre. The Day shift Net Controller telephones the Weather Centre Supervisor daily at 1100h to get a prediction for the day (if not already called in) and liaises with the evening on-call Net Controller to advise of possible activation that day. Net Controllers have to meet twice (on-coming shift & out-going shift) to transfer numeric pager, parking pass and building access card. There is an expectation that each Net Controller will attend VE4WWO at least once during each week of on-call shift to become more familiar with PASPC staff and operations. To be effective Net Controllers must be “weather aware” while on call and most access a variety of on-line weather resources daily.

For 2013, the thirteen VE4WWO CANWARN Net Controllers who took at least one week-long on-call shift were:
VA4AJG Allan Grant
VE4AJO Ellis Seddon
VE4ALW Bill Simm
VE4CDM Craig Martin
VE4DWG Don Gerrard
VE4GKS Gerry Sherman
VE4GWN Glen Napady
VE4HAZ Harm Hazeu
VE4HK Dick Maguire
VE4JAH John Howells
VE4LDI Diane Perry
VE4STL Scott Lightfoot
VE4MBQ Jeff Dovyak.

There were twelve (12) Severe Weather Nets (first net 10 JUN, last net 31 AUG), running from one and one-half hours (20 JUN) to seven hours duration (30 AUG), average net was 3.7 hours long. There was also pre-planned coverage for VE4WWO SUN 16 JUN during the Manitoba Marathon (just over 7 hours). Through the period there were fifteen (15) Station Visits (Station Check, Controller Familiarization, Service Visits). The assistance of VE4WWO Station Custodian Kent Haase VE4KEH was invaluable.