What We Do

Disaster Communications

The primary mission of QCEN is to provide emergency communications for the Cincinnati Region of the American Red Cross.

Some previous Red Cross disaster responses:

In widespread emergencies, regular channels of communication often become overloaded, and so QCEN helps out with a variety of communications tools. Mobiles, handhelds, base stations, data transmission, are all used as needed to assist the Red Cross. Typical work for QCEN includes providing communications links from emergency shelters to the Disaster Operations Center; passing emergency traffic to and from officials; setting up data terminals at hospitals to help track victims;and trying to locate and communicate with people in affected areas for relatives and friends who are concerned.

While their primary work for Red Cross is communications, many Net members have also received other Red Cross training, and can help when necessary with other tasks. One task often assigned to QCEN is that of Damage Assessment--helping officials survey the extent of damage to an area. Using mobiles to communicate with headquarters, the QCEN teams can provide quick, accurate information to officials as they plan for relief efforts.

QCEN is sometimes assigned the task of helping set up portable Red Cross radios, and members occasionally function as control operators for Red Cross VHF and UHF, and 800MHz radio operations.

Alerts and call-ups are issued by a variety of means. The decision to call out QCEN comes from the Emergency Services staff at Red Cross. Many club members are available by pagers/SMS-enabled phones, and all club members are notified of emergency operations through the club repeater. E-mail is also used for club notification. Members who wish to actively participate in emergency operations are asked to keep their information up to date with the Communications Manager.

Each member is asked to keep an emergency communications kit handy, and to keep batteries charged and ready for that call which could come at any time.

Disaster Drills

The Net participates in Red Cross drills when requested. Recent exercises:

  • tri-annual CVG disaster drill, last in 9/2011.
  • Cincinnati Public Schools drill, 3/2007
  • "SOSINK-1", at GABP 9/2006.
  • "terrorist incident" drill, at University of Cincinnati 9/1998.

Other Publice Service Events

QCEN volunteers provide communications/logistics support to the National MS Society during the MS Walk and bikeMS event each year. We also support the "Tour d' Cure" a bike ride that supports The American Diabetes Association. QCEN has been asked to assist the University of Cincinnati club, Warren Co. RACES/ARES, and Hamilton Co. ARPSC with other events as well.

QCEN's largest public service endeavor is the Cincinnati Marathon. We were chosen as the group to coordinate amateur radio communications for the event. Don't worry, there are plenty of spots for volunteers from any and all radio groups throughout the tri-state!

Field Day

Past excursions have taken the group to suburban Cincinnati, and as far away as East Fork Lake. Since 1998, we have operated the W8VND club station to verify that work that had been done since the "Flood of '97" got us to where we want to be! The events have been great successes.

This event is extremely important to the group. Our coverage area for the American Red Cross is the Cincinnati Administrative Unit, which covers numerous counties in the Tri-State?. Many of these are very rural and might require us to set up a portable "command center" to operate HF, VHF, UHF, or the Red Cross radio system.

Weekly Net

Join us on the 147.24+ repeater every Tuesday night at 9pm for updates on club events, and optional roundtable chatter!


Regular monthly meetings are held on the third Friday of each month at 7:30 P.M. local time at the Red Cross building, 2111 Dana Ave., in Cincinnati. Meetings usually include a topic of interest in addition to regular net business. Any change in meeting times or locations are announced in the club's monthly Listening Post or on the weekly net at 9pm Tuesday.

If you have any questions about what we do, please send them to us.

Last edited by n8tfd .
Page last modified on Wednesday 28 September, 2011 19:29:00 EDT.

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