Category Archives: Training

Emergency Communications Class

If you are a licensed radio operator for CERT, this is what you’ve been waiting for!

On Thursday, November 16th, 7:00 PM at Central Station, the Allen CERT Communications team will host a training event aimed at teaching the basics of emergency communications, as well as cover essential hardware operations for Baofeng radios.

Topics include:

  • Proper hardware positioning
  • Antenna orientation
  • Radio vernacular
  • Call sign protocols
  • Do’s and Don’ts
  • Field operations

Radio programming services will be provided so don’t forget to bring those radios.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to cover two topics in one sitting, and walk away a more capable radio operator for CERT functions.

Welcome New Members

Allen CERT is proud to have added 44 new Responders to the roster this weekend, making this the largest class in our 12-year history!

On Saturday, November 4th, 44 Allen Residents wrapped up 24 hours of robust emergency response training with a simulated disaster that put their new skill set to the test.


Please join us in welcoming and congratulating our new family members:

Adriana Alvarez, Darcy Baldwin, Nate Bramble, Rebecca Buehner, Marcus Christiansen, Diana Clary, David Dobrenic, Mardi Echols, William Echols, Matthew Foster, Malachi Hackett, Wendell Hernandez, April Hoffman, Jaylene Hughes, Don Kaczkowski, Brendan Kilgore, John Korb, Christopher Kumnick, Melissa Kumnick, Ken Langley, Melissa LeVasseur, Crystal Lyons, Ashish Mody, Nidhi Mody, Carolyn Morgeson, Jeremey Olson, Ty Osborne, Ronald Perez, Ronnie Perez, Eleonore Pieper, Stephanie Potter, Tom Potter, Simon Shepherd, Judith Siemers, Michelle Sigle, Kimberly Smith, Bhaskar Srinivasan, Rebecca Stamey, Joseph Strand, Alexandra Thomas, David Vickers, Ty Westfall, Joe Wilson, Angelina Woods

We look forward to seeing you all again at the meetings and events to come.


ClassDisaster Simulation

Psychological First Aid Training

CERT Members:

In light of the recent disasters, we strongly encourage our CERT members to be trained in Psychological First Aid. After a disaster, the psychological effects are usually more widespread than the physical effects. This online training will be helpful to you and those around you when deployed to a disaster.

After talking to our CERT Coordinator, Chris Diltz, we decided if you take this online class, you can count this toward your volunteer time.  When you are done, send a note to Chris at with a scanned or photographed copy of your certificate of completion, along with how much time you took for the class.

John R. S. Mascio / K5RYU

Psychological First Aid Course Description:

PFA online includes a 6-hour interactive course that puts the participant in the role of a provider in a post-disaster scene. This professionally-narrated course is for individuals new to disaster response who want to learn the core goals of PFA, as well as for seasoned practitioners who want a review. It features innovative activities, video demonstrations, and mentor tips from the nation’s trauma experts and survivors. PFA online also offers a Learning Community where participants can share about experiences using PFA in the field, receive guidance during times of disaster, and obtain additional resources and training.   Click the link below to start the training.

Enroll For The Online Self-Paced Course:

For more info:




Basic Training Orientation

We are thrilled to have met our 2017 class Thursday evening at Central Fire station for CERT Orientation. With over 65 applications for Basic Training this year, we will certainly have a full class. With our potential class size triple the average, we have developed some creative innovations that will further set this year apart from others.

As always, CERT members are welcome to attend any classes for refresher training or general assistance.

We still have open seats for class this year so spread the word to family, friends, and coworkers. Applications are due by September 1st. See application for course dates.

Best of luck to our prospective members!

Technician Course & Exam

Save the Date

The Plano Amateur Radio Club will be presenting a Technician level amateur radio class on August 12th and 13th, 2017. The class will be held at the Lucas Fire Station training facility.  The fire station is located at 165 Country Club Ln, which is just north of Bethany & Lucas Rd, in Lucas.  Lucas is located just east of Allen, TX off US Hwy 75 at the Bethany Rd. Exit.

What to Bring

As always, the class is free, the EXAM is $14.00 cash. We are looking at a timeframe of 8:00am- 5:00pm on Saturday and 9:00am- 2:00pm on Sunday, with the EXAM starting at 3:00 on Sunday.  Parking should be available on the south side of the fire station.  A government issued photo ID will be required to take the exam on Sunday afternoon (FCC Requirement).

Other amateur radio class exams (General, Extra) will also be available for those wishing to take those exams. You need to bring a copy of your current amateur radio license to do so.

How to Prepare

To prepare for this class, we urge you to pick up a copy of the Ham Radio School’s Technician Class study guide prior to the class, and read through the course material at least once. You should not expect to just walk in to the two-day training class and grasp all the necessary information to successfully pass the exam. But, if you prepare by reading through the study guide, and marking any items that you have questions about, and then pay attention and ask questions during the 2-day training class, there is an excellent probability that you will pass the exam with a high score.

These study guides are available locally at the Ham Radio Outlet store 701 E. Plano Parkway Suite 406, across the street from Fry’s Electronics in Plano.  The cost for the study guide should be $19.95.

We also have many used study guides available, which we can loan you for $14.00 cash security deposit.  When you return these used study guides, in good condition (not marked up or dog eared), your $14.00 security deposit will be applied to the $14.00 cost to take the examination.  Basically, we save you the cost of buying the study guide.

Sign Up

To register for this class, or if you have additional questions, please send an email to Mike Pruden (NN5ZZ@ARRL.NET). Please provide:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Organization (e.g., CERT), if applicable
  • Indicate if you need a study guide

Disaster Animal Response


Most, if not all, of us are animal lovers. But, have you thought about how to consider animals in, and after, a disaster? Join us July 13th, 6:30 PM at the Central Fire Station training room to learn more about animal disaster preparedness and emergency response considerations. Special guest, Allison Harper, with the Allen Animal Shelter will lead the training and answer questions.

Don’t miss this one!

Lessons From CERT Bag Class

Once a year, we have an opportunity to huddle together and dump out the contents of our CERT bags for inspection and discussion. It’s probably the most internally beneficial events of the year for our membership because we get inspired to upgrade, replace, and/or amend our gear. Here’s what we took away from Thursday night’s class:

There is no perfect bag

Whether your backpack is 100% standard issue or was personally engineered from the ground up, it is missing something. You may also have too much. Striking a balance between weight and utility is difficult and if a perfect balance was possible, we could cancel this event.

Me first

Design your bag to take care of yourself first, and others last. Selfish? That’s okay. We have to ensure that, as emergency responders, we can sustain ourselves for the duration of our assignment. If we are out of commission, so are the people we could have helped. Ensure you have a way to carry water, enough first aid supplies, and the right protective equipment (PPE) for the most important person in the group – yourself.

Ounces equal pounds. Pounds equal pain.

Carrying a 4-in-1 tool, hammer, pry bar, adjustable wrench, and a socket set? Ditch the extra weight by eliminating redundant tools/equipment and consider multipurpose items that can get most jobs done. A 4-in-1 tool combined with a set of Channel Locks provides a ton of versatility with minimal weight. It’s recommended that you do a short hike with your backpack on to find out what you’re really capable of carrying for a long duration.

Water is your friend, and your enemy

You will need more water for drinking that you probably realize. But, water from above can really ruin your day. Make sure your gear is protected from rain by compartmentalizing items in waterproof bags. Consider throwing your bag in a pool; what would/wouldn’t survive? Write In The Rain is a popular brand of waterproof paper and they event make CERT-oriented products such as a field guide and ICS forms.

Are you identifiable?

Consider putting your name on your hardhat so there is no confusion as to who is being yelled at when a hazard is identified or you are urgently needed. Caution: If you put a headlamp on your hardhat, make sure it doesn’t obscure your name. Also, radio call signs are much less critical than names since not everyone will know what that means.

Easy access

What’s on your person is the most accessible and practical gear solution you can assemble. Invest in a good pair of cargo-style pants that can accommodate commonly-used items such as a folding knife, flashlight, bandanna, pen/paper, cell phone, keys, whistle, and compact escape tool.

Gear list

  • A Husky compact headlamp with an external battery was a big hit
  • A website called Do It Yourself Lettering provides adhesive vinyl that can be applied to hard hats; Chris Smith also owns a vinyl cutting machine
  • Consider buying a $10-15 Timex/Casio watch to throw on your bag so you always have a reliable timekeeping method
  • Milwaukee permanent markers are a cheap and reliable writing method. They are proven to write in dust, grease, and other less-than-ideal surfaces. Paint pens (railway markers) are also great writing tools.
  • LA Police Gear is a USA-made brand that designs their own products and offers them at very affordable prices. Notable gear includes the Urban Ops Pants and Atlas 24-hour Backpack.

We sincerely thank Station 5 C-Shift for hosting tonight’s class and for their invaluable insight during the entire discussion. Thanks, Joe, Michael, and Kevin!

See y’all next time.


Recurring CERT Net

Allen CERT Amateur Radio Net

Join us the 1st and 3rd Tuesday evening of every month, 8:00-9:00 PM, for an amateur radio net aimed at training CERT responders in general radio practice and net control operations. The first net launches April 4th!

The net is hosted on the Allen CERT repeater; 441.300 MHz with a positive transmit offset and a PL tone of 179.9 Hz. If your radio was programmed by someone on the CERT communications team, the repeater is set as channel 004. A web chat will accompany the net so that non-licensees and/or non-equipped operators can still participate. If you do not have a Google/GMail account, one must be created (free of charge) in order to take advantage of this feature.

This net will have an informal agenda on the 1st Tuesday to provide enough time and opportunity for all operators to key their microphones and put some duty cycle on their equipment. However, the 3rd Tuesday of each month, the net will transform to a formal training that puts more focus on specific topics and may include guest speakers.


1st & 3rd Tuesday 8:00 – 9:00 PM


Allen CERT Repeater 441.300 MHz+, 179.9 Hz
Online Click the video chat link in the calendar event
Lucas Repeater (alternate) 442.2125 MHz+, 91.5 Hz


Flyer Click here
Script Click here
Minutes/Recordings Click here


We need your help!

It’s our turn to clean up Century Parkway. Our first 2017 Adopt-a-Highway is scheduled for Saturday, March 18 at 8:00 am. If we have at least 10 volunteers, not only should this should take no longer than an hour but, we can also incorporate some search tactics .

Sign up now

Registered Volunteers

  • Chris Diltz
  • William Ingram
  • Tammy Ingram
  • David Lindberg
  • Anna Sturdivant
  • Sandy Mason
  • Paula Bramble
  • Linda Hardy

Backpack Class Rescheduled

The 2017 Continuing Education program kicks off with everyone’s favorite: the backpack contents forum. The class was scheduled for the 2nd week in March but has been moved to March 30th so as not to conflict with Spring Break. We will still meet at Station 5 at 6:30 PM. If you haven’t subscribed to the event calendar, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.