Iowa DMR & amateur radio emergency services training
September 10, 2017


The value of Iowa Statewide DMR amateur radio communications system to support ARES emergency communications was validated Thursday during an emergency training exercise for the Waterloo Airport.

The exercise simulated the crash of a regional jet carrying 43 passengers that landed short of the runway during an inflight emergency and plunged into the lake at the state park south of the airport.

Dozens of public service agencies including area hospitals, law enforcement, multi-county fire and rescue teams, Emergency Management, rescue dive teams, Life Flight helicopters, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and others participated in the full scale exercise.

ARES teams from Fayette, Bremer, Black Hawk, and Grundy counties collaborated to provide effective on-scene communications by deploying an Amateur Radio Emergency Communications van equipped with a portable DMR repeater and DMR equipped ARES personnel to provide communications throughout the multi-location accident scene, area hospitals, and health and welfare agencies.

Anyone interested in participating in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the National Weather Service Storm Spotting (SKYWARN) program is encouraged to contact Tom Bicket via email to


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