HT Day Spring

When: Postponed; Originally scheduled for 7 May 2022, operating 10:00-13:59 EDT.

Where: Various assigned locations, centered around Franklin County.

What: HT Day Spring 22, an exercise for new handy-talkie (HT) operators to experience emergency communication and experienced operators to practice integrating them into the team.

Why: Volunteers who are "just" Technicians with an HT are valuable additions to emergency communication teams with training and support, and can be put on a path toward greater capability as their experience grows.

See registration below for further detail.

Training Program: Prepare For The Event!

Do not assume that you know how to do the tasks. If you know how, then practice and help others who do not know how. If you do not know how, do not be intimidated by the task. This is a no-fault learning environment. You can learn how and we will help you by breaking it down in steps, each one of which has a week to perform. The QTC Mailing List has dozens of operators mostly in Ohio ready to help. Browse the archives, join the list, and post your questions and comments. We're there to help!

  1. Introduction: Watch Video. (15-21 March) HTs are highly portable but generally have a small coverage area. Many people conclude that HTs are useful only as long as there are repeaters, so they're not good for emergency communication. See how this assumption is wrong in concept and how HTs were made valuable in a 2016 exercise at Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security.

  2. Prepare ICS-213 for Voice Transmission. (22-28 March) The Incident Command System (ICS) used in emergency management has many forms to organize information. ICS form 213 (General Message) is a kind of memorandum. Relay by radio can be correctly handled by using established procedure, organizing the parts as a radio message, and adding a correct message preamble.

    • See this training video:

    • Prepare this ICS-213 as a radiogram as shown in the video. Exercise Controller Adds: Route radio messages to SPC Williams via W8OMR COLUMBUS OH 43228.

  3. Send Your Radiogram by Voice. (29 March-4 April) Report into the Central Ohio Traffic Net (COTN), which meets every evening at 19:15, typically on the 146.97 repeater. (See for details.) When net control calls for stations with traffic, say your callsign in slow, clear phonetics and add "with traffic." When asked to "list" your traffic, say "one for W8OMR Columbus." Later net control will instruct a station to call you and ask you to transmit the message. It's OK to listen to a session or two before you report in to get a sense of the net's rhythm. If you want to be prepared for the voice procedure you can write out exactly what you'll say on the air including all of the prowords to get it right as demonstrated at There's also a video that explains more about control of the traffic net and lets you see what's happening behind the scenes.

  4. Receive a Radiogram ICS-213 by Voice. (5-11 April) Operating at a scene means not only sending outgoing messages, but also receiving incoming messages. Report into COTN (say "no traffic" after your callsign when reporting in if you have nothing to send), and someone there should have a message for your station. Receive the message with voice procedure. You can see that demonstrated at

  5. Deliver the message as ICS-213. (12-18 April) Just as shown in the video for Step 2 (22-28 March), once you have the radiogram, turn it back into an ICS-213 for delivery. When you receive yours, put it into an ICS form 213 and attach it by email to

  6. Recap and Pre-Exercise. (20 April FC ARES In-Person Meeting) Hands-on activity! After a quick review of what we've done to date and addressing any common questions, we'll perform all of the steps together in-person. This isn't "instead of" but "in addition to" so that we don't repeat mistakes we made the first time around (we will -- it's part of the process!) and we can work out any kinks before we try it in the field in May. We'll also talk about antenna systems and how to organize our stations to be able to get the job done while staying within the constraints of the exercise.

This gives us two weeks to resolve any questions, carry on more practice, etc. You can always make your own messages. COTN meets every night of the week, so if you want more practice, keep reporting into the net and exchanging messages with others who want more practice.