Alfonso Faustino: NERT Training with San Francisco Fire Department

Yesterday, 18-November-2017, 0830-1530 Horus PST, I had San Francisco Fire Department’s NERT training, and I was part of a team in charge of communications with San Francisco Fire Department’s Battalion 6.


It was a great learning experience for me; because, I had to learn a new way of communicating with field operators and the San Francisco Fire Department’s battalions.  I also had to learn to manage and prioritize a lot of data coming at me all at once.


Of course, I did well; because, I had well-trained and experienced NERT personnel guiding me; and, I naturally work best under pressure, stress, and critical situations, especially, in life-and-death situations.  I spent several years training in mission-critical life-and-death situations, and I always excelled in my training courses when put in this type of critical high-stakes environment: land, sea, and air.

Do I still have a lot to learn and improve upon while in these mission-critical environments?

Hell, yah!

I have much to learn and improve upon; and, I train and study every day; but, the difference between me and many other civilians is I have a good foundation.  My mind is clear, my spirit is strong, and my body is fit; hence, all these elements provide the foundation for me to be an excellent student giving me the tools to quickly assess and address any life-and-death mission-critical situations much better than most civilian people out there placed in the same circumstances.

One of things I’m happy during the NERT training exercise with the San Francisco Fire Department was my gear.  I had a tool for everything that came at me that day — most importantly, my transceivers — Motorola.


Not knowing the frequencies of the San Francisco Fire Department until my arrival to the training center, I brought all three of my Motorolas:  XPR 7550e (70-centimeters), XPR 7580 (800 MHz and 33-centimeters), and XPR 7550 (2-meters).

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My Yaesu FT-857D was also accessible to me; but, it was not needed. My Pelican 1520 Emergency Comm Case is fully equipped with a portable antenna, several different power adapters, coaxial, a Bioenno 28-watt foldable four-panel solar charger, a solar controller, and this awesome Bioenno LiFePO4 portable battery.


This awesome portable battery, shown supra, provides me with a great deal of service power.  On one of my field exercises, this battery provided me with 25 hours and 25 minutes of power with a single charge.


Out of that 25 hours and 25 minutes of service operations, I transmitted a total of one hour; and, the rest of the 24 hours and 25 minutes was used in RX mode.


The nice thing about this battery and solar charger is I can operate my Yaesu FT-857D while the solar panel is charging the battery.  Very useful for field operations — no down-time.

I can also use this power-set-up to charge up my Motorola hand-held transceivers:  XPR 7550e (70-centimeters), XPR 7580 (800 MHz and 33-centimeters), and XPR 7550 (2-meters).

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In this training session, San Francisco Fire Department went with 2-meters; so, I programmed my Motorola XPR 7550 2-meter transceiver, shown in the pic, supra, right on the spot with my laptop; and, I was fully operational in a New York second waiting for my deployment.

In my experiences in survival, SAR, and SAF training courses (winter, summer, desert, and tropical environments), equipment is important — in this case, my Motorola transceiver: XPR 7550 2-meters.


Nothing beats a Motorola when it comes to survival, SAF, and SAF training courses. They are reliable, durable, and 100% functional.

For example, we operated VHF simplex with SFFD and the field operators; and, my Motorola XPR 7550 had no problems with RX and TX distances in San Francisco.  I didn’t need an external antenna, though, one was present and hooked up to a hand-held transceiver.


Most importantly, during this exercise, the issue was power.  People’s transceivers were running low on power as the day went on; but my Motorola XPR 7550 didn’t even drop a bar for the entire 8-hour training day.  Its battery is good for 13-25 hours of operational use: RX and TX.

I said it once and many times before, in my experiences, land, sea, and air…nothing beats a Motorola.

Check 6!

/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)

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