BayComm calls out to residents

It's been a couple of years since BayComm has written an article, but the group created five years ago to provide emergency communications to residents is still alive and well. We cover the West Shore suburbs, and we are still looking to expand our network of members, to be able to relay critical information to ourselves and others, should power and communications go down for an extended period of time.

Our membership has grown a bit over the years, but to truly have a network of communications, we still need to shoot for at least 50 families, across the six local suburbs. We've learned a lot about who we are and what our goals are. Some residents join this volunteer group to be assured that they will be able to use their non-licensed two-way radios to reach others, in a time when communications is critical.

Others, who are also members of CERT and other local agencies, act more in the role of volunteer first-responders. These members make up our small core group, who are always looking for new ways to prepare for events that we hope will never occur. Think in terms of an EMP strike, a large solar burst (CME), or homeland terrorism. There are many ways that our fragile electrical grid can be brought down.

As a first responder myself for many years, I know that we, as residents, can't rely on outside help under all circumstances. There may come a time when neighbor has to help neighbor, in terms of offering both security and general sustenance. Communications plays a very large role in being able to carry out such a grassroots effort. Without knowing what emergency efforts are being established locally, many residents, especially the elderly, would be left to fend for themselves.

A very real example of this is what's taking place in Puerto Rico. Many of the over 3 million residents are trying to survive in pockets where rescuers haven't even found them, weeks later. The objective of BayComm is to make sure that everyone within our network has been accounted for, and that we have alerted emergency responders to our needs. As you can see, it all revolves around communications.

The call that we would like to put out today is to residents who understand the scope and nature of this effort. People who may have served other roles in this regard, throughout the course of their careers, and want to devote their time to further developing a communications infrastructure. Perhaps your background is in radio communications, security, investigations, law enforcement, military, or some type of relief organization. Our members come from all walks of life, and their unique skills are invaluable to the success of the group.

By further developing our core group of planners and organizers, we stand a better chance of making the necessary radio tools available to all members. That has been, and continues to be, our goal.

Therefore, I hope you will consider writing or calling me, to discuss how you can get involved, as a member of BayComm. There are no dues, and only a few in-person meetings per year, but participation in planning, training, implementing radio connectivity, and general camaraderie is always welcome. A radio background is not necessary, but helpful. We will help to equip you with the basic radio equipment necessary to communicate with all other members. Once a week, for about a half hour, we meet up on our designated frequencies.

If this sounds appealing, please call me at 216-337-6327, or email

Jim Kettren

BayComm Operations Manager

Read More on Community Service
Volume 9, Issue 21, Posted 10:01 AM, 11.07.2017