The Emergency Management Division (EMD) operates a statewide, very high frequency (VHF) low-band radio system, as the primary backup communication link between the state EOC and local EOC’s throughout the state. It also serves as a link to other agencies such as the state departments of Ecology and Health, the UW Seismology Lab, and Harborview Medical Center.
The following map [the map is on the second page of this linked pdf – LVA] depicts the location of the twelve mountaintop base stations that comprise the backbone of the network. The CEMNET base stations are controlled from the state EOC through the Washington State Patrol microwave system.
CEMNET operates primarily on three (3) frequencies, designated for accountability purposes as F1- 45.200 MHz, F2 – 45.360 MHz, and F3- 45.480 MHz. In radios set up primarily for CEMNET use, this will usually correspond to channels 1, 2, and 3.
The State Emergency Operations Officer (SEOO) located within the State EOC monitors the network on a 24-hour basis. For operational purposes, the state has been divided into five regions (see table below), with a channel designated for use within that region. The State Emergency Operations Officer (SEOO) will monitor the designated channel (frequency) for both routine and emergency traffic and respond accordingly. Should traffic build-up cause a problem within the network, the State EOC will act as Net Control.
CEMNET is tested weekly with local emergency management jurisdictions on the following schedule:
Western Washington stations: Tuesday, 0900 hours
Central Washington stations: Wednesday, 0900 hours
Eastern Washington stations: Thursday, 0900 hours
Local emergency management jurisdictions are authorized to use the designated CEMNET region channel for local operations.
|F1 (45,20 MHz)
||F2 (45.36 MHz)
||F3 (45.48 MHz)
||F1 (45.20 MHz)
||F2 (45.36 MHz)
Local jurisdictions should use the region channel assignment as identified in the preceding table for local “base station” to mobile / portable communications in support of local day-to-day and emergency needs. Each local jurisdiction is authorized at least five (5) mobiles per license.
Additionally, MAST helicopters from Fort Lewis and/or Army National Guard may communicate on Channel F1 on their FM systems.
Although the CEMNET frequencies are outside of the Amateur Radio band, it is still worth monitoring the net to listen to Washington State Emergence Management traffic.