Red Cross DST Program and First 40 Minutes of San Bruno Explosion-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Red Cross DST Program and First 40 Minutes of San Bruno Explosion

Sunday May 22, 2:00 pm, Bldg 23, Rm 212

George Williams and Barbara Neuhauser, American Red Cross

Summary: The American Red Cross responds to many disasters throughout the country providing various services and to meet the immediate needs to those disaster victims. To provide the various services, there is a need to get information in and out of the disaster area in a timely matter. The Disaster Service Technology Team provides this service in the area of Radio, Computer, Networking and Customer Support to the responders to those disasters. This first part of this talk is a quick overview of DST and how the local Red Cross responded to the recent San Bruno Gas Fire. The second part of the talk will discuss the two phases of radio communication activities during the disaster: the transient response during which only a single operator was present initially, and the steady state response that developed over the course of several hours. Emergency planning applied only to the steady state response and did not work well during the early stages. We present plans for a reconfigurable station layout, transitional staffing priorities, and training and practice opportunities that are essential for effective emergency communications.

Our one hour presentation will be broken out into two focus areas.

  1. Overview of the DST Program - George Williams, Volunteer – DST, Silicon Valley Chapter, American Red Cross, Santa Clara County
  2. ARC Response to the San Bruno Fire - Barbara Neuhauser, American Red Cross volunteer, San Mateo County

About the speakers:
George Williams has been a volunteer with the Silicon Valley Chapter of American Red Cross for twenty years. He has been member of the First Aid and Disaster Response Team while being active as an Emergency Response Vehicle Driver and Disaster Instructor. In the more recent years, George has become the Chief Radio Officer for the chapter, member of the Emergency Communication Response Vehicle Team and Disaster Service Technology Team helping planning for the next major disaster while working with various IT and RF communication partners. George is currently has a General Radio Telephone Commercial License and has been license as an Amateur Radio Operator, N6NKT since 1987, few years ago upgrade to an Extra Class ticket. He has a M.A. in Leadership from St Mary’s College of Moraga, two B.S. degrees from Cogswell College, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering Technology and been working as an Automation, Test and QA Engineer for the past thirty years. Currently, doing consultant and contract work for Positional Technology Industry.

Barbara Neuhauser is a volunteer with the American Red Cross, South San Francisco CERT, and San Francisco NERT. She earned her first amateur radio license in 1963 as WN9JKI, presently is AE6RM, and is Army MARS operator AAR9FP. She has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Stanford University. For the past twenty-four years she has been a professor of physics at San Francisco State University where she teaches courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. She and her students built the SFSU Thin Film Laboratory in which they are developing ultra high resolution x-ray detectors based upon superconducting tunnel junctions. A more recent research project involves novel modifications of GM tubes for neutron detection purposes.