top of page
UHF radios a part of the Killabakh Emergency Radio Network KERN.jpg

Killabakh Emergency Radio Network


Why is KERN being set up & developed?

The Killabakh Emergency Radio Network is a proactive response by our community to the 2019 bushfire disaster and the 2021 flood disaster in the Manning Valley. Its purpose is to ensure reliable communication between community members and authorities during emergencies, when traditional communication infrastructure may be compromised.

Want to get involved?
If you are not yet registered but would like to participate, please get in touch with Brian Willey
The History of KERN by Greg Hale

Hi all, it’s Greg Hale. I wanted to share the story behind the Killabakh Emergency Radio Network. I represent Killabakh in the MCC Disaster Resilience Reference group and the Small Communities Supporting Each Other group.


Through discussions in both meetings, one of the significant issues identified out of the disasters was the lack of ability for communities to communicate between themselves and authorities due to communication infrastructure damage and weather conditions.


Thanks to the efforts of participants and the MCC, we obtained information about the development of community-based Emergency Communication Trees. These are networks using UHF radio technology that allow for rapid dissemination of information during emergencies. This coincided with the upgrade and installation of UHF radios on all RFS vehicles along with the Farm Fire Fighters policy developed by RFS to acknowledge community members’ role in assisting the RFS in major bushfire events. On the other hand, the Killabakh Emergency Management Plan is a comprehensive strategy for managing emergencies in our community, including 

communication, evacuation, and support procedures.


The Killabakh RFS Brigade, in consultation with the KCA and the Killabakh Hall Public Land Managers, decided to promote a Killabakh Emergency Communication Tree and a comprehensive Killabakh Emergency Management Plan. This plan outlines our community’s strategies for emergency response, including roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and evacuation procedures. It was launched at a meeting at the Killabakh Hall on 21.9.2023.


The Killabakh RFS decided that we would install a base station UHF at the fire shed to promote the development of the Communications tree. The RFS leadership in this project does not equate to ownership. It is more a stewardship on behalf of the community with an expectation that this disaster response system will be community - based and is not solely related to bushfires but any disaster we may have to endure. The fire shed is a community space.


The RFS has strict callout procedures. But as a community, we can operate our communication tree as we see fit. In developing the Tree, the community

consultation will define the operating rules. Brian Willey from the RFS has agreed to lead this process and is supported by the RFS, KCA and our Public Hall Land Managers.


Greg Hale

Practice sessions using the UFH radios and interacting on the network are held every Friday afternoon from 5.30-6.30pm
bottom of page