Speakers at the introductory session attended by both and delegates included:
Former Secretary General of the ITU Dr Pekka Tarjanne.
Finland Minister of Foreign Trade and development, Ms Paula Lehtomaki.
United Nations Under secretary-General for humanitarian affairs, Mr Jan Egland.
The representative for the International Federation of the red cross and Red cresent societies, Mr Johan Schaar Vice president if the IARU Mr Tim Ellam.
The value of the Amateur radio community was recognised. Tim Ellam of the IARU emphasised the professionalism of the Amateur Radio community around the world providing trained operators, technicians, and engineers for disaster relief communications. He further explained that the word Amateur had little relevance here other than to recognise the fact that these individuals offer their services for no financial reward.
The new emergency communications manual was discussed. Much of the content will reflect that in the though of course with an international emphasis. Delegates suggested that this be small and hand transportable for ease of use in the field. Another idea discussed was to provide a laminated A5 card containing the IARU region 1 and the , , and other counterpart organisations frequencies.
Numerous presentations were delivered by country representatives. Paul Gaskell of Raynet shared knowledge of in-tunnel radio communications experiments conducted in the past year with the railway authority. They found the best frequencies to use in what is a very specific application. Mention was given to activations in the past year including the London Bombings, Oil depot fire and a Bomb scare evacuation from a residential area.
These are just a few of the many excellent presentations that were delivered.
Equipment on display at the conference included backpack satellite communication systems from two companies, an E-Net Emergency GSM Network and a HF amateur radio station. The Emergency GSM Network, about the size of a VCR with a small antenna on top can be set up where no existing network exists or the existing network has failed or become overloaded.
The conference provided a great opportunity to build relations with our counterparts in other countries. While in Ireland we are lucky not to be afflicted with earthquakes, hurricanes and so on it was of benefit to listen and talk to others who have first hand experience of real disaster situations.