The Federal Communications Commission and The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) devised the RACES protocol, which stands for “Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service” (FCC Part 97, Section 407). It is an emergency communication system when traditional communication systems can’t be possible.
Want to know more about radio amateur civil emergency service? Stick with us throughout this article. We will try to provide insightful information about Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES).
What is Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
As mentioned earlier, this is an emergency communication system that can be used in a disaster situation, such as:
- natural disasters,
- civil disorder,
- technological disasters,
- terrorism/enemy attack
- or even nuclear or chemical incidents.
RACES’ objective is to build and sustain organizational infrastructure and leadership required to offer amateur communication systems towards emergency management agencies across the US and its territories.
The Idea of RACES
Following World War II, once it became clear that the world political condition was bound to be difficult from time to time, to cope up with that, some form of civil-defense measures were required. Successively government agencies held programs, calling the amature representatives to participate.
Amateurs were inclined to make two points during the subsequent discussions: firstly, amateur radio had the capacity and ability to play a big role in this program.
Secondly, they should have a particular name as “Amateur Radio Service”, even after the war.
These points were included while formatting a new division of amateur radio named Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES).
Member Qualification of RACES
Members of RACES must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have liscence as ameture radio operator.
- Available to participate in special events and call-outs.
- Possess a 2 meters 440-band portable/mobile amateur radio.
- Have a strong desire to help others.
Enrollment on RACES
RACES is a program that allows FCC-licensed amateur radio users to offer emergency communications support to county, state, and local area emergency management authorities.
The operators must register the amateur radios and stations with the relevant emergency management authorities, and may receive registration based on the policies of the emergency management authorities.
Activation of RACES Station
Only the state, regional, or local emergency management authorities can activate RACES stations to act on their behalf.
Only the stations that have already registered with state and local governments can offer emergency communication support. Other than those stations, amateur radio operations may be suspended and RACES-governed operations may be limited to specific frequencies during emergencies.
Civil defense organizations have previously been given RACES station permits too. But later on, to avoid any misuse of the stations by the unlicensed officials, limited time of non-emergency operations such licenses are no longer issued by the RACES.
Nowadays, most amateur radio operators are registered through the local government. No person without a proper license can’t be an amateur radio operator under RACES.
This article on ‘radio amateur civil emergency service’ is about to end. Hopefully, you have got a clear idea about Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES).
However, to get the membership of RACES, there are some strict rules and guidelines that need to be followed. You will need to fill out the necessary information form to get started.
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