RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service)
Are you an amateur radio operator interested in getting involved in your community? Then RACES is probably just what you've been waiting for. RACES stands for Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service and describes public safety volunteers trained to assist local government during times of emergency or disaster, as well as for routine events and activities. Personnel are certified by the State of California as Disaster Service Workers and are trained and certified to provide public safety communications support.
The Brea RACES organization is administered by the Brea Fire Department and the Emergency Preparedness Program. Brea RACES works in cooperation with other RACES programs in Orange County. There are currently at least 18 individual RACES programs in Orange County, operated under their respective local city emergency management programs.
The purpose of RACES is to provide vital communications support to public safety organizations during emergency incidents as well as during routine events and activities. Emergency support may include handling messages and supporting Emergency Operations Center (EOC) needs, serving as shadows to city personnel, and provide the eyes and ears needed in the field to evaluate the extent of damage during an emergency. Non-emergency support is also a critical element of the program because it enhances preparedness and coordination as well as providing essential communications links. Non-emergency events that involve RACES might include city sponsored fairs, 8k events, and working with neighboring jurisdictions during similar events.
RACES personnel are expected to apply state-of-the-art technologies such as portable repeaters, packet radio, amateur TV, APRS vehicle tracking, and radio direction finding in fulfilling challenging assignments. While the City of Brea owns some basic amateur radio equipment, members are expected to augment current capability through the use of their own equipment and expertise.
Basic qualifications for RACES membership include:
- Be a licensed amateur radio operator
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Attend meetings regularly
- Check into regularly scheduled radio nets
- Be available for call-outs and special duties
- Own a two-meter amateur radio
- Pass a background check conducted by the Brea Police Department
- Have a desire to provide public service
If you would like more information or a registration packet, please call 714-990-7622.