In approximately 2010, the Auxiliary Communications Services (ACS) was developed. The Auxiliary Communications Services (ACS) for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a volunteer-based emergency communications reserve program that has both operational and educational components.
These volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, including radio, information technology, telephone, microwave, satellite, medical, law and other professional backgrounds. Personnel may or may not hold FCC licenses.
An important element in the ACS model is not only Amateur Radio but it is used in support of government communications. These resources include, but are not limited to: GMRS radio, citizens band radio, microwave, and digital communications.
The ACS program is based on and includes RACES, but broadens the scope to include the use of non-amateur radio volunteers, only utilizing them during emergencies. National priorities emphasize the need to coordinate resources regionally. The Pennsylvania ACS Program provides the mechanism to support county and regional disaster response organizations and their resources on a statewide basis. ACS is available to support not only disaster response, but also exercises, drills and other "significant" events.
The Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) is a program created by government's disaster or emergency management office to supplement its emergency communications with unpaid staff. Skilled and dedicated people, licensed and unlicensed, can be recruited to serve in one or more of four categories: administrative, management, technical, and operations.
How RACES was created
RACES was originally created to allow emergency communications during emergency by Amateur Radio Operators.
RACES was made part of the FCC regulations August 15, 1952.
By the l950's it had been determined that, to adequately support the expanding civil defense program and mission, it would be necessary to allow certain Amateur licensees to remain on the air in a national emergency , per the Presidential Emergency War Powers Act. Thus the RACES was born. Essentially the rules were written to allow the RACES service to operate (as such) if ever again a national crisis caused the general suspension of Amateur Radio operation.
Call out – Once 911 is called out they send test messages to the group requesting their help.
Training – Our weekly Training & Information Net is Sunday evening at 9:00 on the 146.700- WA3UC repeater in Union City, 146.61- W3GV in Erie and 146.820- W3GV in Waterford. Erie County ARES/RACES/SKYWARN members are invited to check-in, visitor check-ins are accepted.
Contact page – use information from website page www.ecemcomm.com