|The Comm Room||
One will see both titles in our discussions on communications volunteers in government service. While it may be of little significance in your government, here is how we define them to those who may just be starting up a communications program.
RACES Radio Officers, volunteer or paid, are part of the management in the agency for which they serve. In that role it's proper for them to network and coordinate with their counterparts in neighboring jurisdictions. This helps when one jurisdiction needs help and resources from another jurisdiction to support an incident.
The services of any volunteer group hinges on the success of appealing to and utilizing the skills of the individual, rather than stressing conformity of the whole into one rigid mold. This is more applicable to communications volunteers than to, say, law enforcement or fire suppression volunteers.
CA State OES began the Bulletins in the early 1950's to assist agencies and radio operators to become more familiar with RACES. They were issued periodically until 1985, at which time they began to be issued weekly over voice and digital radio systems of Amateur Radio and in print. Originally intended for California, increased demand, and a 1988 request by the ARRL for national distribution, led to their eventual worldwide distribution.
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