|The Comm Room||
Why use simplex 2-Meter frequencies when a repeater will do just as well? Some reasons are unique to individual organizations; others are common to all. One reason is to get off a wide area channel when a simplex frequency will do. In public safety systems the repeater channel may be used for routine dispatch and communications, while a simplex channel is used only for the tactical and exclusive needs of the incident.
QUESTION: Where does it say in the FCC Rules that the RACES is a governmental organization?
REPLY: It doesn't. What the FCC Rules do say is that a group of Radio Amateurs can only function as a RACES unit under the control of a properly constituted Civil Defense agency. (Reference: FCC 97.163a, 97.169b, 97.175, and 197.177.) The RACES unit remains an Amateur Radio group performing a unique communications service for a particular civil defense agency. By its nature as a service to local government under local government supervision, activation, and authority it becomes, in effect, a quasi-governmental function.
There are times that an inventory of RACES member skills can be helpful to the Radio Officer. Here are the skill codes we have developed for our communications volunteers in government service:
No, not necessarily. The enrolled communications volunteer (RACES, CAP, etc.) can expect to work at the government-provided site in many instances. The equipment at the EOC, and possibly at alternate EOC's, may be provided and owned by the local juris- diction as a means of saying "thank you" to local hams as well as assuring a permanent installation of the same equipment.
RACES is based on the criteria that the station is serving a government function/need at a government site, not a home of one of the volunteers. In such cases it should be obvious that a member-owned station is not relevant, except possibly as a source of back-up to the EOC if its equipment fails. An exception is where there is no local EOC and the jurisdiction authorizes a station as an EOC alternate until such time as the jurisdiction can activate its own EOC.
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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