Today the situation is no longer just that of operation of radios or packet. It involves much more than that; like assistance with a wide array of SYSTEMS: telephone, satellite, microwave, computers. When understood thoroughly, it covers everything from disaster information and intelligence to the delivery, installation and operations of systems in support of needs that may not be even thought of as yet!
A CA Department of Forestry Ranger Unit developed and deployed a Mobile Video Vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, based on a commercial unit owned by KGO San Francisco, CA.
State OES ACS/RACES participants developed satellite strike teams to transport and setup portable trailer-mounted satellite dishes as part of the state-wide Operational Area Satellite Information System (OASIS) which provides up to 32 telephone lines to a local jurisdiction via satellite. These units were deployed during 1994 to incidents as appropriate.
In on-going preparation for future emergencies, State OES headquarters ACS responders provide DAILY agency administrative support and program management to assist counties and cities by preparation of ACS/RACES plans, writing manuals, producing informational materials, bulletins, flyers, and other support including secretarial and clerical assistance. They conduct tests and analysis of new equipment and systems. They provide support of Public Safety systems, transportation and delivery of equipment, and specialists in support of agency computer systems.
In a situation in late '94 Internet was used as a tool for the flow of vital data. In an earthquake at Eureka, California images and information was made available on the INTERNET.
There are literally scores of interesting and challenging opportunities for an Auxiliary Communications Service as part of its service for government. Can you imagine the possibilities that will abound in the 21st century! It's almost unbelievable what can be done, yet it is up to those who are willing - and who have the foresight - to do it!