THE ACS PROGRAM:"The Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) is a program created by a government's disaster or emergency management office to supplement its emergency communications with unpaid staff. The ACS concept was originally created as an all-inclusive umbrella for all communications volunteers in government service in a way that would avoid stereotypes, myths and out-of-date concepts. ACS combines and maximizes the readiness and effective use of part time communications resources; e.g., the: Amateur Radio Service, Civil Air Patrol, Military Affiliate Radio System, Special Emergency Radio Service, Citizens Band, RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) and others. In this way we have successfully avoided the alphabet soup and words that have little meaning to non-communicators.
"The ACS concept is catching on far more rapidly than was ever expected. Again, because it is in plain English, non-technical words and the readily accepted concept that the local government is in charge of its communications unit -- and not an "outside" club, group, association or league.
HOW TO CREATE AN ACS
"The local government must first, of course, accept such a program. To assist local and state government in this manner, I travel extensively at their invitation. This is attributable to the fact that they are interested in the first place or they wouldn't fund the travel. On arrival I meet with the agency official(s) to get an overview of the local political situation and other important aspects."
The Auxiliary Communications Service program is one that has aroused considerable interest. As a result, Stan Harter, CA State Telecommunications Assistant Chief - ACS Program Manager, is frequently asked to present an overview. Here, in his words, is
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