RACES

Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

RACES is an organization of Federal Communication Commission (FCC) licensed amateur radio operators who volunteer to provide radio communications for state and local governments during times of emergency.

RACES

Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

David Gealt, KD2BVA is the RACES Radio Officer for Warren County.

Derrick Helms, KD2ALW is the RACES Deputy Radio Officer for Warren County.

Jami Olden, N2ZTC is the RACES Radio Officer for Washington County.


Warren County RACES Facebook Page

The local RACES is held every Tuesday Night at 7pm local time on the W2WCR repeater system


The New York State RACES SSB HF Net is on Sunday mornings at 0900 local on 3993.5 kHz LSB

The radio rack at the Warren County EOC

RACES is an organization of Federal Communication Commission (FCC) licensed amateur radio operators who volunteer to provide radio communications for state and local governments during times of emergency. Created in 1952 primarily to serve in civil defense emergencies, RACES provides essential communications and warning links to supplement State and local government agencies during emergencies.


RACES is organized to provide emergency communications for civil preparedness purposes only. RACES is a special part of the amateur radio service sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and is conducted by amateur radio operators using their primary station licenses or by existing RACES stations. In the event that the President invokes the War Emergency Powers Act, amateur radio operators enrolled with their local emergency management offices would become limited to certain frequencies, while all other amateur operations would be silenced.


The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is a standby radio service provided for in Part 97.407 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations governing amateur radio in the United States.

The concept of a standby "Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service" to replace the conventional "Amateur Radio Service" during wartime was developed in 1952 as result of input from the American Radio Relay League and the Department of the Army's Office of Civil Defense. During World War II, the Amateur Radio Service had been silenced and a new War Emergency Radio Service (WERS) had to be created from scratch in a process that took six months.

The resulting standby RACES service was designed to provide a quicker and smoother transition in the event the President ever needed to silence the regular Amateur Radio Service again when invoking the War Powers Act.

Patch Panel at Warren County OES

During an emergency, RACES is operated under the direct control of the local emergency management office, as authorized by the FCC and the Director of the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO).

RACES provides a pool of emergency communications personnel that can be called on in time of need. RACES groups across the country prepare themselves for the inevitable day when they will be called upon. When a local, state, or national government agency activates a RACES group, that RACES group will use its resources to meet whatever need that agency has.

Traditional RACES operations involve emergency message handling on Amateur Radio frequencies. These operations typically involve messages between critical locations such as hospitals, emergency services, emergency shelters, and any other locations where communication is needed. These communications are handled in any mode available, with 2 meters FM being the most prevalent.


Other tasks that RACES personnel are involved with may not involve Amateur Radio communications. For example, RACES communicators may become involved in public-safety or other government communications, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staffing, and emergency equipment repair.

Whatever need arises, trained RACES personnel are ready and prepared to help. RACES groups develop and maintain their communications ability by training throughout the year with special exercises and public-service events. When that fateful day occurs, RACES will be there to meet the challenge.

Local units within RACES operate via local Amateur Radio frequencies and repeaters.

RACES is authorized by Section 606 of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended by Part 97.407 of the Federal Communications Commission. RACES guidance is also provided by FEMA document CPG1-15 March 1991.

NOTE: FCC rules, Part 97, still apply to all RACES stations and RACES operators participating in RACES operations.

RACES Documents:

RACES Links:

RACES Training: