Who is RACES?
Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES – pronounced “RAY-sees”) team members are part of a unique volunteer group. Each member is a licensed ham radio operator, ranging from having their “technician” to “extra” class FCC license.
RACES members volunteer their time, skills and equipment to support the cities of Seal Beach and Los Alamitos during special events and real-world emergencies. Team members are certified by the State of California as Disaster Service Workers and are trained to provide public safety communications support.
RACES is a public service that provides communications personnel to government agencies in times of extraordinary need. During periods of activation, RACES personnel are called upon to perform many tasks for the government agencies they serve. Although the exact nature of each activation will be different, the common thread is communications.
RACES was created in 1951 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC Part 97, Section 407) primarily to serve in civil defense emergencies to provide essential communications and warnings to supplement State and local governments. The program is endorsed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
What We Do....
RACES operations include two main areas: Observe and report on local conditions during an emergency and provide emergency message handling on Amateur Radio Service frequencies. During periods of activation, RACES personnel are called upon to provide many tasks for the cities of Seal Beach and Los Alamitos. Although the exact nature of each Activation will be different, the common thread is communications.
RACES members function under the guidance of a Chief Radio Officer, Assistant Radio Officer, and the two cities Emergency Services Coordinators. The rest of the team function as radio operators.
Team members volunteer their time, qualifications, and expertise to train and prepare for any event needing a
communications capability. Team members can be activated for a localized or large-scale disaster, to work pre-planned events, or to serve at the discretion of the Chief of Police and/or the Incident Commander.
Each team member agrees to attend regular meetings, participate in a weekly Team NET, attend training sessions, and participate in public events within the county.