Office of Emergency Management
Morris County RACES Operations
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This page provides a brief overview of Morris County RACES operations and it's stated goals.
The Morris County RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services) Unit provides communications for the Morris County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) of Morris County, N.J. on the amateur radio frequencies.
Generally, these communications are between the Morris County OEM and:
The RACES Unit's basic objective is to accurately and efficiently relay information between the Morris County OEM staff and these entities. The RACES unit is responsible solely for the transfer of information to the appropriate emergency management officials and does not make any operational decisions with regard to that information.
The Unit also take a leadership role in cooperative efforts with the municipal RACES Units .
Activation and Deactivation
County and municipal Emergency Management Coordinators (EMCs), or their deputies, may activate their respective RACES units to provide communications. This may include an actual emergency or the threat of an emergency, for example, approaching severe weather. Activation normally is not made by a FEMA or State official. A "State of Emergency" does not need to exist for the RACES unit to activate. RACES units normally do not, however, self-activate.
The OEM official who activated the RACES unit is responsible for deactivating it at the conclusion of the need.
Morris County RACES Staffing
The Radio Officer (RO) reports to the OEM Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) or a Deputy EMC. The RO is primarily responsible for all RACES operations, including:
The Radio Officer is authorized to change or add procedures when they are required for efficient and effective operation of the RACES unit.
Deputy Radio Officer
The Deputy Radio Officer (DRO) is appointed by, and reports to, the Radio Officer. The Radio Officer may delegate certain responsibilities to the DRO. Either the Radio Officer or the Emergency Management Coordinator will designate the DRO as the Acting Radio Officer when the Radio Officer is not able to act as the RO.
Team Leaders are appointed by the Radio Officer and assigned operating responsibilities and radio operators to handle various RACES station activities. In the absence of the RO (or DRO), the Emergency Management Coordinator (or acting Radio Officer) may designate a Team Leader as an acting RO or acting DRO.
Other volunteer RACES operators report to the Team Leaders. Membership requirements and responsibilities are detailed on the Volunteer Requirements page. Operators on the County RACES staff are also permitted to be members of a municipal RACES unit.
All RACES operators should have a valid RACES ID to
facilitate admission to OEM or RACES locations and, during declared
emergencies, to permit travel when it would normally be restricted by
emergency officials. Without an ID, a RACES member may be
identified by another RACES member in the operation, but only admitted at the discretion of the
official responsible for the operation.
Every effort is made to exercise RACES resources as frequently as possible to keep both personnel and equipment in a state of readiness and proficiency. Periodic radio exercises or drills are held by the county and each municipal RACES unit. (Such activities are limited by the FCC to one hour per week unless permission has been granted by the chief NJ officer for emergency planning, who can permit drills lasting up to 72 hours no more than twice a year).
RACES member are expected to have a basic understanding of radio operations and a working knowledge of message handling procedures, RACES policies and procedures, the Incident Command System, and the Communications Annex of Emergency Operating Plan (EOP) of their respective municipality (or county).
The Radio Officer (County and Municipal) is responsible for RACES operator training, although all operators are encouraged to learn as much as possible on their own (see the Volunteer Requirements page). This web site is one source of training materials.
RACES operators should be familiar with the incident Command System (ICS) , and NIMS, the National Emergency Management System. All operators are encouraged to take the basic level courses. Both are available on-line:
Operating Location and Equipment
The normal RACES operating location is at the County EOC (Emergency Operating Center). Please see the RACES Radio Room page for more information about the Radio Room, county-owned RACES equipment, and frequency capabilities.
The Morris County RACES also owns and maintains a repeater to extend radio coverage. You can read more about this on the WS2Q/R page.
Backup and supplementary repeater coverage is provided by local amateur repeater stations owned and operated by either amateur radio clubs or individuals. No formal agreements exist between RACES and the licensees of these repeaters, since most provide unrestricted access. Some repeaters provide for limited interconnection to the telephone system.
Other radio equipment used by RACES, particularly at temporary fixed or mobile stations, is privately owned and maintained by RACES volunteers. Volunteer equipment for temporary fixed and mobile *voice* communication is abundant. Volunteer equipment for temporary fixed and mobile *data* and *television* communications is less common.
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|Last Updated: 06/02/17|