Saline County, Arkansas
Office of Emergency Services

Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

Communications Team

Sponsored by the Saline County, Arkansas Office of Emergency Service RACES Communications Team.

The Saline County RACES Communications Team is a volunteer auxiliary to the Saline County Office of Emergency Service, providing additional communications resources in time of emergency.

Welcome to the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service


Saline County

Communication Is The Key To Survival.

Reliable communication is essential to emergency response. RACES can make the difference between life and death. It can be a vital link in this life saving emergency communication network.

What is RACES?

The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES).

These networks provide vital communication for the following.
- Local government emergency operating centers.
- State government emergency operating centers.
- Remote locations.

The Federal Communications Commission.

"All communications in the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service must be specifically authorized by the civil defense organization of the area served"

For Saline County this is the Saline County Office of Emergency Services

R.A.C.E.S. operators are indispensable for emergency communications.

Amateur radio operators can help save lives

When is R.A.C.E.S. needed?

The RACES organization of amateur radio operators is vital during such emergencies as:

Frequently, normal communication systems sustain damage during these types of emergencies. It is then that RACES operators are invaluable to emergency managers. During national emergencies, RACES operators are the only amateur radio operators permitted on the air. In an emergency, RACES operators are assigned specific frequencies within authorized frequency bands as directed by emergency management officials.

Amateurs radio operators desiring to participate in the Saline County R.A.C.E.S. Communications Team are invited to contact the Saline County Office of Emergency Services at (501)778-0778 or Email to: Mail to: [email protected]

Here's more information about the RACES program in Saline County, Arkansas:

FUNCTION. The primary function of RACES is to establish and maintain communications to support government operations during times of emergency with Amateur radio by persons properly enrolled, trained and registered as Disaster Service Workers with the Saline County Emergency Operations Coordinator. An emergency may be single or concurrent incidents, or a major natural or manmade disaster. An incident can involve two or more agencies of the same government or more than one government. With mutual aid agreements assistance will be provided to other areas as requested.

VOLUNTEERS make up RACES members. Saline County RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) personnel are volunteer government employees of Saline County and enjoy certain benefits and protection when activated for an emergency, training, or work party under proper authority. Saline County RACES is not a club, detached group, or self governing activity. It is an agency of The Saline County Emergency Operations Center.

RACES RADIO OFFICER for Saline County is that person, a licensed Radio Amateur, holding a valid Federal Communications Commission Amateur Radio License of General Class or higher is appointed by the Saline County Office of Emergency Services (OES) director as a representative of the Saline County government to serve as chief of its RACES program. The RACES Radio Officer (or called simply the Radio Officer) is considered key staff and part of the initial response team to the EOC (Emergency Operations Center). The Radio Officer to the Saline County OES Coordinator or his designee.

STATE RACES COORDINATOR. That person, a licensed Radio Amateur, assigned by the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (the State OES) to manage and coordinate the RACES program in Arkansas. The position is assisted by the State Radio Officer and other volunteer staff.

LEVELS OF RACES. The levels of RACES are the same as the levels of government within the state of Arkansas (i.e., State and county government). State RACES personnel and equipment support the State OES headquarters, its regions, mobile strike teams and relay stations.

ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) is administered by the ARRL (American Amateur Relay League), the national association that represents Amateur Radio operators. ARRL and ARES identify those Amateurs who are genuinely interested in emergency and public service communications. ARES largely supports the non state and local government needs for Amateur Radio such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other relief organizations, and the important task of post disaster health and welfare messages. Many RACES personnel are also ARES members. Whereas this may appear to be a conflict, OES/government need for Amateur communications (e.g., RACES) may typically be about 10% of the total Amateur radio involvement in a disaster and the other 90% are performing ARES related communications. Saline County RACES joins ARRL in urging all Amateurs to join both ARES and RACES. ARES is managed on the local level by ARRL appointed emergency coordinators or EC's.

UTILIZATION OF RACES personnel proficiency and equipment readiness is maintained through frequent employment in incident communications, exercises, drills, training and related activities, including the installation, maintenance and operation of RACES equipment. Skilled and properly licensed technicians may also be an emergency maintenance resource during a communications emergency. A jurisdiction's OES need not necessarily be involved in an incident for its RACES resources to be activated and utilized. A brush fire or other incident, for example, may not directly involve a local government OES but may use its RACES resources. Whereas an OES does not sponsor a marathon, it may sanction the use of its RACES as an approved training exercise. A state of emergency does not have to exist or be declared to activate RACES. Every effort should be made, in fact, to use RACES resources as frequently as possible so as to maintain both personnel and equipment in a continuing state of readiness and proficiency. Opportunities to utilize RACES resources include, but not limited to, the following:

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES are/will be developed by the Saline County OES so that other agencies within Saline County may promptly obtain RACES support when needed. The development of standard operating procedures is a function of the Radio Officer position. Certain radio operating procedures are already established for commonality and standardization. The Saline County Office of Emergency Service will administer only one RACES program to serve all of Saline County and its cities in order to more effectively manage and utilize a limited resource Amateur radio operators. RACES personnel may thus be preassigned to particular cities or geographic areas. Separate city RACES organizations are discouraged and will not be supported by Saline County OES.

ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT RACES is managed by the Saline County Office of Emergency Service director. thru his appointed RACES Radio officer. The administration of any RACES organization and program requires competent, qualified, and dedicated volunteer staff similar to other government volunteer programs; i.e., reserve deputy sheriffs, volunteer fire fighters, reserve police officers, search and rescue, and similar programs requiring trained and disciplined volunteers. The Saline County Office of Emergency Service Director will appoint in writing an Amateur Radio Operator who holds a Federal Communications Commission license of general class or higher to serve as the RACES Radio Officer, referred hereinafter as the Radio Officer. The Radio Officer will report directly to the Saline County OES Director. The use of Amateur radio operators in any local government is established by only one agency by and for that government. (Reference FCC S97.169(b), S97.177, S97.191, and S97191 et al.) Different departments will not operate separate Amateur radio programs. All requirements for Amateur radio support will be channeled to the Saline County Radio Officer.

STATE Government RACES organization. A State OES communications coordinator is the State RACES coordinator who, in turn, appoints the chief radio officer and deputy chief radio . The OES headquarters staff coordinates with, but does not direct, the OES County RACES staffs. The State OES headquarters has a State RACES Coordinator and a State Chief Radio Officer; each county will have a County Radio Officer.

RADIO OFFICER The Saline County Radio Officer will appoint a staff to assist in properly carrying out a viable RACES program capability to support Saline County OES. Assistant radio officers should be appointed to (a) serve in the absence of the radio officer in an emergency and (b) to carry out day to day administrative functions. The latter may include training, administration, personnel, operations, maintenance, public relations, et cetera. The Radio Officer is the principal management volunteer through whom the local government jurisdiction employs RACES resources. In this regard the jurisdiction should support the position with work space, clerical, mailing, telephone use and other costs or assistance normally associated with program management.

The Radio Officer and staff is responsible for preparing, amending and updating a local government RACES Plan that conforms to the requirements of the Federal and State governments.

The RACES Radio Officer is appointed by the Saline County Office of Emergency Services Director. He will voluntarily serve on his staff and advise him as to the uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio during emergencies. This appointment shall be made in signed, written format, by the Saline County OES Director and kept on file.

. APPLICATION to the RACES are made by Amateur radio operators to the RACES Radio Officer, Saline County, EOC. The application will include the form prescribed for registering State of Arkansas disaster service workers and the loyalty oath. Applicants will be registered in the "Communications" class of disaster service workers. The completed form will be approved by the RACES Radio Officer and the Saline County OES Director.