Emergency Communications Team (EMCOMMS)

The Stafford County Amateur Radio Emergency Service / Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (ARES/RACES) Team is a voluntary emergency communications group of licensed radio amateurs who register with the County Emergency Manager to provide emergency communications as a Public Service to the County. The team’s purpose is to furnish communications skills using personal or provided equipment to assist in the event of a natural disaster, power outage, or other incident when regular communications systems fail or are inadequate.

  • The team is led by the ARES Emergency Coordinator and RACES Officer. Participation varies depending on the individual volunteer’s skill level and availability.
  • EOC Staffing: leading the Emergency Communications Unit in the County EOC when needed. Requires a background check and the completion of FEMA online training courses ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800.
  • Shelter Staffing: staffing a County reception center/shelter. Requires a background check.
  • Neighborhood Support: supporting County operations within your neighborhood by  reporting your neighborhood’s situation status: resource needs, health and welfare status, accessibility/safety issues, etc…
  • Engineering Support: installing and maintaining our ham radio infrastructure and equipment. Including maintaining radios and antennas within the EOC, Emergency Management Vehicle (EMV), and deployment kits and IT needs.

Experience has proven that radio operators respond more capably in time of emergency when they have practiced in an organized group and have been certified in certain Emergency Communications skills. There is no substitute for experience gained before the need arises. Registration does not require possession of any specially designed equipment. All communicators can be of assistance to the local Emergency Manager, regardless of class of license, equipment owned, or personal circumstances.

For more information on amateur radio operation or becoming a member of the EMCOMMS Team, please visit our website http://www.ws4va.org/EmComm.html or contact us.