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Ham radio operators trained

by Dick Creley

In order to better align itself with state and federal guidelines, Douglas County has taken steps to create a structured amateur (“ham”) radio organization to provide a trained corps of operators in times of emergencies.

On Dec. 28, Richard Mirgon, director of emergency management for Douglas County, appointed Dick Flanagan of Minden as the county’s new RACES Officer.

The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is a State and Federally recognized program designed to recruit, outfit and train licensed amateur radio operators for use in times of emergency. As a matter of fact, if it ever becomes necessary for the President of the United States to invoke the War Powers Act, the only amateur radio operators who will be allowed to remain on the air will be those who are registered with a recognized RACES organization.

To reinforce Douglas County’s commitment to this principal, they have directed that any amateur radio operations in direct support of the county’s emergency needs must be registered with and coordinated through their Volunteer Emergency Communications Coordinator, Dick Creley of Gardnerville. This includes not only RACES members under Flanagan, but also those associated with other emergency organizations, local clubs or just individuals desiring to help their community through their radio skills, experience or equipment. In this way, they can all work together as a team when the county needs their help.

As we continue to move into the new year, training schedules and procedures for obtaining new county ID badges will be distributed to all amateur radio clubs in the area. Internet web sites will also be created where this information can be readily found, as well as news and other information regarding emergency radio preparedness in Douglas County.

Questions can be directed to: Dick Creley KJ7UK; 265-5987; E-mail,kj7uk@arrl.net; http://www.qsl.net/kj7uk/