Who can participate?
By FCC regulations only certified appointees may participate in RACES operations – including training sessions. Only RACES appointees who have attended a SKYWARN school within the past two years may make minimum or modified criteria weather reports during SKYWARN nets. Amateur radio operators that are not RACES appointees may report events that are an imminent threat to life or property as per Part 97 of the Rules and Regulations (Specifically Part 97, subpart E, subparagraph 97.407 (a) of the FCC Rules and Regulations governing the Amateur Radio Service.).
Any licensed amateur radio operator with two-meter operating privileges may apply through his or her city’s RACES Radio Officer to be certified by the authorizing agency. Those operators living or working in unincorporated parts of Dallas County, or whose cities do not have a RACES organization may apply to City of Dallas RACES. Each appointee is issued an identification badge containing the appointee’s name, call sign, RACES unit number, and photograph. This identification is only to be displayed during official RACES operations including training, drills, and activations. Use for any other purpose may be grounds for revocation.
What is expected?
RACES appointees are expected to have a sincere interest in providing communications as a public service to amateur radio. Each appointee should be equipped to operate on the designated RACES frequencies.
Because storm spotting is a major function of RACES in this area, each RACES storm spotter must attend National Weather Service (NWS) “SKYWARN” training at least once every two years. This training is presented throughout the area during the early spring and at Ham-Com in June. The major Dallas County course is offered in Garland each February. SKYWARN storm spotter training sessions usually last between two and four hours.
On-the-air training sessions are regularly scheduled for Dallas County RACES organizations. A list of these nets appears later in this document.
Although each RACES organization is independent, all require some level of training and participation to maintain appointment. Hams who wish to obtain a RACES appointment but have situations that prevent full participation should contact their RACES Radio Officer.
RACES applications may be obtained by contacting your city’s RACES Radio Officer. Visit www.dallasraces.org/radio-officers to find email address information.
RACES Appointees Basic Requirements
1. Demonstrate a willingness to prepare for and participate in emergency communication events.
2. Willing to equip one’s self with knowledge, skills, and equipment to meet basic mission requirements.
3. Possess a valid Amateur Radio Operator’s License for two-meter operation.
4. Own a two-meter FM transceiver appropriate for RACES operations.
5. Live in or be able to respond to activations in Dallas County.
6. Be approved by the City or County RACES authority. (Check with your RACES Radio Officer)
7. Completion of FEMA NIMS IS-100b, IS-200b, and IS-700b courses. Course material may be found at http://training.fema.gov/IS/NIMS.asp
Annual Renewal Requirement
These vary by city.
1. Continue to meet BASIC requirements.
2. Monitor a minimum of twelve (12) RACES training nets within Dallas.
3. Participate as a communicator as follows: A minimum of three consecutive hours in at least one approved special event (special events must be approved by your Radio Officer), simulated emergency net or under drill or controlled net conditions or an emergency net other than a SKYWARN net. Or, participate in an alternate activity approved by your RACES Radio Officer.