What is the RACES program?
The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service was established by a US Congressional Act in 1952 to provide emergency communications in times of disaster. The RACES program provides governmental emergency communications in support of disaster response and is coordinated through Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
How do I activate the RACES program?
RACES members may be activated 24 hours a day in 2 ways. By contacting the Penobscot County Emergency Management office at 207.945.4750 Monday through Friday 0800-1600 or call Penobscot County Regional Communications Center during after hours, holidays and weekends at 207.945.4636. Request dispatch contact Michelle Tanguay, who is the Penobscot County Emergency Management Director. RACES members within Penobscot County will be alerted and respond. For non-activation issues the Penobscot County RACES Radio Officer may be contacted at 207.944.8371.
Who can operate the RACES radio system?
Any licensed RACES radio member can operate the radio system. Since there are many licensed amateur radio operators, it is important that they are part of the RACES system. This ensures that your critical health and welfare messages are communicated in the correct way and that you know exactly who is operating the radio within your facility. Each Penobscot County RACES operator will have an identification card issued from MEMA.
What information should be transmitted with this system?
Pursuant to FCC rules, the RACES radio system may be used to communicate health and welfare messages when emergency conditions exist within your community, the state or nationwide. The RACES network provides emergency communications when standard communication systems are overwhelmed or not working.
What entities can be contacted through the RACES radio system?
Once activated, RACES stations may be contacted. This includes the Emergency Operations Center at Penobscot County EMA, Maine Emergency Management, other Maine hospitals. Other RACES designated stations are within the State of Maine response area and any other RACES station that may be established during an incident. Stations outside of Maine can also serve as contact points as dictated by the event.