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RACES – Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

A disaster, such as an earthquake, may disrupt, overload, or extensively damage normal
communications paths and systems. In such disasters, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service,
RACES, may be utilized to provide a backup path for the exchange of critical information between
decision-making officials for the coordination of local, state, and federal disaster response and recovery
actions for the protection and preservation of lives and property. The Utah Division of Emergency
Management Amateur Radio Volunteers (DEM ARV) registered with the Division, may be called upon to
provide this critical service if, at the discretion of the Director, DEM, or his designee, request the DEM
ARV to operate in the RACES.
Founded in 1952, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is part of the Amateur Radio
Services as written in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR),
Title 47, Part 97, the Amateur Radio Service, Subpart E, 97.407, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency
RACES operations involve emergency message handling on Amateur Radio Service frequencies. These
operations typically involve messages between critical locations such as the State Emergency Operations
Center (SEOC) and County or local Emergency Operations Centers. These communications have unique
requirements as are outlined in CFR 47, Part 97.407 and may be handled in any mode and on any
frequency available, with 2-meter FM being the most prevalent.
DEM Amateur Radio Volunteers (ARV)
Amateur radio volunteers register with a local, county, or state civil defense organization responsible for
disaster services. In today’s terminology, a civil defense organization is more often called an emergency
services organization or emergency management organization. The Utah Division of Emergency
Management, DEM, is the emergency management or civil defense organization in Utah, and amateur
radio volunteers can register with the DEM to support the state with communications in times of
emergency or disaster.
Registered DEM Amateur Radio Volunteers are then recognized under CFR 47, Part 97.407 (a) as
qualified to operate in the RACES when requested by the Director, DEM, or their designee. Operation in
the RACES must be specifically requested by the emergency management director.
Other tasks that DEM ARV may be tasked with may not involve amateur-radio communications. For
example, volunteers may be asked to assist with public-safety or other government communications.
The Utah DEM ARV develop and maintain their communications ability by training throughout the year
with monthly scheduled nets and special exercises.

To register with the DEM as a volunteer for Utah RACES, please follow this link: http://utahdem.readyop.com/contact/register/4

Download the Utah DEM ARV Information PDF here.