EmComm Training Opportunities

There’s a couple EmComm training opportunities that have come up that might be of interest to everyone.

First is that the training schedule for WX1BOX SKYWARN has recently been published.  First come, first serve on class reservations, and many classes have already been filled.  This training is highly recommended to anyone interested in being a SKYWARN Weather Spotter.  The class is free.


Second is that the ARRL recently started revamping its Basic and Advanced Amateur Radio EmComm courses.  The basic course is now available.  It is recommended to anyone getting involved with ARES, RACES or any other amateur radio emergency service.  It’s also recommended for those that wish to volunteer in public service events like supporting triathlons, parades, etc.  The course is free with your ARRL membership.  You do not need to retake this new course if you’ve previously taken the prior basic course.


If you have any questions on these, feel free to send them to your local ARES DEC or EC, SEC WS1L or myself.

Thanks and 73,
Gil Hayes WK1H
Assistant SEC, WMA ARES

Local Communities Looking for RACES Officers

A few months ago, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency conducted a survey for all local community emergency management directors across the Commonwealth. The survey was specifically about the use of amateur radio and RACES locally within their community, whether they have an appointed RACES Officer, and if not, if they would like to find one.

The Radio Amateurs Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is a radio service using amateur stations for emergency management communications during periods of local, regional or national emergencies. RACES is defined in law in Part 97.407 of the FCC rules. In the event the U.S. President ever needed to silence the regular Amateur Radio Service by invoking the War Powers Act of 1941, only RACES appointed stations could continue to operate and assist their appointed served agencies. Requirements for RACES varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but will include possession of a FCC amateur radio license.

As a result of this survey, the list of communities below are interested in locating an amateur radio operator to serve as their RACES Officer. If you are interested in any of these appointments, please inquire with that community’s emergency management director. It is also highly recommended to discuss the matter with MEMA Regional RACES Officer which services that local community’s county. We might be able to recommend you based on whatever previous amateur radio EmComm or other public service you’ve done that we’re aware of. We may also be able to give you additional insight into the role in that community.

The MEMA Regional RACES Officers are:
Region 1: Terry Stader KA8SCP
Region 2: Mike Leger N1YLQ
Region 3: Frank Morrisino K1LMY
Region 4: Gil Hayes WK1H

Communities looking for RACES Officers:

  • MEMA Region 1 (Suffolk, Middlesex and Essex Counties)
    • Belmont
    • Manchester-by-the-Sea
    • Nahant
    • North Reading
    • Revere
  • MEMA Region 2 (Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket Counties)
    • Barnstable
    • Chilmark
    • East Bridgewater
    • Edgartown
    • Marshfield
    • Rochester
    • Somerset
    • Yarmouth
  • MEMA Region 3 (Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire Counties)
    • Chesterfield
    • Colrain
    • Huntington
    • Russell
    • Sandisfield
    • South Hadley
    • Stockbridge
    • Washington
    • West Springfield
  • MEMA Region 4 (Worcester County)
    • Ashburnham
    • Fitchburg
    • Grafton
    • Royalston
    • Sterling
    • Sturbridge
    • Sutton
    • West Boylston
    • West Brookfield

MEMA Region 4 RACES Net Restarts on June 4

RACESAs a part of the continuing desire to slowly but surely rebuild a RACES program across the state, I have been appointed as the new MEMA Region 4 RACES Officer.  We’re restarting the Region 4 RACES Net this coming Monday night (June 4).  The net typically will run on the first Monday night monthly (second Monday in the case of a state holiday) at 7:15 PM on the CMARA W1BIM repeater system in Paxton on 146.970 MHz PL 114.8, and during times of RACES activation.

We’re going to start small here and build it up over time. This coming Monday night it will be simply check in / check out, basically just to test out equipment and ensure no interference to or from any other existing infrastructure in the areas around various stations. It has been years since we’ve run this net, so the first order of business is simply a test of the infrastructure used by the net in this configuration.

All radio amateurs are welcome to check into the net. If you are a RACES Officer or RACES Radio Operator for any local municipality or town in MEMA Region 4 (i.e. Worcester County), please consider checking into the net on Monday and going forward as a part of our on-going RACES readiness.

Thanks and 73,
Gil Hayes WK1H
MEMA Region 4 RACES Officer

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