The Emergency Operations Organization of the City of Los Angeles has designated
the Los Angeles Fire Department to manage its amateur radio program under
the Auxiliary Communications Service agreement with the State Office of
Emergency Services. The LAFD ACS is the RACES organization for the City
of Los Angeles.
The LAFD administration has authorized the Auxiliary Communications
Service (ACS) to enroll up to 500 licensed HAMS to back up
the Department's 800 MHz radio system. ACS members are used
to facilitate auxiliary communications during brush fires
and other disasters.
ACS members are subject to a background check and must meet
the qualifications as a Los Angeles City Volunteer under the
Mayor’s Office Volunteer Bureau’s requirements.
They also must meet the California Governor’s Office
of Emergency Services (OES) Disaster Service Worker requirements.
If you would like more information on the ACS
and its mentoring and training programs, please see "Become an ACS Volunteer" below.
What Does ACS Do?
The primary mission of the LAFD ACS is to provide back-up for the LAFD's
800-mhz radio system. Because LAFD's radio system is highly reliant on
repeaters to reach all areas of the City, it is also vulnerable should
the repeaters become inoperative due to physical damage in an earthquake
or loss of power for a prolonged time period. In such an event, LAFD ACS
volunteer amateur radio operators, using their own equipment, would step-in
to relay vital communications from the City Emergency Operations Center
(EOC) and the LAFD Department Operations Center (DOC) to Fire Department
resources in the field. Because amateur radio is incredibly versatile,
we can do this without relying on repeaters or other infrastructure.
In addition to providing communications between
the EOC / DOC and LAFD field resources, ACS members will be deployed to
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Incident Command Posts and other
public locations to act as a communications link between the public and
LAFD Command. ACS members deployed throughout the City will also provide
situational size-up and other emergency information to the City of Los
LAFD ACS members would also use amateur radio to
provide communications between the LAFD and outside agencies, including
the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES).
The LAFD ACS also provides communications support
for many community events such as the Hollywood Christmas Parade and the
March of Dimes March for Babies. This not only provides a service to these
events, but allows members to test our equipment and to practice the communication
skills needed in an emergency.
How Can You Help?
In addition to volunteering as an LAFD ACS radio operator, you can help
by donating. LAFD ACS has no budget. Most of our equipment is provided
by our members. We are working, however, to establish a series of fixed
stations at key locations throughout the City. Los Angeles is a very complex
radio environment with mountains, canyons, and tall buildings. These stations
will allow us to respond more quickly in an emergency and to have a reliable
radio link between Fire Department Management and resources in the field.
The equipment to set-up these stations and for the maintenance therof
has been supplied in the past with surplus commercial equipment obtained
through the City. Although we've managed to force this equipment to work,
it is not intended for our uses and only partially meets our requirements.
Donatations made to LAFD ACS via the LAFD Foundation will allow us to
keep these stations going, make them work better, and allow us to add
stations to better serve the City. If you'd like to make a tax
deductable donation to the LAFD ACS, please contact Michael Schlenker.
LAFD ACS Mission Statement
"The mission of the Los Angeles Fire Department Auxiliary Communications Service
is to provide
the City and the Citizens of Los Angeles with professional
communications services using volunteers and volunteer provided
equipment under the direction and authority of the City Radio Officer
and the Los Angeles Fire Department."
Become an ACS Volunteer
Amateur Radio is recognized as a resource by National Relief Organizations.
Amateur Radio Operators Apply For ACS Membership Now!
Click Here to download our Application Packet.