Tuolumne County Amateur Radio Emergency Services

TCARES provides public service and emergency communication for Tuolumne County through agreements with many local agencies (CDF {VIP Program}, USFS, NPS, Red Cross, Sheriff's office, Office of Emergency Services, etc.).
Tcares Members may be requested to provide Communications for anything from
Walk-A-Thons to demonstrations of Amateur Radio Capabilities to Assisting in
" declared" Emergency Situations.
For any situation which is NOT a " declared" Emergency Situation, TCARES members respond as individual club members, ARES members or volunteer members of the particular agency which initiated the call out. (eg. the VIP communication section of the CDF ).

TCARES / Tuolumne County RACES Operations Plan

When activating TCARES members for RACES operation, the County OES Coordinator or a responsible County Official will place a call to the RACES Radio Officer (RO), or any Assistant Radio Officer (ARO).

Command Procedure in Response to Activation

1. Upon receipt of notification of activation from the County OES Coordinator or a responsible County Official, the first RO or ARO contacted will act as the RO for purpose of this plan until and unless relieved.
2. The RO, using the RO Operations Checklist, will make an initial evaluation of the requirements vs. capabilities.
3. The RO will next begin a call-up of of the RACES members, make initial assignments, assign a frequency or repeater for the Service Network and confirm same to the County OES Coordinator or a responsible County official.
(RACES will typically be requested to provide communication support at the Incident Command Post (ICP), County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), County Administration Center and Evacuation Centers.)
4. When the RO feels Tuolumne County RACES resources will be depleted, and that we will have to turn to other RACES units for assistance via mutual aid. The RO must request mutual aid through the County OES Coordinator.

Operator Call-out Response

Amateur Radio operators should NEVER self dispatch to any incident.
Upon being alerted that an emergency exists, you should check into the emergency net frequency, advise as to your availability and be guided by the RO or Resource Coordinator's decision as to your assignment or standby status.


Although RACES and ARES are separate entities, TCARES advocates membership in both groups whenever possible. An ARES group whose members are all enrolled in and certified by RACES can operate in an emergency with great flexibility. Using the same operators and the same frequencies, an ARES group also enrolled as RACES can "switch hats" from ARES to RACES and RACES to ARES to meet the requirements of the situation as it develops. For example, during a "non declared emergency," ARES can operate under ARES, but when an emergency or disaster is officially declared by a county, state or federal authority, the operation can become RACES with no change in personnel or frequencies.

Return to Home Page