Ham radio is a multifaceted hobby.  Amateur Radio Emergency Communications is just one exciting aspect of our discipline.  Two of the easiest ways to get involved with Amateur Radio Emergency Communications are via DCS and ARES.

Los Angeles County Disaster Communication Services

Los Angeles DCS is a volunteer organization administered by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.  As a member of this group you will provide critical disaster communication service by radio and related means when other modes fail.  While there are ~20 Sheriff Stations you can volunteer at, there are two local to the South Bay:  Carson and Lomita.  To remain ready for future work, DCS members meet weekly at their assigned Sheriff’s Station and check in to the net every Monday from 7 – 8 PST.  On Tuesdays, members are asked to check in with a lunch time net.  There are quarterly training sessions held in Los Angeles at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).  Opportunities exist to help local events/agencies:  holiday parades, 4th of July Fireworks in Marina del Rey, football games, etc.

Beside the radio rooms inside the Sheriff’s Stations, DCS owns and operates a private six-hilltop simulcast 2 meter repeater system, and a 2 meter and 1.25 meter open amateur repeater on top of Mr. Disappointment above Pasadena.

There are approximately 300 active DCS members.  Because DCS members are classified as Sheriff’s Department volunteers, each member participates in a criminal background and driver’s history check.  Since we are participating in something as serious as disaster preparedness, individuals must be willing to take the ICS-100 and ICS-700 FEMA courses online.  While volunteers are required to buy the standard uniform consisting of olive green hat, shirt, jacket, and slacks, the uniform is only required to be worn at events and quarterly training sessions.  For Monday nights at the Sheriff Station, business casual is fine.

Joe Lanphen our Secretary/Treasurer has been a member of DCS for years.  Joe or our Webmaster Heidi can answer any questions you may have about getting involved with DCS.  The Carson Sheriff’s Station is in need of growing its volunteer base – please consider supporting our DCS group.

KG0GGY – Heidi

DCS Website

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a volunteer organization which consists of HAMs which are willing to be deployed during disasters at the local through national levels. By joining a local ARES organization/group, you will be able to participate with like minded amateur radio operators during disaster training and rehearsal exercises. ARES has monthly radio nets and annual emergency rehearsals. The rehearsals ensure that members are familiar with the net protocols, information collection and reporting procedures, as well as the requirements for operating at deployed locations.

Refer to ARES Website for a full description of ARES and how you can get involved.

KI6RRD – Jerry

ARES Website

Torrance Amateur Radio Association

The Torrance Amateur Radio Association (TARA) is the Torrance disaster communications volunteer organization serving the city of Torrance. They are designated area G as part of the LA county Disaster Services Volunteer Area 17 station based in Lomita. They maintain radios and other gear in a shack in the Torrance Police station’s Emergency Operations center. They also have a repeater on Palos Verdes with a commanding view of the city and good coverage over the entire South Bay. They hold a net each Monday at 7:00 PM on their 220 repeater (223.860 MHz, – T 100.0). Visitors are invited to check in.

They currently have no other duties or drills associated with the city.

K6CSH – Chuck

TARA Website