Amateur Radio Operators Serve Our Community as Volunteer Emergency Communicators
Whatcom County Emergency Communications
The Whatcom Emergency Communication Group provides a platform for field communications that supports the Sheriff’s Search And Rescue efforts through the use of two mobile radio vans capable of covering a wide range of radio frequencies at search command sites. WECG also has communications centers at Peace Health St Joseph Medical Center and the SAR Building (Search and Rescue Building) in order to provide support there in the event of a disaster. We are in the business of “helping to save lives.”
Amateur Radio Emergency Service.
WECG is also an Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) group, which is a public service arm of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) that primarily provides support to non-government agencies during an emergency and/or disaster, such as medical facilities and the American Red Cross.
If you do not have a current amateur radio operator’s license, WECG volunteers will help you prepare for this important test.
Amateur Radio Operators are Indispensable for Emergency Communications
Amateur radio operators (also known as hams or ham radio operators) are used in a wide variety of situations including natural disasters, technological disasters, and terrorist incidents. Our mission is to: (1) provide backup communications links between city, county, and the state Emergency Operations Centers, 911 communications centers, and police and fire departments; (2) provide emergency communications for emergency shelters; and (3) support various other search and rescue efforts as directed by the Search and Rescue Deputy attached to the Sheriff’s Office. Our members must earn state certifications in first aid, CPR, and attend other emergency training courses, and are required to regularly attend our monthly unit meetings.
Who Can Participate
If you are an FCC-licensed amateur radio operator, you can participate in the program commensurate with the level of your license.
If you don’t want to attain an Amateur Radio license, you are still welcome to join our group as an Associate Member. We have a opportunities for you to help.
How To Participate
You are invited to join us for our monthly meetings, the second Thursday of every month at 7PM at the Search and Rescue building on the corner of the Smith Road and the Northwest Road (look for the building with the antennas and garage doors). At the meetings we discuss upcoming drills, there are educational opportunities, and you can find out how to become an official WECG member and be placed on the call-out list for disaster response.
Whatcom Emergency Communications Group is a 501.c.3 non-profit organization. WECG Constitution (approved 8-13-2020).