Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES)
In November, 2007, as part of VEM’s continuing mission to strengthen all–hazard response, the RACES and CERT programs established a joint initiative for communications support during activations. Since communication is so critical during disaster response, a strategy was developed to incorporate the existing capabilities of the RACES program as a routine part of CERT response. The joint initiative now makes the over 200 licensed VEM RACES operators available to assist CERT with communications during activations. Vermont CERT organizations were provided with a dedicated 2mtr/440 RACES radio system, power supply, tripod and base antenna. Now with formalized RACES support, the radio system will allow for local communications coordination during an activation and a direct link to the Healthcare Communications Network (local hospital or local Vt. Department of Health District office). Additionally, with the assistance of RACES teams, CERT will now have direct contact with the VEM EOC through many of the repeater networks already in place within Vermont.