Next ACS Event(s): Staff Meeting, BCUL and Above, Tuesday, Aug 15, 7 PM, North Valley Station.

Los Angeles City Fire Department - Auxiliary Communications Service

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"Amateur means unpaid, not unprofessional!"

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 Angeles.

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.

Email application by Clicking Here to open your email client and attach your completed application packet, email, then mail a copy to:

               LAFD Personnel Services
               Attn: Gary Hill, Volunteer Coordinator
               200 N. Main St.,16th Floor
               Los Angeles, CA 90012



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Copyright 2016 Los Angeles City Fire Department - Auxiliary Communications Service
Photos courtesy of Bernard Falkin, KG6FBM,
Last modified: 01/21/2016