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Emergency Management is Planning to Save Your Life



Station W4HMC

RACES radio room in the Madison County Emergency Operations Center


The Huntsville-Madison County RACES unit is a civilian emergency communications organization comprised of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed amateur radio volunteers. They provide a command and information network through direct radio communications between the Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Operations Center located in Huntsville, Alabama, the Alabama Emergency Operations Center located in Clanton, Alabama, and other RACES networks in the event of an enemy attack or a disaster or incident which endangers life or property. The activation of a RACES communications network greatly enhances the capabilities of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). In addition to the above, qualified amateur radio operators, through the RACES unit, play a vital role in emergency management operations by providing manpower to the agency during operations and back-up communications for response agencies and other volunteer organizations. All RACES volunteers are also trained and experienced Storm Spotters, and are able to assist the Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service in the evaluation of a storm cell to determine the need for activation of established warning systems. The Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency provides the organizational framework for the RACES unit and exercises official command and control during any directed activation of the RACES network. An application for the Huntsville-Madison County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service unit can be obtained from the link below. RACES members are also members of ARES, a group of volunteers that are coordinated by the American Amateur Radio Relay League. These ARES members make application to the emergency managment agency and complete required training/orientation courses established by emergency management. For RACES meeting dates and times or general information, contact the Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency at (256) 427-5130 or RACES Radio Officer Rolf Goedhart, K4RGG.

The Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency maintains the W4HMC repeater on 147.220/.820 megahertz with a subaudible tone of 136.5 hertz. Remote recievers are located in Eastern Madison County and in North Huntsville. The repeater is coordinated with the Alabama Repeater Council and is open for use by any technician class or higher amateur radio operator licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. However, during times of emergency or drills, the repeater may be limited to RACES use only as deemed necessary by the Emergency Management Agency per FCC rules in part 97.

The RACES unit works with other amateur radio groups in the community. Many RACES members belong to and assist these other groups with activities that may not require the activation of RACES.


RACES Unit Officers:

Radio Officer - Tim Holland, KK5H

Repeater Trustee - Ken Magnant, W4WEY

EMA RACES Coordinator - Scott Worsham, W4SSW


RACES Unit Training and Activities

RACES member Greg Sarat, W4OZK and RACES Repeater Trustee Ken Magnant, W4WEY use CDV700 radiation detection devices to monitor Emergency Management Officer Jared Cassidy for contamination as part of a training class held in Huntsville.

RACES member Carl Rourk, K4CHR is being checked by a Huntsville Police Officer during the same class.

RACES Repeater Trustee Ken Magnant and RACES Radio Officer Rolf Goedhart are both pictured holding fire extinguishers as they extinguish a small fire during their Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training class. Ken has since become a CERT instructor for EMA.

RACES members are pictured at Madison Fire Department Station 1 after getting an up close look at the Heavy Rescue 1 truck purchased through the Alabama Department of Homeland Security. Part of RACES training is awareness of the resources that Madison County has so that members are already aware of the resources on hand in our area and the terminology being used in the Emergency Operations Center as these resources are coordinated.

Members of the Madison County RACES unit are pictured as they begin a tour of the State of Alabama Emergency Operating Center. During a large scale emergency, Madison County RACES members would be in contact with RACES operators at the state operating center.


Interested in Joining? Want Information?

Please contact any one of the officers listed above for more information. If you would like to contact the RACES Coordinator, Scott Worsham with EMA, please contact him at (256)427-5128. Meetings are typically held on the second Thursday of the month at 6:00 PM in the Emergency Operations Center. Call for directions. An application is provided below if you are interested in joining. Please print and fill out the application and mail to:
Huntsville-Madison County EMA
RACES Coordinator
P.O. Box 308
Huntsville, AL 35804

RACES Application Form (requires Adobe Acrobat)



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