CPACS- What Is EmComm


Provide backup communications “When All Else Fails”.


ARES: Amateur Radio Emergency Service® communications teams assist their local communities and civic organizations during events like parades and races. This is an ARRL service. Where RACES doesn’t exist, also support county/state Emergency Management Agencies.

RACES: Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service teams are volunteers with county and state Emergency Communications Teams. They are activated during emergencies to assist in their county/state Emergency Operations Centers and/or in the field.

REACT: Radio Emergency Associated Communications teams are volunteers who assist their local communities by monitoring the Citizens Band Radio Channel 9 during emergencies. REACT teams may also use MURS, GMRS, FRS, and Amateur Radio.

ACS: Auxiliary Communications Service is an internal PEMA program to coordinate the Commonwealth’s cooperation with existing private radio organizations, such as the ARRL, since the demise of the Federal civilian defense program of the Cold War. This incorporates all of the above, plus includes MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System). It is a component of PA-Task Force 2 (Search and Rescue Task Force).

SCTF-ARWG: South Central Task Force – Amateur Radio Work Group is organized at the Task Force level. It is made up of volunteers from the eight-county SCTF region (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, York).

Communications That are Monitored and Passed:

Emergency Message Traffic: Information can be passed from local communities to the county and from the county to the state such as the severity and amount of destruction, injuries etc.

Requests for Assistance: The local community and/or county may not have the resources to deal with the disaster themselves and may need to request assistance and/or resources. If the disaster is widespread, the information may be used to request state or federal assistance.

Weather and Traffic Updates: Information can be shared regarding weather condition, the water level on bridges and dams, and traffic back-ups during severe weather.

Note: Health and Welfare is not considered Emergency traffic. It is Public Service assistance. That traffic can be handled under ARRL’s NTS (National Traffic System)