Emergency Communications Team (EMCOMMS)
The Stafford County Emergency Communications (EMCOMMS) Team is a volunteer emergency communications group of licensed radio amateurs who register with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to provide emergency communications as a Public Service to the County.
The team’s purpose is to provide Stafford County government and residents emergency communications capabilities when traditional communications systems have been lost or degraded due to natural or manmade disasters.
The team is under the cognizance and direction of the Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator and participation varies depending on the individual volunteer’s license, skill level, and availability.
Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Staffing
- Provide redundant communications and a point of contact for radio operators in the County.
- Provide redundant communications for the EOC and Incident Commander.
- Provide a point of contact and physical presence for County residents in the field when traditional communications are interrupted.
- Install and maintaining EMCOMM Radios and equipment (Antenna’s, Feedlines, Computers, Terminal Node Controllers, Repeaters, Etc.)
- Based on available resources develop, maintain, and train EMCOMM Team members on Deployment Kits.
Join The Team
Step 1: Fill out a Volunteer Application - Complete the form and contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 540-658-7200 to arrange for a time when you can turn in records and schedule your background check.
Step 2: Complete required FEMA Online Courses
- IS-100 - Introduction to Incident Command System
- IS-200 - ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
- IS-700.A: National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
- IS-800.C: National Response Framework, an Introduction
- Amateur Radio License (Technician, General, or Amateur Extra)
Each member of the team is provided baseline training with additional training provided based on their desire and the positions they will fill. A training record is maintained by the team and a syllabus and study material is provided to each member. Continuing education and operational practice is the key to success and smooth operations thus members are encouraged to attend various County provided training events as well as participate at least monthly in weekly nets either as the Net Control Station (NCS) or net member.
The ability to upgrade an individual’s Amateur Radio License is also provided via mentorship and attendance at local Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) Volunteer Examiner (VE) test sessions.
The Team does not require the possession of any specially designed equipment or that of a specific vendor. All that is required is a valid Amateur Radio License, a desire to help your community during times of need and participate in as many weekly nets as your time permits. All communicators can be of assistance to Emergency Management, regardless of class of license, equipment owned, or personal circumstances.