Public Service is one of the key reasons for the Amateur Radio Service. New Mexico Hams have a long tradition of providing public service. In addition to providing communications at various public events such as marathon runs, bicycle rides for charity, and mountain races both on-foot and on bicycle, the amateur radio community provides valuable communications support to the Search and Rescue community, the Red Cross, and local government disaster preparation operations. The Upper Rio FM Society linking system and repeaters are utilized in many of such public service operations requiring communications support.
Search and Rescue
Search and Rescue is an important public service function supported by volunteers throughout New Mexico and is extremly valuable due to the large geographic area and the sparse population in all but the major population centers of the state. Amateur Radio is often the only communications means available to allow Incident Commanders to communicate with field teams and support teams. The Upper Rio FM Society repeaters and the repeaters of the affiliated organizations are used on almost every Search and Rescue mission in the state.
All search and rescue incidents in New Mexico are coordinated by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, State Police Division. One of the major functions of this State agency is to provide the support and legal authority for Search and Rescue Operations in the state.
Organizations most likely to be heard on the URFMSi system during a mission include the following:
These organizations are very heavily oriented to providing communications and are always looking for additional volunteers. Please contact any of them if you are interested in providing support to the Search and Rescue operations in New Mexico.
Radio Communications Support to the American Red Cross
The local Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) organization which is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, Inc. (ARRL), shall provide, in so far as resources permit, an alternate radio communications service to the Mid-Rio Grande Chapter of the American Red Cross located in Albuquerque, NM . The local ARES. organization shall ensure that those members assigned to Red Cross communication functions be adequately equipped and trained to provide alternate communications support at the direction of the Chapter and in accordance with the Statement of Understanding Between the American Radio Relay League, Inc and The American National Red Cross dated July 13, 1982.
When a disaster involves the activation of local government emergency preparedness services that utilize Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), ARES. will ensure that a qualified RACES. operator is available for communications with the government controlled RACES. radio station.
An alert roster of qualified ARES. amateur radio operators is supplied to the Mid-Rio Grande Chapter of the Red Cross annually for the calendar year. The first ARES. person contacted shall be supplied with the details of the communications need and he/she will call out as many operators from available resources to satisfy the requirement.
Thanks to generous donations of radios, antennas, computers, printers and other equipments to the local Red Cross by local hams, the Red Cross ARES. Communications Room located in the Mid-Rio Grande Chapter building has enhanced communications capability including HF voice/cw and VHF/ UHF voice and packet radio. Also available is a licensed capability on the NM State emergency VHF frequency, 155.160 MHz.
© 2006 Upper Rio FM Society, Inc.