AUXCOMM - Amateur Radio Emergency Communications

Forsyth AuxCommWhat is AUXCOMM

AuxComm is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant program adopted by the North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) for all amateur radio emergency / public service communications within the state.  While AuxComm stands for Auxiliary Communications, within the state of North Carolina, AuxComm is considered a Primary Emergency Communications asset.  NC AuxComm, with the full support of NCEM, is tasked with establishing at the county level, county AuxComm units led by appointed and qualified volunteer AuxComm Coordinators.  The NC AuxComm program replaces RACES and the ARRL-ARES programs within the state.

Amateur radio operators (HAMS) participate by volunteering their time and the use of their radio equipment for AuxComm activities.  Members of Forsyth County AuxComm are required to complete and maintain currency in at least the basic four ICS courses (IS-100. IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800), Operations Security (OPSEC) course, as well as the local E-Comm 101 course.  Almost all local AuxComm operations are conducted using local VHF / UHF FM repeaters so hams of any class of license can participate.

Who is Supported

Our Primary emergency / disaster response partners are Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Emergency Management, North Carolina Emergency Management and the American Red Cross.  We participate in training exercises with these partners, and in communications emergencies are normally deployed as a primary communications asset within their response. AuxComm personnel may be tasked with a variety of roles during emergencies / disaster and public service events from operating amateur radio stations at shelters, command posts and the EOC to acting as shadows (radio operators) for key personnel and operating radios on the state VIPER system.  They may also be used to assist Emergency Management and/or IMT personnel in the performance of their duties during these situations.  

Forsyth County has an active, well trained group of volunteer Emergency Communicators who are trained in the Incident Command System, SkyWarn (Storm spotting), Basic and Advanced Emergency Communications as well as many other aspects that enhance our ability to assist Emergency Management during emergencies / disasters as well as other organization during public service events such as Bike MS Tour to Tanglewood.  Forsyth County AuxComm is supported by the Forsyth Amateur Radio Club and has an excellent relationship with the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Emergency Management, the American Red Cross and the MS Society as well as others.

Forsyth County AuxComm’s primary public service event is the annual, two-day Bike MS Tour to Tanglewood charity event.  During this large scale, multi-county event, we provide primary communications throughout the route structure at rest / medical aid stops as well as providing radio equipped Support & Gear (SAG) vehicles.  This event gather over 900 riders and covers a 3 county area, raising over $850,000 for MS research annually.  In 2019, Forsyth County AuxComm was recognized by the MS Society and named Outstanding Group of the Year.

Membership

An FCC Amateur Radio Operator license is required for AuxComm membership as well as completion of required initial and recurrent training.  Members are expected to participate in AuxComm nets and exercises.  To register to be a member of Forsyth County AuxComm, go to the W4NC website – What is AuxComm tab and click on the Registration Form 100 link.

Registration/membership information can be found on the Forsyth Amateur Radio Club  webpage or email AuxComm@w4nc.com

Forsyth County AuxComm holds Emergency Communications training nets on the 1st, 2nd, 4th and when applicable 5th Thursdays of the month at 2030 hours (8:30 PM) on the W4NC 145.470 + (Tone 100 hz) repeater.  These nets are used to practice procedures and provide training on relevant emergency / disaster response and public service communications.  All amateur are invited to participate in these nets.

06-29-2021