Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)

How to Get your Amateur Radio License

  • Amateur radio requires a license – learn more at www.arrl.org/getting-licensed
  • To obtain your license you need to:
  • The next testing session for Hamilton County is at the Emergency Operations Center on 31 August 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
    • The cost is $15 (No charge for HCEM staff and volunteers)
    • There is no obligation to join RACES or CIARA
    • Once you pass the test, you will receive your license and call sign in a few weeks from the FCC

About RACES


Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is an organization of amateur radio operators who volunteer for Emergency Management for the purpose of providing tactical emergency support radio communications to federal, state and local governments in time of emergency, and to supplement, augment or replace radio communications wherever and whenever needed.

RACES was created in 1952, by the federal government, as an official program through which amateur radio operators could serve the government in an emergency situation. Since then, the RACES program has enabled amateur radio operators to perform varied emergency communications functions as an important supplement Emergency Management communications systems.

RACES is governed by Part 97, subpart E, of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rules and Regulations.

RACES is called upon by Emergency Management when communication services are deemed necessary for response. They are activated in accordance with an approved Emergency Management communications plan in any emergency concerning:

  1. Safety of life
  2. Preservation of property
  3. Alleviation of human suffering and need
  4. Dissemination of warnings of any disaster or other incident endangering the public welfare.

Natural disasters often cripple or destroy communications facilities and equipment. RACES members are often asked to handle messages for police, fire, public welfare, public utilities, and other emergency services during emergencies.

RACES personnel receive training from Emergency Management to which they are attached. Operating skills are sharpened through participation in frequent Emergency Management sponsored exercises, tests, drills, programs, and special events.

Non-emergency messages and traffic may be transmitted during RACES training and drill periods.

RACES Membership

You can join our team to help provide critical communication resources for Hamilton County during an emergency or disaster.  If you want to help serve your community and be part of disaster response and recovery efforts, consider joining RACES.

To become a RACES volunteer complete the application process via the link: Online Application Process or email Joe March at joe.march@hamiltoncounty.in.gov