Jackson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (JCARES) is a group of licensed amateur radio operators providing backup communications for Jackson County Emergency Management and other agencies involved in disaster management needing emergency communications support.
Operators are assigned to the County Emergency Operations Center, City and County fire stations, health departments, hospitals and other agencies as needed when normal communications are overloaded or disrupted. Most traffic is handled by voice or packet using dedicated equipment at the served agencies.
Licensed amateur radio operators in Jackson County interested in emergency communications are encouraged to join. A successful background check from the county Sheriff's Office is required to receive a state ID card and station assignments.
Free online training and certification in IS-700 (NIMS), IS-100 (ICS), and IS-200 (ICS) is also required. Members train in directed net operations, emergency communications, formal message handling, and other activities to improve proficiency in radio communications. ARRL Emergency Communications online classes are also recommended. City, county and state simulated emergency tests allow members to practice and improve skills.
The JCARES weekly net occurs at 7:30 pm every Thursday on the Rogue Valley Manor repeater (147.000, PL 123.0). All licensed amateur radio operators are invited to check in as visitors after the regular member roll call. The monthly JCARES meeting starts at 7:00 pm on the third Wednesday of each month. Guests are welcome. Email JCARES (email@example.com) for details.
JCARES provides communication support for a variety of emergency services and organizations, including:
- County Emergency Management
- County Health Department
- Emergency Operations Centers
- Fire Departments
- Mercy Flights
- National Weather Service