Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS)

The Sarasota County Auxiliary Communications Service. Inc. (ACS) is a volunteer program created to provide communications support for Sarasota County Emergency Management. This backup and supplemental communications support can include operations on any authorized equipment or frequencies, but ACS primarily uses Amateur Radio frequencies in conducting its operations. Other ACS duties include emergency planning, social media and community outreach, amateur radio and CERT class instruction/promotion, equipment installation and maintenance and other assignments from Emergency Management. The organization follows the ACS Guidelines  established by Sarasota County Emergency Management.

The ACS Radio Officer, who is appointed by Sarasota County Emergency Management, heads up the ACS program, which makes possible the effective management and utilization of area amateur radio resources in support of  disaster response and recovery. Typically, the Radio Officer is also the ARRL West Central Florida Section’s Emergency Coordinator for Sarasota County. ACS is under the direction of the Sarasota County Public Safety Communications organization.

The current ACS leadership team is:

Ed Gansen (K8DSS) – Radio Officer (Co-Leader) and EC

Chuck Johnston (W4CWJ ) – Radio Officer (Co-Leader)

Bob Davisson (KA4BOB) – Deputy Radio Officer

Brent Parker (W8XG) – Deputy Radio Officer

Les Keegan (N4LPK) – Hospitals and DoH

Gary Wells (WB9AYD) – Technology Assessment and Training

Sanford Wyatt (KM4WXX) – Ag Response Team/ARES Liaison

Who Makes Up The ACS?

The ACS is primarily made up of licensed, Sarasota County Amateur Radio operators dedicated to volunteering their time, equipment, and skills for emergency communications needs. This reserve of volunteers, working as one organization, provides communications for Sarasota County Emergency Management. Anyone, regardless of club or other Amateur Radio affiliations, with a sincere interest and desire to help the community with its emergency communication needs, is invited to become a part of the Sarasota County Auxiliary Communications Service. ACS members have National Incident Management System (NIMS) certifications and Emergency Communications training.

What Services Does ACS Provide?

Sarasota County ACS operates as a combined  Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) organization. The primary ACS objective is to provide backup or supplemental communications for Emergency Management during emergencies or disaster situations. This may consist of deploying members to the Emergency Operations Center, Special Needs or General Population Shelters, Hospitals, Points of Distribution, Reception Centers, etc..