Auxiliary Communications Service, ACS

The Sarasota County Auxiliary Communications Service. Inc., (ACS) is a program created to provide communications support for Sarasota County Emergency Management. This communications support includes operations on any authorized equipment or frequencies in support of any need that might be in any way connected with an eventual emergency. This may include: cellular, computer, email, facsimile, Internet, microwave, radio (police, fire, amateur, other), satellite, telephone, television, video conference, in-office support of personnel, operators of equipment and systems. Other duties include disaster planning, marketing, ham and CERT class instruction/promotion, public relations, equipment and technical research, equipment repair and maintenance, record-keeping, program administration, maintenance of 501(c)(3) status, and assisting Emergency Management staff as needed.

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 personnel in support of civil defense and disaster response and recovery. ACS follows the ACS Guidelines established by Sarasota County Emergency Management.

Who Makes Up The ACS

The ACS is primarily made up of 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 during times of need.

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.

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 communications services to Emergency Management during emergencies or disaster situations. This may consist of deploying operators to the Emergency Operations Center, Emergency or Special Needs Shelters, Tactical First In Teams, or other locations that may need communications.

We also work with our local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, to teach Communications and to encourage CERT members to become ham radio operators to assist their CERT teams and ACS with communications.

Best Practices

Sarasota County ACS has been recognized by the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, for promoting "best practices" for Emergency Communications services.

Want To Help?

ACS is always looking for additional team members, but is it for you? Not everyone has the ambition, desire, dedication, or time to devote to the Public Service portion of Amateur Radio. Ask yourself a few questions to find out if ACS is right for you.