ABOUT WILSON COUNTY AUXCOMM
AUXCOMM is term used to refer to the Auxiliary Emergency Communications role within the Incident Command System (ICS) that is used during emergencies. Auxiliary Emergency Communications is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina State Emergency Management and Wilson County Emergency Management plans. AUXCOMM members serve at local, state and national levels during these type incidents.
Amateur Radio, often called “ham radio”, regulated by the Federal Communications Commission is essential to Wilson County and homeland security in the United States. The service is a dispersed and decentralized communications system that can’t be shut down by terrorist attacks. While public safety agencies rely on central dispatch stations, amateur radio operators can go on-the-air anywhere anytime. Hams are trained communicators with technical knowledge that prepares them to put their stations on-the-air at remote sites quickly, creating makeshift facilities when needed. Amateur radio operators do not have to wait for technicians to arrive to repair equipment or re-program computers.
Radio amateurs have unique capabilities. The telephone companies can not afford to build cell phone towers everywhere. There are big holes in coverage of sparsely populated areas away from cities and interstate highways. Ham radio, on the other hand, is everywhere. During disasters, amateur radio volunteers can work without any fixed infrastructure. They are fixed, mobile and portable radio stations.
Amateur radio operators have proven themselves to be essential volunteer responders in bad weather and other natural emergencies. Hams can go on-the-air and stay on-the-air when ordinary public service communications fail. For many decades, ham radio often has been the only means of communicating from a stricken area to the outside world for hours and sometimes even days. Many of the hams have completed several FEMA courses dealing with emergency operations. There are over 700,000 “Hams” in the United States.
Amateur Radio has consistently been the most reliable means of communications in emergencies when other systems failed or were overloaded. The hams of Wilson County are ready now to carry emergency message traffic across town, across the state, coast-to-coast or around the world.
Wilson County Auxiliary Communications consists of licensed amateur radio operators who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment to support the mission of developing and maintaining the leadership and organizational structure necessary to provide radio communications support for Wilson County Emergency Management.
“North Carolina Agencies adopted AUXCOMM as the primary Amateur Radio EMCOMM response model in 2011. More than 900 Operators in North Carolina have completed FEMA’s basic NIMS/ICS training and are eligible to participate in AUXCOMM, under the NC COMU (Communications Unit).
Wilson County Auxiliary Communications strives to enhance the reliability, quality and professionalism personnel though the establishment of training and performance standards, policies, procedures, management and supervision of amateur radio operators registered with this organization, who may be activated to provide communications and assistance to Wilson County and possibly surrounding counties.
Wilson County Auxiliary Communications pledges a commitment to preparedness and service in protection of public health, safety and welfare by encouraging innovative leadership and individual responsibility, which enhances the reliability and excellence of amateur radio emergency communications and recognize those who exemplify our emergency communications philosophy.
For more information please email:
George J. Diering W3GJD