Volunteers have long been a valued asset within the Independence community. Volunteers from the Independence RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) have met the needs for emergency communications quite well and have demonstrated a desire to serve in other areas as well. With this desire, the volunteer community has moved towards expanded emergency response capabilities, The Independence RACES organization has now become an integral part of those expanded capabilities.
EJCECS volunteers now have expanded opportunities to serve in a variety of areas needed by the community during times of disaster, such as:
- Emergency Communications – During times of disaster, the normal communications infrastructure may become damaged, or overwhelmed. EJCECS volunteers utilize a variety of communications equipment to meet this need. While some of this equipment requires an amateur radio license, much of it does not.
- Air Wing Operations – Remote controlled aircraft are a valuable tool utilized by EJCECS volunteers to remotely observe and record damage during times of disaster. This capability removes potential access barriers to damaged areas while freeing responders to conduct other needed activities.
- Debris Management – Most natural disasters create large amounts of debris, which need to be removed. Responders are trained to conduct these operations, which include chain saw safety and operation.
- Damage Assessment – Unfortunately, disasters create damage to homes and community infrastructure. Integral to disaster response planning, damage assessment allows EJCECS volunteers to report the needed information to response managers. While communities, in some instances, qualify for a partial reimbursement of unexpected disaster recovery expenses, the extent of the damage must be well documented. Our volunteers serve a vital role in this process.
- Storm Spotting – Spring of each year brings the potential for severe weather. Well trained EJCECS volunteers are activated and equipped to help the Emergency Operastions Center (EOC) and the National Weather Service be warned by providing communications from all over Eastern Jackson County during potential severe weather.
- Faith-based Partnership – Missouri’s Faith Based Partnership is becoming fully implemented within Eastern Jackson County. This partnership requires communications capabilities between Faith-based organizations and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). EJCECS volunteers provide this critical link when needed.
- Safe business – Many businesses have in place emergency plans for accidents or other disasters. While this is good, EJCECS volunteers provide the needed link between business and emergency responders.
- Radiological Monitoring Operations – Many of our EJCECS volunteers have been trained to respond during times when events occur, which involve radiological materials. Each trained volunteer has been issued monitoring equipment and is able to provide a quick response when needed.
These expanded response capabilities are open for all interested area residents wishing to serve in meaningful ways. Possession of an amateur radio license is not required to serve as an EJCECS volunteer. EJCECS volunteers may, if they wish, receive the necessary training to receive their amateur radio license.
All training needed to fulfill these important responsibilities is provided at no charge to the volunteers