What if the cell towers fall and the land lines overload? Talk to the Shoreline ACS

Saturday, June 18, 2011

By Josh Gibbs

People take communications for granted these days. With cell phones, text messaging, and the Internet, communications are literally at your fingertips at any time. Cell phones and the Internet are amazing technologies that make our lives better, but there is a downside -- they are very complex and fragile systems. 

The radio systems used by police and fire are more robust, but are also prone to failure during widespread emergencies. 

During the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, the local police and fire radio system became so overloaded with traffic that many firefighters were unable to use their radios to communicate.

Just when we really need our technology, it is likely to fail!

Enter the Shoreline Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS). 
We are a group of amateur radio operators – licensed by the FCC – who use our training and skills as radio operators to provide a backup means of communications for Shoreline Police, Fire and the City of Shoreline. We bring to the table the ability to communicate locally or globally, using extremely simple and rugged equipment. We have our own radios and power (batteries or generator) and we can provide voice or data communications as needed.

Who are the members of the ACS? Our members range in age from early 20's to 80's. We tend to come from technical backgrounds. Most have been licensed ham radio operators for decades, while some have only been licensed for a few years. We are all residents of Shoreline (and surrounding area), and share the love of radio and the desire to serve our community.

We are always looking for new members. If you have an interest in emergency communications, please contact us via our webpage. We can give you information on getting licensed and joining the ACS.

See the ACS in action at the Shoreline Arts Festival, Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, at the Shoreline Center.


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