In volunteer support of the citizens of San José, California

Getting Started

Thank you for your interest in joining San Jose R.A.C.E.S. The following has been set up to help guide you go through the process of becoming a volunteer.

We are a group of volunteer disaster service workers who enjoy helping out our community during times of disasters, but we also do parades, races, and events throughout the year using our own equipment and the amateur radio frequencies. You do not need to have your amateur license in order to join but we do encourage it. There is a list of ham classes on our classes page.

Our meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at either the Police communications building or the Fire Battalion Field Operations (BFO or Fire Training Center). We will have you sign in and obtain a visitor badge while you’re in the building.  There is a lot of information handed out during the meetings. Please don’t feel shy about asking questions and participating in all of the fun events.

When you come to the meeting you will want to bring your application with you. Please complete the application and turn it into our Membership Officer (Bob Van Tuyl, K6RWY). Your photograph will be taken for badge information and you will be sworn in as a Disaster Service Worker in subsequent meetings.

Before you can volunteer in an emergency situation, you have to be prepared.  Preparation includes ensuring that you and your family are taken care of, and capable of being self-sufficient (food, water, medications, etc.) for a period of time at the onset of an incident (e.g. a major earthquake).  How long is long enough?  That’s really up to each individual to decide, but the common answer is a minimum of 72 hours.  However, longer is better!  For more information, check out the Emergency Preparedness page.

San Jose RACES volunteers are expected to complete a modest amount of training, including the following NIMS/ICS online courses provided by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute:

  • IS-100.B: Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100
  • IS-200.B: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
  • IS-700.A: National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
  • IS-800.B: National Response Framework, An Introduction

Additional information about our training requirements are included in the application package.

If you already have your ham license, we encourage you to participate in our weekly nets. Simplex nets begins Tuesday nights at 1920 (7:20pm) on the simplex frequency 146.475MHz PL 100. The simplex net is followed by a repeater net at 1940 (7:40pm) on the W6UU repeater.

There are more training, classes, and events throughout the year. Please make sure to check the calendar often!

We hope this helps you along your journey to become an active volunteer of the San Jose RACES organization. We have a great time getting together and being an active part of the community, so come join us for the fun! If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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