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Congratulations to Brett Hammond our DES Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service Leader... by Talbot County Emergency Services (DES) on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 4:51pm

Brett Hammond, a local amateur radio operator, or “ham”, was recently recognized for his four years as chairman of the Maryland RACES Interoperability Committee which stands for Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service, and is a volunteer group of amateur radio operators that work directly for their local Emergency Managers to provide backup communication during times of disaster. Mr. Hammond is the Talbot County RACES Officer, and as such, reports to Clay Stamp, Director of the Talbot County Department of Emergency Services

Several years ago, Mr. Hammond recognized the need for standardization amongst the RACES groups throughout the state. Working with other RACES Officers in the state, the Maryland RACES Interoperability Committee (MRIC) was created and Brett was elected Chairman. He was re-elected each year, until deciding to step down this fall. The list of the committee's accomplishments is lengthy. Prior to its establishment there was no coordination between jurisdictions over frequency usage, so operators were constantly cutting each other off. There was no standardized message format; over a dozen different digital modes of communication were in use; and there was no plan in place in the event of a repeater tower failure.

Under Brett's guidance, the MRIC, through a lot of hard work and compromise, rectified those situations and much more.

RACES operators throughout the country have provided a vital communications link during many natural and man-made disasters. With their mobile kits, they can literally set up shop anywhere and communicate critical information back to an Incident Command Post or Emergency Operations Center. Talbot County has an active RACES group that meets at the Talbot Operations Center on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM. For more information about RACES you may contact Brett Hammond at 410-829-6749.


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