Radio hams honored for community preparedness

An all-volunteer amateur radio organization has been recognized by King County (State of Washington) Executive Dow Constantine for its commitment to emergency preparedness and response

Renton Emergency Communication Service (RECS) was chosen for a record of service that stretches back long before their formal incorporation in 2008 by two groups of amateur radio operators. Over time, RECS volunteers have evolved to become a key asset to Renton's Fire and Emergency Services Department, especially during disasters.

Each RECS member is trained to staff the Renton Emergency Operations Center and carry out communication responsibilities.

"Our emergency radio communication volunteers are a vital part of our emergency preparedness program in Renton," said Mayor Law. "These volunteers have already shown their value to this city through the assistance they provided during past storm events that crippled this area. We are very fortunate to have this dedicated group of people in our community."

During the snow and ice storm of January 2012, RECS performed critical functions, including call-taking, managing radio and social media, and providing real-time weather and road information gathered from around the City of Renton. When power was lost to hundreds of homes, RECS members were deployed to Renton's network of Neighborhood Information Centers, where they posted information on shelter and food distribution locations.

"The dedication and commitment shown by the RECS volunteers is making a real difference in our ability to better serve our community," said Renton Fire Chief Mark Peterson. "They provide timely and critical communications and information before it is needed."

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