Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)

RACES Purpose

The purpose of RACES is to provide communications to back up other existing communication systems, and to establish additional communication links as required to carry out the Emergency Management mission. RACES will provide communications where required and as assigned by the State or County Emergency Management Director to assist in accomplishing the following:

(1) Movement of public to shelters

(2) Communications from shelters to the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

(3) Communication between shelters within the county.

(4) Communications from the County EOC to the Regional Network and other counties.

(5) Communications from the County EOC to other towns or key points located within the county, including but not limited to law enforcement, fire, hospitals, National Weather Service, etc.

(6) Fixed and mobile communications to support other county emergency management services as assigned by the County Emergency Management Director, such as storm spotters, transportation, search and rescue, etc.


Operational Authority

The RACES service is authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under Part 97 of the FCC rules.  The specific rule section may be viewed here.  Within Cowley County, RACES is controlled and activated by Cowley County Emergency Management, and is governed by the Cowley County RACES Plan.


Minimum Training Requirements

Cowley County RACES has adopted training requirements which outline the minimum qualifications required to become a RACES member, and establish a progressive training program for members. Members are encouraged to seek out additional training and experience to advance to the next qualification level within the RACES organization. Minimum requirements to become a Cowley County RACES Member are provided below, and the complete list of training requirements for all qualification levels may be viewed within the RACES plan.

Technician class (or higher) Amateur Radio License

IS-100: Introduction to Incident Command System

IS-700: Introduction to the National Incident Management System (NIMS)


Joining RACES

RACES is currently going through a restructuring process, and no new applications are being accepted at this time. We appreciate your interest, and encourage you to check back after January 1st, 2020. For more information about the RACES program, please email John Stradal at or call at (620) 221-0470 or (620) 441-4569.


New Member Forms

Confidentiality Agreement

Insurance Waiver and Release of Liability

Volunteer Code of Conduct


RACES Documents and Resources

RACES Bylaws

RACES Suggested Go Bag Equipment

Commonly Used ICS Forms:

ICS-205 ICS-205A ICS-213 ICS-213RR
ICS-214 ICS-217A ICS-309