On May 25, 2022, the RAC Board of Directors approved changes to RAC’s Field Organization that will take effect on January 1, 2023.

Emergency Preparedness and the need for alignment with key stakeholders, such as the Emergency Management NGO Consortium of Canada (https://emncc.ca/), are critical reasons for the changes to the RAC Field Organization. 

The reorganization of the RAC Field Organization and the addition and renaming of the RAC Sections were implemented to meet this need. The changes resulted in unintended consequences to Amateurs who participate in Contesting/Radiosport as some of the contests use the Sections in their Point system. We apologize for any inconvenience we have caused. For more information please see “The Sports Page” column on page 53 of the September-October 2022 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine.

We have already seen justification for these changes in the increase in severe weather events throughout Canada and internationally. These events are being tracked and Emergency Managers across the world are meeting regularly and are applying predictive analytics to improve disaster relief efforts, thus reducing the economic impact of natural calamities. 

The new RAC Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) – which has assumed the original function of the RAC Amateur Radio Emergency Service (RAC ARES) – recognizes that disaster response management and telecommunication standards are now mandated by Canadian federal, provincial and territorial legislation and regulations and by international agreements.

While the focus of non-government organizations continues to be disaster relief operations, the role of the new RAC Auxiliary Communications Service is to provide certified communications operators to supplement communications for local emergency management groups and non-government organizations and provide backup radio operators when required. ASC teams are in essence an integrated unpaid member of the sponsoring agency.

Events such as the massive system outage suffered by Rogers Communications on Friday, July 7, 2022 only strengthens the renewed interest in auxiliary communications and highlights the value of Amateur Radio to governments and NGOs as a way to fill communication gaps 

Many of these organization have had systems in place for decades so changes will come slowly for some, but others may be able to address common elements more quickly. RAC will continue to monitor our stakeholders’ developments while we move to strengthen our Field Organization and I will be looking to fill several volunteer positions to help with the reorganization. )