The Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.


The Canadian Red Cross Society

(As Renewed March 2009)


The Canadian Red Cross Society recognizes that the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. (RAC), because of its excellent geographical coverage, can render valuable aid in maintaining the continuity of communications during disasters and emergencies when normal communications facilities are disrupted or overloaded.  

The Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. recognizes The Canadian Red Cross Society (Red Cross) as an agency that provides assistance to individuals and families affected by disasters in Canada and around the world through the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  

Whenever there is a disaster or an emergency requiring the use of radio communications facilities, the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. agrees to provide, whenever and wherever possible:   

1.         The alerting and mobilization of volunteer emergency communications personnel and equipment in accordance with a pre-determined plan;  

2.         The establishment and maintenance of fixed, mobile and/or portable emergency communications facilities for local radio coverage and point-to-point contact between Red Cross and various locations, as required; and  

3.         Adequate provision of service for the duration of the emergency or until substantial regular communications are restored and stand down is ordered by Red Cross Disaster Management.  

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to clarify the relationship, roles, responsibilities and terminology between the Field Services Organisation of Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. and The Canadian Red Cross Society.  This document is not intended to create, does not create, and should not be interpreted as creating, any contractual or other enforceable legal relationship between the two parties.  

This Memorandum of Understanding supersedes any previous agreement made between The Canadian Red Cross Society and Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. and will remain in effect provided that either party may terminate this Memorandum of Understanding by giving the other party three months notice in writing of its intention to so terminate.  

Further details concerning the method of cooperation are outlined in Appendix A.  Information on the organisation of The Canadian Red Cross Society and the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. is attached as Appendix B. 


Date: 12 March 2009                               (Original signed by)

                                                            R. D. (Bob) Cooke VE3BDB

                                                            President and Chairman

                                                            Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.


Date: 12 March 2009                             (Original signed by)

                                                                         Don Shropshire

                                                           National Director, Disaster Management

                                                           The Canadian Red Cross Society

March 2009  

                                                                              APPENDIX A

Guidelines for Cooperation  

  1. Through its executive level, Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. will maintain liaison with The Canadian Red Cross Society's Disaster Management in order that there may be the closest possible cooperation in emergency communications planning and the coordination of radio communication facilities for disaster relief operations.
  1. Red Cross Zones, Regions and Branches are encouraged to invite one or more members of the amateur radio community, in particular from the ARES, to serve as Red Cross volunteers for emergency preparedness and relief activities which may include (but are not limited to) sharing resources, developing emergency communication training materials and resources, and involvement in disaster exercises.
  1. Personnel of the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. are eligible for reimbursement by Red Cross for reasonable out-of-pocket and travelling expenses while conducting approved business on behalf of the Society.
  1. Where possible, the Canadian Red Cross will work with Radio Amateurs of Canada to supplement Red Cross’ coverage area. There should be no expectation of reimbursement or purchasing of equipment (antennae and base stations, for example) without prior written authorization from a Red Cross manager.
  1. Access to Red Cross property during off hours will be facilitated by the Red Cross.
  1. Detailed operating plans for the full utilization of the communications facilities of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service should be developed by the local Red Cross in cooperation with the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.'s local Emergency Coordinator.
  1. The Canadian Red Cross Society will recommend to its Zones that membership on disaster preparedness and relief committees include representation from the appropriate officials of the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.
  1. The Canadian Red Cross Society will furnish Zones with copies of this statement of understanding and will encourage Zones to work cooperatively with RAC Field Services Officials in matters pertaining to emergency communications; and the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. will similarly furnish copies to its Field Services Officials and encourage those officials to work cooperatively with Red Cross Zones in matters pertaining to emergency communications.


                                                                                  APPENDIX B

    Organisation of The Canadian Red Cross Society  

  1. The National Headquarters of The Canadian Red Cross Society is located in Ottawa .  For administrative purposes, the Canadian Red Cross is divided into four Zones, each having jurisdiction within its own geographic area. Zone Offices are located in the following cities: Western Zone - Calgary, Alberta ; Ontario Zone - Mississauga , Ontario ; Quebec Zone - Verdun , Quebec; Atlantic Zone - Saint John, New Brunswick. Western Zone is responsible for Red Cross operations in British Columbia, the Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories .

  1. Regions and Branches are the local units within each Zone of The Canadian Red Cross Society. These units are responsible for all local activities of the Red Cross within its territory, subject to the policies and regulations of the zone and national organisation.
  1. Each Red Cross office is responsible for developing a Disaster Management Committee of the best qualified volunteers available.  This Committee studies the disaster hazards of the territory and surveys local resources for personnel, equipment and supplies, including transportation and emergency communication facilities, that are available for disaster relief.  It also formulates co-operative plans and procedures with local governments,  agencies, private and other volunteer organisations for carrying on relief operations should a disaster occur.

Organisation of the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.  

  1. The American Radio Relay League Inc., (ARRL) was founded in 1914 to encourage and support every aspect of amateur radio.  The ARRL became a bi-national organisation in 1920 with the formation of the Canadian Division and Canadian membership.
  1. The Canadian Division was known in Canada as the Canadian Radio Relay League Inc. (CRRL), giving it a distinctly national entity.  The CRRL elected officers were charged with policy administration as established by their Executive Committees and Board of Directors.  On May 2, 1993, the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation and the Canadian Radio Relay League Inc. ceased operation and merged together on that day to form the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.  This agreement will then continue in force with Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. who will carry on with the Field Services Organisation.
  1. The Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.'s Field Services Organisation operations are administered by the Vice President for Field Services through elected Section Managers (SMs).  Canada is divided into eight sections:  British Columbia/Yukon; Alberta /North-West Territories/Nunavut; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; the Maritimes (which includes the Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island); and Newfoundland/Labrador.
  1.  The Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. sponsored Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of two branches:  the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the National Traffic System (NTS). Both branches work together, are supported by thousands of licenced radio amateurs and are under the jurisdiction of their respective Section Manager.
  1. ARES - Amateur Radio Emergency Service.  The ARES is an organisation of licenced radio amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment with the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. for communication duty when disaster strikes.  It is supported and directed by Radio Amateur of Canada Inc. appointees.  The leading provincial ARES official is the Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) who appoints individual Emergency Coordinators (ECs) and District Emergency Coordinators (DECs) across the province to assist locally.  It should be noted that membership in the ARES is not restricted to members of RAC.
  1. NTS - National Traffic System.  The NTS compliments the ARES and functions daily in the handling of medium and long distance formal message traffic and whose network operations can be stepped up to meet the needs of an emergency situation. The leading NTS official is the Section Traffic Manager (STM) who is assisted by carefully trained and selected Net Managers (NMs).  Traffic nets link with other nets throughout North America and South America, the Caribbean and Australia and operate every day and night of the year.  Further-training, tests and drills for the ARES and NTS members help to maintain a disciplined readiness in providing emergency communications.  The National Traffic System Coordinator (NTSC) assists in providing advice in support of existing Section local NTS nets and in establishing new ones.
  1. The National Emergency Coordinator is responsible for coordinating cooperation between RAC Sections and international mutual assistance with the ARRL when such assistance is required and requested.  Working closely with the Manager of the National Amateur Radio Emergency  Database (NARED), the NEC establishing a pool of trained and equipped Radio Amateurs who are qualified and willing to travel to stricken areas if needed.  The NEC operates in cooperation with SMs and SECs.
  1. The National Training Coordinator’s function is to research, devise and make available consistent training methods, documents and other training support to RAC ARES units and members.  The NTC is authorized to appoint Section Training Coordinators (STC) to assist in this task.  The NTC and STC will work in cooperation with the SM and SEC in matters related to ARES training.
  1. Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc.'s Section officials (SM), (SEC), (STM) work closely together daily as well as with the organisation's Headquarters and/or Government officials as required during emergency situations.