Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Regarding Emergency Operations

Named Participants to this agreement:



Emergency operation is the primary "calling" for Amateur Radio. This is known as Public Service. There are three organizations in Spokane County that have an operational agreement. To insure good understanding and communication for all concerned this document was written. This document is a short-formal agreement (MOU) between the above named organizations.

For the purposes of this agreement Emergency Operations shall mean, but may not be limited to, the following depending on the nature of emergency:

  1. Emergency Operations declared by city, county, state regional or national departments of Emergency Management or other served agencies including but not limited to FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, SHARES or the American Red Cross
  2. Simulated Emergency tests, drills, exercises including ARRL sponsored events such as Field Day or an annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET October or ALTSET February)
  1. The three aforementioned organizations support Emergency operations in various ways.
  1. Spokane County ARES/RACES is the primary center for either mode of Emergency Operations. Their meetings, operations and 147.30 repeater are the primary and main facilities for these operations. The published access tone for the 30 repeater is 100 Hz.
  2. Spokane Repeater Group supports either mode of Emergency Operations by providing back-up coverage for primary operations, should their primary system be overwhelmed, or otherwise down.
  3. This can be either a real situation or simulated. For example, during an exercise, perhaps, part of the simulation would be the "147.30 repeater went down" (broken). Therefore, all traffic would be moved to the alternate repeater; in this case, the AK2O 147.20 repeater. The following shall be observed:

    When the 147.20 repeater is to be used for Emergency Operations, the tone/access information would be distributed to the ARES operations in compliance with SRGs operational rules, found on SRGís web site. (Not over the air).

    Net control stations from ARES/RACES will announce the situation on the 20 repeater to alert everyone monitoring. Periodic (short-brief) announcements are also encouraged (but not required) to inform others that might have missed the first announcement. This can be on the hour, every 6 hours or 12 hours; at the discretion of the ARES Net Control Station(s). In return, during this period, efforts should be made to minimize "casual" QSOs* on the 147.20 repeater to give Emergency Operations a chance to use the system. (Please, no 2-hour long QSOs*). 147.20 repeater users shall leave a second or two between transmissions for a breaking station with traffic. All other SRG rules, per the web site shall be obeyed.

  4. The VHF Club also supports Emergency Operations by the same general agreement stated (above) with the Spokane Repeater group, with the exception of the VHF Club tones/access information can be given out over the air. The published access tone for all the VHF Clubís repeaters is 123 Hz.


Efforts should be made to contact each representative of the affected organization of such "back-up" operations on their repeater prior to or just after the activity. If the representative is not available operations can proceed at the discretion of the ARES/RACES Net Control Station(s). In this event, a follow-up letter , email or phone call should be sent out informing of the operation to that representative.

As common sense, in a life and death situation itís the discretion of the affected Amateur stations to do what it takes to handle such an extreme situation to save a life or property. In a life and death situation the above rules can be disregarded, if there is no other way to perform the task to resolve such an extreme situation. Details and repercussions can be discussed at a later time between the representatives of the affected organizations.

Any or all of the organizations have the right to amend, change or otherwise modify any of the content of this agreement only after verbal or written confirmation by the heads (Presidents) of all three organizations.

Any or all of the organizations have the right to dissolve or otherwise discontinue participating at any time in the future. In this event all three organizations are held harmless to any results from this action. (Peaceful dissolvent-no hard feelings, etc)


Point of Contacts:

Spokane County ARES/RACES:

Spokane Repeater Group:

Inland Empire VHF Club:

For further operational information please visit the following web sites:



*QSO: Meaning a contact, conversation or other traffic among two or more Amateur Radio stations.


Effective date: January 31 2013; supersedes previous versions