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The Twin County RACES unit is establishing their own local registration. This membership will be shared with local government agencies that the local unit has agreed to support in times of communications emergencies. With local registration we are also recognized by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management as RACES.
Below are excerpts from a recent MOU between ARES® and VDEM
"It also recognizes that any licensed amateur radio operator that is registered with his or her local jurisdiction to support emergency communications for that jurisdiction (or within the Commonwealth of Virginia) will also be considered as a registered member of RACES."
"The Virginia Section ARES® may be requested to provide communications for local, regional or statewide activities. In the event of a declaration of a State of Emergency or a Local Declared Emergency, as defined in the Code of Virginia, 44-146.16, these same ARES stations will automatically become RACES stations and will assume the authorizations and the responsibilities as defined under FCC Rules and Regulations. Other amateurs registered with their local jurisdictions will also become RACES operators under the same conditions. "
Registration in this way affords us all the protection afforded RACES members by the Commonwealth when activated by VDEM or local emergency management. This includes 44-146.23 and 8.01-225 of the Code of Virginia. A local system allows us to operate free of burdensome styles of leadership concepts directed from outside our area. Our leadership is selected by local emergency management . Under state declared emergencies we operate under the direction of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. The Twin County RACES unit operates under Part 97.407 of the FCC rules.
For additional information on protection for the volunteer engaged in telecommunications view exerpts below. This outlines what is afforded to RACES under the "Good Samaritan Act" as outlined in the code of Virginia.
(Excerpts that apply to communications volunteers)
VIRGINIA "GOOD SAMARITAN" LAW
CODE OF VIRGINIA - SECTION 8.01-225
(AS AMENDED 2000)
Section • 8.01-225 of the Code of Virginia
Approved April 9, 2000
C. Any provider of telecommunication service, as defined in § 58.1-3812, including mobile service, in this Commonwealth shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from rendering such service with or without charge related to emergency calls unless such act or omission was the result of such service provider's gross negligence or willful misconduct.
Definition of Telecommunications in the Code of Virginia
Telecommunications means any transmission, emission, or reception of signs, signals, writings, images, and sounds, or information of any nature by wire, radio, visual, optical, or other electromagnetic systems.
B. Any person serving without compensation as a dispatcher for any licensed public or nonprofit emergency services agency in this Commonwealth shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from the rendering of emergency services in good faith by the personnel of such licensed agency unless such act or omission was the result of such dispatcher's gross negligence or willful misconduct.
More details on this subject will be included in the "Training Page"