The Sussex County Emergency Operations Department adopted the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) program as an Auxiliary Communication Service (ACS) entity to provide the county authorities with direct control of the amateur radio resource during emergencies and disasters. In the Post 9-11 era, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulations, along with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) have a greater impact on how the agencies responsible for disaster services now operate and respond.  The incorporation of a permanent amateur station in the new county Emergency Operations Center (EOC), dictated the need for direct control of the amateur radio operators that would staff the facility. In order to comply with some of these recent changes, the Sussex county RACES Group was initiated in March of 2007 by Joseph Thomas, Director of Emergency Operations for Sussex County.


The Sussex County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is tasked with providing flexible auxiliary communication support during periods of unusual need, and as requested by the Sussex County Emergency Operations Director (EOD) or other designated county official.  The RACES program is directed by the county EOD designated RACES Radio Officer, who reports to the county EOD. Sussex County RACES Group may also perform additional services in support of the Department of Emergency Operations as needed.

The primary station is located in the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). A second station is located in the EOC Mobile Command Unit (MCU).  Trained operators are designated to support these stations, and provide other communication services as directed by the EOD or designee.

Directed communications may be intra-county, inter-county, or beyond the boundaries of the state of Delaware, as determined by the need.  Authorized RACES operators working from personal stations may be asked to provide support.