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ACS and AuxComm in Context
AuxComm explained.
Video follows my comments: Big Grin I recommend that you read my comments, but if you want to skip down to the video, that's fine too! Heart It's all good in the end. Wink

After taking over as the Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Bruce County I’ve been playing catch up. In fact I’ve been hip deep in trying to get my head around the state of Emergency Communications in Canada, past, present and future. I’m sharing some of what I’ve learned as well as my understanding,such as it is, of where things are going.

First I need to provide a little background and simplify some of the more complicated issues surrounding what may be an unfamiliar term. AuxComm, short for Auxiliary Communications is a catch all phrase used to describe the blending together of differing communications technologies, systems and methods into a single more unified system.

One simple and very limited aspect of the AuxComm concept is the standardized use of ICS forms for emergency communications. The objective is to have any radio operator or emergency manager trained in the use of these forms as a standard method of communicating. Standardized operating methods is really at the heart of the AuxComm concept.

Another AuxComm concept is that all those involved with emergency communications will also understand the Emergency Management and Incident Management System. This understanding will then mean that anyone working in an Emergency Operations Centre will understand the hierarchy or organization of the emergency management team and what part they will play within that organization.

Once again, the AuxComm principles that apply are to have a standardized and uniform method of doing emergency communications within the context of an operational Emergency Operations Centre. There for the principles of concepts of AuxComm will incorporate the services of amateur radio volunteers with those used in professional public safety communications systems.

This should not be confused as making amateur volunteers into part of the public safety communications system. Amateur radio volunteers in an EOC will still be a distinct and separate segment of emergency communications. The equipment and skill set of amateur radio communications are unique to amateur operations as are the conditions of the licensing under which we operate.
To the best of my understanding, AuxComm methods will help ACS operators better integrate into the professional operating environment of the agencies we serve. On the revese side of that coin, the overarching uniformity of AuxComm principles will help served agencies better understand and use the services amateur radio volunteers offer.

What I am sharing here is information I have gleaned from various sources. This is an overview which I admit is incomplete at this point in time. I continue to study and research and will share any new information which I think is worthy of sharing.

I am advised now to expect a proper roll out of the newly minted Auxiliary Communications Service in mid January 2022. It is my understand that this roll out will involve a series of zoom presentations for ACS EC’s such as myself.
Emergency Communications vs ACS

Needless to say I am looking forward to having a clearer view of what we can expect from the new ACS organization. I will keep everyone informed as things move ahead.

While I recognize that the video I am sharing below is American I believe the basic principles of AuxComm will be the same on both sides of the border with notable exceptions for differences between Canadian and US government structures. Having said all that, please watch the video.


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