Happy Birthday RAYNET!
JOHN OTOOLE (M0HEM)
November 23, 2013
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Happy birthday RAYNET!
Published: 15 November, 2013
Voluntary group formed in the aftermath of
1953 east coast flood disaster marks 60th
A national group of communications volunteers
will next week (25 November 2013) mark its
formation 60 years ago in the aftermath of
the east coast flood disaster.
The Radio Amateurs’ Emergency Network
(RAYNET) was formed on 25 November 1953 after
the east coast floods earlier that year that
saw the loss of 307 lives. An earlier attempt
to establish a volunteer emergency
communications service had been rejected by
the Government in 1950.
Ever since, RAYNET volunteers have been
active or on standby countless times,
including the 1988 Lockerbie air disaster,
the 2009 Cumbria floods and more recently the
storm of 28/29 October 2013.
RAYNET is able to provide vital
communications for emergency responders when
existing communications networks fail or
become overloaded – as is often the case in
disaster situations – or help diverse
emergency response agencies communicate with
Today there are around 2,000 RAYNET
volunteers, who are mostly licenced radios
amateurs (radio ‘hams’). Local RAYNET groups
cover the majority of the country.
RAYNET Chairman Cathy Clark said: “The east
coast flood of 1953 was a terrible disaster
but it precipitated the creation of a group
of communications volunteers which, despite
advances in technology, is needed now more
than ever. With our current unpredictable
climate and the high risk of failure of
modern communications networks RAYNET
volunteers can make a crucial difference.”
On the 16th of April 2012 British APCO
President Alan House and RAYNET Chairman
Cathy Clark signed an MOU that recognised the
common objectives of both organisations in
the promotion and influencing of public
safety, civil contingency, information
management and communications technologies.
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