Membership of ACREM
Are you interested in helping your community during disasters and major emergencies? Would you like to help save lives through the use of CB Radio? Perhaps you are unable to play an active role but can work from home to monitor radio?
ACREM volunteers provide a monitoring service on the Government allocated CB emergency channels, responding to calls for assistance from the community and relaying the information to the required emergency services. Despite the proliferation of mobile telephones the CB bands are still widely used and ACREM volunteers often respond to calls involving serious motor vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, fires, boating emergencies, and much more. In addition ACREM Monitors assist their community by:
- Broadcasting Severe Weather Warnings, received direct from the Bureau of Meteorology;
- Broadcasting Tsunami Warnings, received direct from the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC);
- Providing emergency communications and mobile communications posts to isolated communities following disasters;
- Providing emergency communications and communications support to emergency services, as needed;
- Providing safety communications for community events such as triathlons, cycle rides, fets, fairs, etc;
ACREM has an Equal Employment Opportunity policy and does not discriminate due to disabilities, race, religion, gender or sexual preferences.
What ACREM Doesn’t Do, and Why
In the emergency management world various organisations and agencies are endorsed to provide specific responses to certain situations. For example, Rescue units are endorsed to respond to rescue situations, Fire units respond to fires, etc. These services are highly trained in their respective fields and are authorised by the Government to provide those responses to the community.
ACREM has the primary role of monitoring CB emergency channels, and a secondary role of providing field communications if and when needed. This means that ACREM does NOT provide an immediate ‘mobile response’ or a ‘mobile service’ to any situation, unless specifically requested (and therefore authorised) by the emergency services. If ACREM did offer this kind of response it would not only contravene various emergency management protocols and policies, it could also open ACREM and the members concerned to prosecution by the Government and emergency services, as ACREM, just like all other CB monitoring groups, is NOT endorsed or authorised to provide a physical mobile response to any emergency incident.
Those that wish to respond to emergency situations are advised to join organisations such as State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service/Country Fire Authority, or your local volunteer rescue unit (if applicable). This is the only way to be involved in a group that provides a legal and coordinated response to various emergency situations.
Working with Emergency Services
ACREM is established as a Communications Support Unit, able to be called upon by the emergency services during times of need. ACREM has already developed a close working relationship with many government agencies and services, with the monitoring network provided by ACREM volunteers proven to be a necessary and valuable service during any emergency. During fire and storm emergencies ACREM supports the community and the emergency services through its monitoring network, a function recognised by the emergency services.
ACREM members can also assist emergency services with support personnel, to perform various tasks as deemed necessary at the time. ACREM meets the definition of a Communications Support Unit Police to assist in any rescue operation, should the need arise. Visit our National website - Helping You page to read more about how ACREM can help the community.
Membership of ACREM is available in a couple of categories, depending on how active you wish to become:
Monitors are the backbone of ACREM. They perform regular duties monitoring the CB emergency channels, and also assist in the field with communications support and safety communications. Monitors are trained in many subjects, much of which is taken from emergency services training and procedures so that ACREM members have some common knowledge and skills.
Reserve Monitors are exactly the same as Monitors, except they do not undertake regular scheduled monitoring duties, possibly due to work or other commitments.
Monitor training includes the following subjects:
- History of ACREM
- Principles of emergency management
- Working with the Public
- Working as part of a team
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Using mobile phones and pagers
- How radios send and receive messages
- Voice procedures
- Operating procedures
- Monitoring CB emergency channels
- Processing emergency calls
- Recording and documenting calls
- Distress, urgency and safety calls
- Maintaining equipment
This constitutes the Basic Monitor Training that all Monitors must complete. More advanced training is available to those interested in going further.
Monitors are divided into 4 grades, based on the qualifications and experience of the member. These grades are:
- Cat. 1 - Trainee Monitor. Once the above basic training is completed a Monitor is accredited as Cat.1 and goes on air to gain experience dealing with calls whilst under the supervision of more experienced Monitors.
- Cat. 2 - Monitor. Once suitable on air experience has been gained the Monitor is advanced to Cat.2 and can monitor without supervision.
- Cat. 3 - Advanced Monitor. Training in the advanced subjects will advance the Monitor to cat.3 status.
- Cat. 4 - Emergency Communications Operator. Further training and experience in field activities, managing networks, emergency management, etc, allow the Monitor to advance to Cat.4 level.
Specialist With Advanced Training (SWAT)
Cat. 3 and 4 Monitors may hold qualifications, or may undertake further training, in specialist subjects. This may include Amateur Radio, electronics technician, bush skills, EMT, and much more.
Associate membership is for those that may not want to play an active role, or that may want to help out but not with monitoring or communications. Associate members do not need to undertake any training, but they can if they wish. Most associate members are inactive and join so they can support the organisation, although during major emergencies these inactive members can be utilised to help with welfare and meals, etc.