What is RAYNET
What is RAYNET?
RAYNET is a generic name for a group of licensed Radio Amateurs who provide their time and expertise voluntarily to provide radio communications for emergencies and disasters primarily, to maintain our operational status and capability TRG provides community communications support for events within the county of Somerset and beyond.
There are approximately 1500 members in circa 120 Groups across the UK. OFCOM Licensing regulations permit like-minded radio amateurs to assist various organisations (user service bodies) with communications services for emergency and/or safety reasons. The list of user service bodies includes the voluntary first aid organisations, local authorities, the Police, the Armed Forces, and various public utilities.
Apart from regular training, we are restricted to operating on behalf of one of the stipulated user service bodies. The regular training undertaken by TRG places us in a position to respond rapidly in the event of an emergency and in most situations have a radio network up and running within 60 minutes of being called upon within the County of Somerset.
Apart from, thankfully, rare emergency situations we usually find ourselves operating on safety grounds at events such as Marathons and sponsored walks. Normally this is on behalf of the Red Cross, St John Ambulance and 1st Responders. These events give us opportunity to hone our communication skills and continue to develop our capability.
RAYNET was formed on the initiative of the Radio Society of Great Britain following the spontaneous help provided by Radio Amateurs during the 1953 east coast floods.
The Amateur Radio license required amending to allow the handling of emergency and disaster radio traffic for third parties.
Apart from the 1953 floods the worst disaster assistance we provided was the air crash over Lockerbie, where RAYNET provided communications for the authorities over a number of days.
Locally we have been called upon several times to assist with lost person searches on Exmoor, backup for bad weather and essential communications for the Taunton & Somerset hospital following a lightning strike taking down the internal telephone system.
TRG has an established unique Somerset County Callout Procedure with the Principal User Service.