Auxiliary Communications Service
The ACS Team
Blaine's Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) supports the Department of Public Safety with a team of dedicated civilian volunteers who bring expertise in communications and related technologies, including electronics, radio, telephony and Internet services.
The men and women of Blaine's ACS are a critical resource: without the help of these members, the Public Safety Department could not coordinate and deliver prompt services during emergencies and crises which overwhelm normal capabilities.
Essential Volunteers Solving Problems
Two main problems faced Blaine in ensuring emergency communications in a small border community:
- Backup Communications during emergencies: Severe weather events and large-scale incidents sometimes overwhelm normal communications including cell phone, landline telephone, and public safety radio systems.
- Interoperability: Over a dozen local, state and federal law enforcement agencies work in Blaine. Our public safety personnel interact with them all, and all agencies can be called upon to work together when an emergency arises.
Providing back up communications and interoperability were not possible for Blaine's Public Safety Department until it commissioned an Auxiliary Communications Service unit.
Most recently, Blaine Auxiliary Communications Service volunteers completed work to equip and provide generator backup to our radio repeater site, and outfitted a communication maintenance and training site. They have designed, built, and now staff a state-of-art communications van to meet the special needs of emergency management and interoperable communications in our border city. The vehicle can be deployed to any communications need in the area's law enforcement, public service and emergency amateur radio communities.
The City of Blaine and the Public Safety Department support ACS efforts with funding for equipment and training whenever possible. All the work to build, maintain, and operate the ACS equipment is volunteered by the team. Over 2,000 hours of volunteer expertise are donated each year by these dedicated men and women.