RAYNET (Radio Amateur Emergency Network) is a generic name for groups of licensed Radio Amateurs who provide their time and expertise on a voluntary basis to provide radio communications for community events as well as emergencies and disasters.
There are approximately 5000 members in 250 independent groups across the UK. Licensing regulations allow us to assist various organisations (user Services) with communications for emergency or safety reasons. The list of user Services includes the Red Cross, St Andrews, Scottish Ambulance, HM Coastguard, Salvation Army, The Emergency Planning Officer, the Police, the Armed Forces, and various public utilities.
We use local community events to help us train and keep our operational expertise up to scratch. We also work with other groups within Scotland and throughout the UK. The regular training using these community events puts 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.
Apart from rare emergency situations we usually find ourselves operating on safety grounds at events such as Car Rallys, Mountain Biking events, Marathons and sponsored walks.
We are always on the lookout for new members so if you would like to know more about us and what we do please contact us via our contact page.
If you would like to learn more about RAYNET or would like to join us please contact us via the Contact page.
Dumfries and Galloway RAYNET were mobilised by D&G Council on the 30th of December to provide emergency radio communications from Newton Stewart to Dumfries for their community resilience teams. BT had closed down their local exchange due to flooding of unprecedented levels. This led to a complete loss of fixed and mobile telephones and internet services around Newton Stewart isolating all in the Town but Police, Fire, Ambulance and MRT from any form of voice and data communication with the rest of Dumfries and Galloway.
We got the call at approximately 16:00 Hrs and within 90 minutes we had a team of three at the rest centre in Newton Stewart and three members at the Emergency Planning Bunker radio room with a solid radio link between the two locations using our local repeater GB3DG.
We were stood down at approximately 20:00 Hrs when the waters began receeding and the BT exchange was more or less up and running again with fixed and mobile phones back working but no internet.
Sometimes it can be useful and safe to run a big diesel 4x4 and be a licenced Radio Amateur. It not only makes us a bit more self reliant but allows us to chip in and help others when the going gets a bit tough.