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San Luis Obispo County, California

The San Luis Obispo County Emergency Communications Council (SLOECC) is the logistic support organization for amateur radio emergency communications in San Luis Obispo County, on California's beautiful Central Coast, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

This site offers information about activities of SLOECC and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) in San Luis Obispo County. These organizations are made up of over 100 FCC-licensed amateur radio operators who have volunteered their time and resources to serve the community in times of emergency. ARES/RACES/SLOECC members are located throughout the County. They maintain reliable radio systems that do not depend upon regular sources of electric power, and are prepared to respond to the need for radio communications whenever regular systems fail or are overloaded, including such emergency conditions as fire, flood, toxic spill, earthquake, nuclear plant emergency, or other disaster.

Please follow the links below for more information on


Emergency Radio Communications

Amateur radio operators in the United States have a long and distinguished history of community service, most notably in the field of emergency communications.

Whenever regular communications channels are down and/or commercial electric power systems have failed or are overloaded, "Hams" have provided a temporary and reliable back-up system. Fires, floods, earthquakes, major storms, power outages... virtually any disruption of normal services brings out the amateur radio emergency teams. While our primary emphasis is on relaying "health and welfare" information, Hams also provide direct support to public safety agencies when regular channels are inaccessible.

In San Luis Obispo County, hams have served during the Las Pilitas Fire, Highway 41 Fire, both Highway 58 Fires (1996 and 2002), December 1988 snowstorms and the December 2003 earthquake. Additionally, they have participated in every County wide siren test and emergency exercise.

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Who Are These Amateur Radio Volunteers?

Licensed amateur radio operators include college professors, engineers, psychologists, business executives, public employees, students, and homemakers... folks from all walks of life who have developed technical skills and who want to make a valuable contribution to their communities.

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A Word About "Amateur" Radio

Let's clear up one possibly confusing term. The Federal Communications Commission licenses certain non-commercial radio operators as "amateurs" because they are not permitted to accept any pay for their services. Except for that, "amateur" is not an accurate description of the efforts or skills of the ham community. These are trained, licensed and experienced communicators who know the territory, and understand their role when the need arises.

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Amateur Radio Service Groups

San Luis Obispo County's amateur radio emergency operations are organized into three overlapping services:

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Served Agencies

Amateur radio emergency communications service agreements are in place with several public agencies and community organizations in San Luis Obispo County, including:

Amateur radio, via ARES / RACES / SLOECC, is an integral part of the emergency plans of each of these key community service agencies. (Many have licensed amateurs on their staffs.)

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What ARES / RACES / SLOECC Means To You

Communities -- If you are an elected or appointed public official who represents a municipality in San Luis Obispo County, ARES representatives will be delighted to explain how amateur radio can offer reliable back-up for your public safety communications. Amateur radio can help.

Schools -- Is your district prepared to provide communication with families during a possible evacuation? Might you need emergency backup for contact with buses or other district sites? Amateur radio can help

Hospitals -- In a recent power outage in Orange County, one major hospital's telephone system failed. The hospital invited local amateur radio operators to help, and emergency service was made available within minutes. Amateur radio can help

Agencies -- Nationally and in SLO County, the American Red Cross and Salvation Army are linked with amateur radio through formal service agreements. Hams provide communications assistance for "health and welfare" messages, keeping agencies in touch with each other, and letting anxious relatives far away know about the status of loved ones. Could your agency use similar help in an emergency? Amateur radio can help.

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Potential Volunteers

If you are a licensed amateur radio operator who would like to be of direct help to your neighbors and community in times of emergency, ARES/RACES/SLOECC can use your help! As they say in the classifieds: "No experience necessary; Will train." We'd love to hear from you. If you are not licensed, we can help you get your amateur radio license.

Contacts for more information include:

 Max Sicher  528-5065
 Bill Bailey  534-1524
 Neal Swanberg  995-3181
 Ron Patterson  438-4008

Board of Directors - 2016

 Member   Callsign   City   Office   Phone # 
 Tom Tengdin  WB9VXY  San Luis Obispo   President  704-1878
 Greg Lugo  N6LUG  Los Osos  Vice President  528-7530
 Richard Dickey  W6RKA  San Luis Obispo  Treasurer  543-2991
 Neal Swanberg  KG6AYI  Morro Bay  Secretary  771-0281
 Bill Fageol  KA9A  Morro Bay  Director 2016-2017  801-5244
 Ron Patterson  W6FM  Atascadero  Director 2016-2018  438-4008
 Bill Bailey  AE6EQ  Los Osos  Director 2016  534-1524

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