Voluntary Emergency Radio Communications
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IRTS AREN stands for Amateur Radio Emergency Network. It is a Public Service Voluntary Radio Emergency Network run by The Irish Radio Transmitters Society (IRTS) in co-operation with ComReg, the licensing authority. It was sanctioned following Ireland's adoption of Resolution 640 (1979) of the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunications Union, which provides for the utilisation of Amateur Radio communications in emergency situations. The Irish Radio Transmitters Society is the National Society for Radio Experimenters, and is the member society for Ireland of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

Previously, Irish Radio Amateurs were licensed to communicate only with other Radio Amateurs nationally or internationally, however, the ComReg Regulation now extends the License Terms and Conditions of AREN operators to permit them to pass the third party messages of the designated Emergency Services listed below.

  • Fire Service
  • Civil Defence
  • Garda
  • Mountain Rescue
  • Health Service Executive
  • Voluntary Ambulance Services

AREN is not an alternative to any existing Emergency Service but, rather, a reserve communications resource included in Major Emergency Plans that the served agencies may call on as required.

In an Emergency AREN shall come into operation if requested to do so by an incident Controller of Operations or a Senior Official of a designated Emergency Service. It shall function under such control in order to meet the radio communications needs of that service for the required duration. Situations when AREN can be of Assistance.

  • During times of prolonged emergency when existing communications links are overloaded or in danger of failing due to human or equipment fatigue.
  • During major disasters when normal communications links are saturated.
  • When short-term communication difficulties arise beyond the scope of existing systems, such as, an incident in a communications 'black spot' or a system failure.
  • To enable radio communication between different Emergency Services.
  • During public and sporting events when additional communications resources dedicated to emergency and safety requirements are desirable.

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 13:01

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