Dallas County REACT has grown in many ways since its inception in 1967. For many years, we monitored CB channel 9 from high atop the Southland Life building in downtown Dallas. With our base station and Super Scanner antenna, we had solid coverage of nearly all Dallas County. For many years motorists knew that if they needed assistance, all they had to do was to call on channel 9 and REACT would be there, loud and clear, to help.
Several factors, including the decline in popularity of CB radio, spurred a change in direction and operating procedures of our group. With the strength and unity of our team, we began to focus on our role as a mutual aid organization. We abandoned our fixed downtown location in favor of a “mobile command center.” No longer tied to a particular location, we could now establish our central point of operations wherever we were needed. Our membership began pursuing amateur radio as a communications resource in addition to the public frequencies we had always used. We also formed relationships with local government agencies and let them know we were capable and ready to assist during times of disaster.
Today, most of our team’s routine operations are conducted on GMRS. We are capable of operating on almost all HF, VHF and UHF amateur radio, public safety, and business bands.
We discontinued regular monitoring of CB channel 9 several years ago. However, we do continue to support the use of CB radio and include it among our array of communications options.
Our current responsibilities can be summed up in the following four categories.
Local Emergencies: Dallas County REACT is prepared and available to assist in local emergencies in and around Dallas County. We have a good volunteer base ready to serve on short notice. We have a well configured mobile command center. Once set up on site, we can operate self sufficiently for extended periods.
Community Service: We maintain our skills and equipment through regular community service events. Often this entails deploying our command center to the event site, setting up our equipment, providing communications assistance during the event, then dismantling the system and returning the equipment to standby.
Support for the American Red Cross: Perhaps our greatest responsibility is to the Dallas Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. We have a close relationship with them and have agreed to staff their radio command center in time of need. They generously offer their facility to us for our monthly meetings and give us 24 hour access to their radio room.
Public Communications: We maintain an open 70cm amateur repeater and a digipeater for relaying APRS traffic. We also maintain two fixed GMRS repeaters that are used by REACT team members. In times of need, the public may use our GMRS repeaters to contact a team member for assistance or to relay requests for emergency assistance to the proper authorities.