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In 2016 the Colorado General Assembly passed HB16-1040 creating the Auxiliary Emergency Communications Unit of the Office of Emergency Management in the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety. "Colorado AuxComm" is an all volunteer organization of licensed amateur radio operators who support state and local government agencies with communication support during disaster preparedness exercises, planned incidents, and natural and man-made disasters.
Auxiliary Communicators must pass a criminal background check and complete a variety of training courses to be credentialed. The Office of Emergency Management has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service Colorado Section (Colorado ARES) under which Colorado ARES section and region leadership in Colorado will serve in parallel roles within the AuxComm Unit. Membership in ARES is not a prerequisite to participation in the unit.
The federal Department of Homeland Security sponsored Auxiliary Emergency Communications course is being offered in Colorado several times each year. Candidates who complete the AuxComm course; FEMA ICS courses 100, 200, 700, and 800; and pass a background check may be issued a credential identifying them as a member of the AuxComm unit which is recognized statewide. Further information on becoming a member of the Colorado Auxiliary Emergency Communications Unit is available at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dhsem/auxillary-communications
The AuxComm unit by law is the official RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) organization for the state. In addition to traditional amateur radio emergency communications, the unit operates radios on public safety (Part 90) frequencies. The unit has its own talkgroup on the Colorado Digital Trunk Radio System (DTRS).
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