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Mutual Aid Communicators (MACs) are amateur radio operators who have volunteered their time, their expertise and their equipment to provide communications services during times of need. These individuals are trained and prepared to provide a variety of communications services and are available for deployment throughout the county, according to the county mutual aid mechanisms. The MAC Program defines standards of performance and includes several types and levels of qualifications. These qualifications are the basis for resource typing and effective and efficient resource assignment.
MAC Program Brochure (345 kB) (101 kB) [revised 24-Oct-2009]
A brief, high-level overview of the Mutual Aid Communicator Program in a tri-fold format. Quickly describes what a MAC is and how to become a MAC. Ideal for distributing at ham crams, Field Day, club activities or to served agencies. There is room on the back to attach a sticker with local contact information. Alternatively, you can edit the MS Word version to add your contact info.
(Printing tip: For optimal column alignment, print the PDF version using "borderless" or "edge-to-edge" mode and no page scaling on your home printer, or send to a professional printer.)
MAC Program Handbook (776 kB) [revised 02-Apr-2014]
A comprehensive and detailed description of the Santa Clara County Mutual Aid Communicator program. Includes how to become a MAC, MAC roles and responsibilities, and advanced qualifications. Required reading for anyone interested in or already participating in the program.
MAC Program Kick-Off - week of Sep-20-2009 (570 kB) (6.01 MB)
A brief overview of the recently implemented enhancements to the MAC program. Presented to Santa Clara County ARES/RACES groups following the Monday night SPECS net (Sept 21, 2009) and the Tuesday night SVECS net (Sep 22, 2009) by Michael Fox, N6MEF.
MAC Program Enhancements - Aug-13-2009 (271 kB)
A summary of the enhancements to the MAC program which are currently underway. Presented to Santa Clara County EC Council on Aug 13, 2009 by Michael Fox, N6MEF.
All Santa Clara County MACs are expected to perform their duties according to the Santa Clara County ARES/RACES Performance Standards and Best Practices ("the Performance Standards"). These standards are recommended for everyone and are the required minimum standard for MACs. They are located in the Operations > Standards and Procedures section of this website.
The following form may be used by a candidate for the MAC program (MAC in Training) and his/her EC as an aid to tracking progress toward completion of the MAC program entrance requirements. The form contains a list of the requirements defined in the MAC Program Handbook section titled "Becoming a Mutual Aid Communicator." Refer to the MAC Program Handbook for specifics of each requirement.
The following forms are for use by candidates to keep a record of their progress toward qualifications. These forms mimic the information that is stored in the county database. They act as a receipt, just in case the county's records are lost or in error. Download a copy of the appropriate form and bring it with you to your evaluation. When you complete each part of the evaluation, ask the evaluator to initial it for your records.
Field Communicator Type III (F3) (79 kB) [rev 09-Apr-2013] Field Communicator Type II (F2) (78 kB) [rev 18-Apr-2016] Net Control Operator Type III (N3) (74 kB) [rev 09-Apr-2013] Net Control Operator Type II (N2) (75 kB) [rev 09-Apr-2013] Packet Operator Type III (P3) (74 kB) [rev 09-Apr-2013] Packet Operator Type II (P2) (75 kB) [rev 09-Apr-2013] Shadow Communicator Type III (S3) (73 kB) [rev 09-Apr-2013] Shadow Communicator Type II (S2) (73 kB) [rev 09-Apr-2013]
To compare your records to the county database, visit: http://www.scc-ares-races.org/activities. Log in and click on "View MAC status." Then click on a qualification level and compare the information to your paper qualification record. Please allow up to 5 business days for evaluators to update the county database.
Pre-MAC Preparation Training
The following training courses are designed to bring amateur radio operators up to speed on Santa Clara County ARES/RACES emergency communications procedures. They are useful for anyone interested in emergency communications. They are considered essential preparatory training prior to entrance into the MAC program.
Introduction to Emergency Communications
Ideal for new hams who are interested in emergency communications.
Fundamentals of Emergency Communications
Ideal for new hams who have completed "Introduction to Emergency Communications" or experienced hams who are new to emergency communications or new to Santa Clara County ARES/RACES procedures.
The following e-mail lists/groups are available to MACs and those interested in becoming MACs. One need not be a MAC to join. The groups are closed to protect them from SPAM, so you must first join the groups in order to participate. Recommended membership includes ECs, AECs, MACs and those interested in becoming MACs.
MAC Announcements (scc-races-macs)
This Yahoo group is available for receiving announcements pertaining to Santa Clara County MACs. Announcements include alerts about imminent activations, drill and event information, and other important topics. This group is not for general discussion purposes. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scc-races-macs to join.
MAC Discussion Group (scc-mac-discuss)
This Yahoo discussion group is available for discussing topics of interest to Santa Clara County MACs. Discussion topics might include the structure and operation of the MAC program itself, portable and mobile operating ideas, antennas, and other topics of interest to MACs. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scc-mac-discuss to join.
To access your MAC status, go to the Training and Events Database, log in, and click on "My MAC Status." Click on the individual qualifications for status about each requirement of each qualification. For the details about each of the requirements listed, consult the MAC Program Handbook.
The database updates are performed manually by volunteer MAC Evaluators. Updates are usually entered within a few days of any activity where evaluations are performed, such as drills and public service events. Unfortunately, we just don't have the manpower to check ever person's record who attends every training class or participates in every net. So, how can you get your training and participation requirements updated after you complete a class or participate in an event?
Training and participation requirements are usually verified and checked-off at the same time that equipment, knowledge and operator skill requirements are checked-off. So, if you still need equipment, knowledge or operator skill sign-offs, then just remind the evaluator the next time you are evaluated to also check your training and participation requirements. However, if the only requirements you have left to complete for a given qualification are training or participation requirements, simply send an e-mail with the relevant data to the program manager (see below) when you complete those items.
The best place to ask questions or make suggestions about the program is the MAC discussion group (scc-mac-discuss) listed above. Posting to the group allows everyone involved or interested in the MAC program to have visibility to the issue and an opportunity to add value to the discussion by providing their own observations and/or suggestions.
The program manager for the MAC program is currently Michael Fox, N6MEF. He can be reached at: n6mef at arrl dot net.
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This page was last updated on 18-Apr-2016