2

Dumfries and Galloway RAYNET

Voluntary Community and Emergency Radio Communications

GM4HAA

 

 

 

 

 

History

The History of RAYNET

When major disasters occur the first casualty in utilities is communications, the Mobile Phone and Landline network gets clogged up, power supplies and in some cases water supplies fail. Communications are vital to the voluntary responder in providing targeted  relief  supplies such as food, bedding, clothing, medical supplies, temporary accommodation as well as helping to organise evacuation.

flood

Radio Amateurs are ideally placed for such emergency communication provision as we are fully accustomed to ‘Field Days’ in which a fully operational station with worldwide contact possibilities can be set up within a few hours enabling twenty four hour continuous operation. Capabilities include HF, VHF and UHF radio equipment both analogue and digital, as well as digital messaging, vehicle tracking, repeater systems, antenna erection, independent power supply generation and self-catering camping type accommodation allowing us to provide fully operational systems in remote locations.  It is with this self-recognition in mind that radio amateurs offer their services to the wider community. The history that led to the formation of RAYNET goes back over 70 years, but RAYNET as it now stands has its roots going back to 1953 and the devastating floods along the East coast of Britain.

Dumfries and Galloway RAYNET

AlexDumfries and Galloway Raynet was founded in 1986 by the late Alex Anderson GM4VIR after a major forest fire about 8 miles north of the town of Gatehouse of Fleet in 1982/3. The local WRVS were providing food and drinks from the village to the fire fighters but were having problems in updating the food requirements for the large number of people involved.

Afterwards Mrs Lillian Dent the WRVS organiser asked Alex if the local amateurs could have provided some kind of radio link between the two and Alex decided then that Dumfries and Galloway Raynet should be established

The minutes of the first AGM dated 8th September 1986 show members present as John GM6LYJ, Alan GM4XTI, Keith GM4JKB, Sam GM4HTI, Jack GM3OXK, Alex GM4VIR, Drew GM6AWA, Jim GM4RJF, John GM8RSC, Hazel GM4VIS and Lorna GM6WJI. The minutes go on to relate election of office bearers, Alex was elected controller and so Dumfries and Galloway Raynet began.

Over the years the group has been very active in all parts of the region and were among the first Raynet groups on the scene at the Lockerbie air disaster along with operators from Strathclyde, Ayrshire and many other areas. Alex was awarded the MBE for his work during the disaster, which he accepted on behalf of all the Raynet operators involved.

Since then the group has been providing radio safety communications for all manner of events, among them Sled Dog racing, Car Rallys, Marathon hill walks, Sealed Knot events, Endurance Horse riding, Scout night exercises to name but a few. Our biggest event is the Galloway Hills Rally which is held in early December this event can require 30/35 operators and we use multiple talk through units to cover the area of operation. We have a good membership, most of which are very active. We are listed as voluntary responders on Dumfries and Galloway Council's Major Emergency Scheme and we have emergency radio units at the Emergency Planning Office and Dumfries Royal Infirmary

If you would like to learn more about RAYNET or would like to join us please get in touch via our Contact Us page