Radio Rescue Emergency Communications Incorporated (RREC) is a volunteer association incorporated in South Australia and registered as a charity by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). It is registered by ACNC as a Public Benevolent Institution (subtype “advancing the security or safety of Australia or the Australian public“) and endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).
Formed in South Australia in 2019, RREC brought together long-standing members of other similar organisations that had started to cease operations in the South Australian and Victorian regions. It was formed so activities in these areas could continue serving the community after these groups closed. At the time it was formed it included volunteers with past or current experience in SES (rescue and communications), CFS and CFA, and soon included members serving as active rescue operators in NSW. RREC now includes volunteers in SA, Victoria and NSW.
RREC’s primary objective is the provision of benevolent relief to the community through the monitoring of CB band government designated emergency channels (to receive and process calls for emergency assistance), and the provision of communications support during major incidents where normal methods of communication have failed (i.e. mobile and land-line telephone networks have failed.) Although mobile phones have largely replaced the use of CB to summon help, there are still a significant number of times CB may be the only way the general public can call for help, or communicate with various emergency services.
In recent years this was proven when severe bush fires isolated entire communities when mobile phone sites, power infrastructure and even land-line networks were destroyed or severely damaged. Emergency communications networks established by amateur radio services such as WICEN are not accessible by the general public without the need for training, formal qualifications and licence fees. CB on the other hand needs no qualifications and no licence fee, and is already fitted into most trucks, farm vehicles, farms, 4WD’s and numerous travelers and hobbyists. Many rural volunteer emergency services also use UHF CB, as well as RFDS and various rescue aircraft, to allow communication with the public.
RREC is entirely self-funded. We receive no financial sponsorship or government funding (other than an occasional grant, if we’re lucky) and rely very heavily on our members to raise the funds we need to continue, and expand. While donations of $2 or more are tax deductible, today’s financial atmosphere makes donations to groups like RREC far less likely than years gone by.
One of our goals is to establish and maintain UHF Ch. 5/35 emergency repeaters for rural and remote communities where they may be needed to help save lives. Unfortunately with each repeater costing between $5,000 and $15,000 this is a very, very slow process!
RREC is a volunteer association with an elected committee. Set within its Constitution are 8 committee positions, consisting of:
- 4 Executive Committee:
- Vice President;
- 4 Ordinary Committee
In addition the Committee is empowered to appoint members to such other positions or roles as may be deemed necessary or desirable for the better management of the association.
In order to make it easier for emergency services to understand where our senior Executive would fit within their own rank structure our President and Vice President work with the title of National Commissioner and Deputy National Commissioner respectively.
Each member of the Committee holds office for 2 years, with the Executive elected on odd years and the Ordinary Committee elected on even years. Any position that becomes vacant before the end of term (e.g. resignation) is filled by the Committee appointing a suitably qualified member until the end of the original term.