What is RAYNET

3D Grey UK outline Yellow backgroundRAYNET is the UK's national voluntary communications service provided for the community by licensed radio amateurs. RAEN, The Radio Amateurs' Emergency Network and RSGB Emergency Communications jointly support local groups in providing services.

The organisation was formed in 1953 following the East Coast floods, when radio amateurs provided emergency communications.

Two local groups, North Dyfed RAYNET based around Aberystwith, and Powys RAYNET provide provide support in the mid Wales area

What do we do?

The local RAYNET Groups can provide a flexible communications service for local community events and exercises as part of our training for providing communications during major civil emergencies.

RaynetDIAMONDlogoYellv2What have we done?

Nationally RAYNET has provided additional communications at major incidents involving aircraft, trains, flooding, evacuations, telephone exchange failures, missing persons searches, adverse weather, oil/chemical pollution etc.

Examples include:

  • Lockerbie air crash
  • Severn Tunnel incident
  • Towyn flooding, North Wales
  • Portland WWII bomb evacuation
  • Sea Empress oil pollution disaster

Locally the midwales Groups have supported

  • Many charity cycle rides
  • Long-distance walks and orienteering
  • Endurance horse rides
  • Motorcycle and car rallys
  • Scout and Guide Events

Joining together with other RAYNET groups, members have also provided safety communications for large-scale community events, such as:

  • London Marathon
  • Mildenhall Air Fete
  • Great North Run/Great South Run

How do we do it?

RAYNET volunteers normally use their own equipment to provide communications. Voice transmissions are the norm, but typed messages in the form of data transmissions are being increasingly used, allowing 100% accurate messages to be passed over both long and short distances.

Whom do we do it for?

RAYNET, under the terms of the amateur radio licence, is permitted to pass messages on behalf of

  • Any UK Police force, Fire & Rescue service or Ambulance trust.
  • HM Coastguard
  • Local Authority Emergency Planning Officers
  • Any health authority
  • Any government department
  • British Red Cross
  • St John Ambulance
  • St Andrew's Ambulance Association
  • WRVS
  • Salvation Army
  • Any utility service

How are we organised?

RAYNET comprises a national network of local groups, who liaise with emergency services, local authorities and other voluntary agencies who could be involved in the integrated management response to major civil emergencies.

Groups are supported by a County/Regional, Zonal and National structure.

All registered members of The Radio Amateurs' Emergency Network whilst on duty are covered by "Public Liability" & "Employers Liability" insurance, together with Personal Accident Insurance under policies held nationally by The Network.

How do we train?

Groups work with the emergency services and local authority emergency planning units on both live exercises and table-top simulations. It is, of course, important to have "hands on" experience regularly and throughout the year and to carry out training to nationally agreed standards.

RAYNET personnel provide additional safety communications for local fun runs, marathons, car rallies and a wide variety of events, whereby message passing, engineering skills and operational procedures can be tried and tested.