1. We are sorrowed to report that one of the Founding Members has passed on. Dee (Righthand) is well remembered as contributing much to the operation of SurvivalMonkey, and is already greatly missed. Little lady, big person.

REACT barely exists

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Tevin, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams (REACT) was a community service group that was h-u-g-e back in the 70's and 80's when CB radio was all the rage. They moved on from CB and kept up with the times, but it seems like the magic did not stick.

    While doing some research on them for my next Off Grid Ham blog article, I was sad to discover that the organization barely exists. There are a few local teams operating but most that I checked do not appear active: Some with no contact info other than a phone number, many local chapter websites not updated in years, numerous expired domains. Even REACT HQ does not seem to know about or keep track of active teams.

    The main REACT website has a photo of the "team of the month"...from October. Not sure what year.

    I was so disappointed. How sad when an organization that used to have a breadth and depth that is hard to understand if you were not there becomes a ghost of itself. Back in the day, every town, no matter how small, had a REACT presence of some kind, and help was never more than a "break channel 9" away, even in the middle of the night.

    I was never a REACT member but I respected them. What a buzzkill. :(
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Unfortunately, that's the way some organisations go....culture and technology renders them irrelevant. I'm sure that draught horse, and steam locomotive appreciation society members felt the same when the internal combustion engine became standard technology for farming and transport.
  3. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Yup...gone are the days of "coffee breaks" along the Interstate system, manned by local REACT team members. I used to stop often and always put something in their kitty before departing.
    Come to think of it, when was the last time you heard someone "5" a message on 11 meters?
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    REACT was a Good Outfit, back in the Day, but sercummed to the inevitable UnLicensed " Breaker Breaker, Good Buddy" Syndrome... that took over CB Radio in the last two decades... With No Accountability, and the anamnimity of UnIdentifed Radio, it just died from its own issues. The local LEOs just got tired of the On Air BS, so they stopped Monitoring, and with the introduction of Cellular Service on Most major Highways, and those in most every vehicle, it became redudent Comms.
    sec_monkey, Mountain mama and ghrit like this.
  5. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    As late as last October the Charlotte, NC REACT had a coffee break on I-85. I saw the signs on the interstate as I came through.
    Cell phones killed REACT.
    sec_monkey and chelloveck like this.
  6. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Cell phones, texting, facebook, the whole new thing I don't understand seem to have killed most local organizations. Guess being on this forum is living proof of that, a group of us located all over the world can communicate at will with people of similar interests and some what similar mind sets and not even exist as an organization, don't have meetings, seldom interact as individuals face to face, etc. While it is great, it is not something I would of understood 30 years ago and I don't know where it is going to lead.
    DuxDawg and Mountain mama like this.
  7. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    Where it is going to lead? It leads to a bunch of folks who know each other in cyberspace and have a false security of being able to find out anything at any time, suddenly being all alone if and when cyberspace ceases to exist. It contributes to isolationalism and false senses of comraderie. While I consider most of you as friends, you wouldn't know me in public if I came up and bit your ankle. It's why Hams have so many events, to put faces with call signs and develop real friendships. It's why REACT teams used to have meetings. Don't get me wrong, I love exchanging ideas with BTPost in Alaska from here in SC, but it will never be the same as a handshake and a coffee.
    DuxDawg, Yard Dart, techsar and 3 others like this.
  8. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    The advent of the cell phone actually killed a lot of radio communications.
  9. Mountain mama

    Mountain mama Monkey

  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Something may yet become widespread if hams think about it. Back in the day, the CBers used Ch 19 to monitor jabber and Ch 9 for emergency traffic. One piece of paper I have says that 144.200 is a national calling frequency. I don't know why, with all the dual channel mobile units that on can't monitor 144.200. Yep, it won't catch on like CB did, but a start might be made.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Actually, 144.2Mhz is the National CW, SSB, and Weak Signal, Calling Frequency, However, 146.52Mhz Has been the National FM Calling Frequency for many Decades. When AlaskaChick are driving on Road Trips, the TM-D710a is on the National APRS Frequency 144.39Mhz and the second Receiver scans between 146.52Mhz and whatever the Primary local Wide Area Vhf Repeater is.... and the TS-480sat is monitoring 27.135Mhz, when not being used elsewhere...
  12. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    I always thought of 146.520 or 146.550 as the ham radio equivalent of channel 19. But I guess a lot of this depends on where you live.

    As for REACT, as best I can tell they did make an effort to move to other modes of communication after CB fizzled out (ham, GMRS, and in some cases dedicated pubic safety frequencies), but it would seem that the neighborly spirit just wasn't the same. A lot of the people who were attracted to REACT because of their interest in CB didn't want to move to the new modes, so they hit the eject button.

    It is true that CB radio had a colorful and fun culture that has not been replicated anywhere else. I wish REACT well in whatever form it still exists.
    Mountain mama likes this.
  13. sfive

    sfive Monkey

    I can assure you that REACT is alive and well. It is a smaller, lighter more nimble organization than it once was. However, the office knows exactly where every active team is because we re-charter on an annual basis and the charter material goes to a team email or snail mail address. I am a team President, former Director and Chairman of the Board.

    Today teams use mostly GMRS (Part 95), HAM (Part 97) or IG (Part 90) with support for Part 95 CB, MURS and FRS. My team here in south central PA has a GMRS repeater on the air as do several team members. All our members are licensed in the GMRS and everyone is a HAM or is working toward getting their Tech license. We maintain a CB capability as well as some MURS handhelds. We do not use any business band equipment at this time but RI HQ has an itinerant license for some UHF repeaters, mobiles and handhelds in case they are needed.

    CB use has certainly diminished but you cannot use a cell phone to contact someone unless you know their number. CB still provides that "call anywhere anytime" communications that many trucks and some motorists feel a need for. In disaster situations before cell service is restored, CB is an easy way to talk relief supply trucks into staging areas.

    REACT has a NIMS Resource Typing program which teams have the option of using if they support local, county, state, tribal or federal government entities. And we hope at some point these resource types are accepted at the state Tier II level before possibly being added to the Tier I National Resource book.

    While it is true that some teams do not have web-savy personnel and thus seem dysfunctional when viewing their Internet presence, the RI website has a team locator with which anyone can locate a team. All the teams listed are active teams unless they fail to re-charter for 2017, a process which takes place from December through January each year as I stated earlier.

    REACT International, Inc. charters teams in the US, Canada, the Caribbean, Trinidad/Tobago, and Malaysia with on-going development efforts in North and South America as well as Europe and Australia. The office can be run from virtually anywhere as it is cloud-based except for a minimal amount of paper. There is no paid staff, even HQ is 100% volunteers. Our current President is a very dedicated individual who gives most generously of his time and resources to keep things going and enough cannot be said about the Board of Directors and Officers and their tireless efforts.

    There may not be as many coffee-breaks going on. I know where I live a company creating jobs for Americans with disabilities has a vending contract at the rest stops and they defend that contract by not giving us permission to conduct said breaks. I think that might be true in a lot of places these days. But we are integrated in our county's Auxiliary Communications Service organization (formerly ARES/RACES) and join with other 2-way radio organizations (HAM club members, CG, CAP) to support all manor of community events, disaster drills and the like and we bring our unique capabilities to the table. We conduct a GMRS NET weekly on Monday nights following the county-wide 2m NET and find a growing number of HAMs are purchasing their GMRS Licenses. REACT conducts a world-wide NET each week using our own Echolink conference server and a number of linked HAM repeaters and I am aware of several ZELLO channels being used for wide area communications.

    I could probably go on but hopefully this will aid to set the record straight. I would look for the REACT website to become more robust over time. A change in volunteers running the site lead to some re-tooling here recently and I know it is not at 100% of what it was a year ago but is being rebuilt. Working full time, serving in my church, working with the local and state VOAD, serving as an elected official and municipal Emergency Management Coordinator and EMA volunteer does not always leave me time to keep my team website at 100% either.

    Stan AB3EM, WQXX403
    DuxDawg, Yard Dart and melbo like this.
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Welcome aboard, Stan. Sounds like you might be a handy person for comms expertise. Please contact BTPost and ask him to add your call to the SM ham list.
  15. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Welcome @sfive - Good info
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yes, Welcome to our Monkey Tree... Would enjoy seeing more of your posts here in the Comms forum...
  17. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    Well, I started this post, so thanks to @sfive for speaking up.

    If I could expand a bit from my original post...when I went into the "team finder" on the national REACT website, many of the links to the local teams were expired domains or were working websites that had not been updated in a long time, either of which gives one the impression that the team is no longer active. One link for a local team site sent me to a website written entirely in Chinese.

    Most glaringly, no where on the REACT national website does it even indicate what the acronym REACT stands for! :eek:

    My article has not been published yet but I will make a few editorial changes based on @sfive 's post. I am very supportive of REACT and all groups like it, so it is my goal to present them in a positive light. Still, my website Off Grid Ham - Keeping amateur radio on when the grid is gone has a substantial following that expects factual, honest information.

    @sfive I may be contacting you privately for additional input to keep things from getting too cluttered here.
  18. rjburk

    rjburk Monkey

    I remember REACT in my local area when I was younger.....seemed to be a flash in the pan......totally gone now....
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary