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History

The present organization of the SCATeam began in 1981. The team is currently comprised of approximately 30 volunteer licensed Amateur Radio operators who provide communication functions for the Sheriff's Office and other emergency service organizations as well as for many public events and communication projects in Utah County. Members of the team have a wide variety of expertise and experience. All team members are members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service, and must complete four levels of certification prior to joining the SCATeam.

Mission

The Sheriff of Utah County, Mike Smith, has the primary responsibility for emergency services in Utah County. The Sheriff has assigned a lieutenant from the department as the SCATeam coordinator. That coordinator is responsible for the day operations, training, and execution of communications duties. The coordinator calls on the volunteer group to assist in performing those duties. The missions vary from establishing and operating a command post for search and rescue operations to managing communication for public service events such as parades or athletic competitions to providing specialized communication needs for SWAT team. The SCATeam is an integral part of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Plan (CSEPP).

Recruiting

Recruiting is largely by word of mouth through the Amateur Radio community. Particularly through the Utah County Amateur Radio Emergency Service organization. Persons interested in joining the SCATeam will be assigned a mentor to help them achieve the requirements for membership.

Personal

The demands of belonging to the SCATeam are serious. You and your family need to make the decision together. This will not only require sacrifice from the member but also from the member's family. Team members are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may be required to participate during your usual sleep time and you will still have to attend work the next day. There will be times when you will be expected to use vacation time from your job to participate in SCATeam callouts. The organization cannot compensate for losses incurred from your employment, and will not tolerate family destruction at the expense of the team. This assignment is not easy for the member or his family.

Interested ?

If you are interested in becoming a member we would like to hear from you. The first requirement is to hold at least a Technician Class Amateur Radio license issued by the Federal Communications Commission and to participate in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. Applicants are also expected to have completed the level 4 certification for UCARES. More information and be found at the UCARES website above.

The Sheriff's Office requires all team members to pass a background investigation.

All applications become property of the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, sex or physical limitations.

Some Facts

SCATeam members are required to attend a team meeting on the second Saturday of each month and to participate in a radio net on Tuesday night of each week. The team member must respond to 50% of all call-outs as well as participate in public service events, and projects.

During 2002, the SCATeam participated in 26 callouts covering 42 days and 1715.35 man hours. In addition, team members participated in 17 public service events and 6 projects during the year.

Team members are required to provide their own equipment, transportation, insurance and loss coverage. Required equipment includes both handheld and mobile radios to operate on several frequency bands as well as personal gear for comfort and survival in almost any weather. Each team member is also assigned as a liaison between the SCATeam and another emergency service organization such as a city, hospital, public utility, or the Red Cross, and is expected to develop and maintain a working relationship with that agency.

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