IDEC FAQs

IDEC FAQ
Q. WHEN WAS IDEC FORMED
A. In 1982 as a component of the City of Irvine’s Emergency Preparedness Plan

Q. DOES IDEC HAVE A MISSION STATEMENT?
A. ”IDEC is a volunteer organization of licensed Amateur Radio operators supporting the City of Irvine’s emergency preparedness plan and general public safety by providing a flexible, technical resource which is skilled in disaster response functions and emergency communications.”

Q. WHAT IS IDEC’S MOTTO?
A. “Observe and Communicate”

Q. HOW DOES IDEC FIT INTO THE CITY’S INFRASTRUCTURE?
A. IDEC is under the Irvine Police Department Emergency Management Bureau. The Emergency Management Bureau is managed by a Lieutenant who is supported by a non-sworn Emergency Management Coordinator. This bureau is responsible for coordinating the training, planning, and management of major emergencies. IDEC reports to an assigned IPD Sergeant who reports to the Bureau’s Lieutenant. IPD may also assign additional officers as advisers.

Q. WHAT IS IDEC’S MAIN FUNCTION?
A. In an emergency such as a large earthquake or area-wide power failure, most communications (phones, cell service, commercial radio, etc.) will likely be inoperative due to damage, overloading, or lack of power. IDEC’s role is to provide auxiliary wireless communications on Amateur Radio frequencies for the PD and Emergency Management as well as the community when the need arises. IDEC may also be tasked with other assignments when there is a need for auxiliary communications.

Q. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TASKS OF IDEC DURING AN EMERGENCY?
A. Just to name a few, IDEC may establish communication at evacuation sites and shelters; do a windshield survey of infrastructure after a disaster; establish communication sites throughout the city as a point of contact to send/receive messages from the general population; or act as extra “eyes & ears” for the PD.

Q. WHAT IS THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF IDEC?
A. IDEC has a Board of Directors consisting of a Captain, Lieutenant, and three Team Sergeants. Each member is assigned to a Team. The Sergeants are in charge of a team that is assigned to one of the three Geographic Policing areas used by the Irvine Police Department. The Board defines IDEC’s mission, sets its goals and identifies and supervises its training. There are also six standing committees: Membership, Technical, Field Day, Website, Asset Management and Training.

Q. HOW MANY MEMBERS DOES IDEC HAVE?
A. There are around 60 IDEC members from all walks of life, some working, some retired.

Q. WHO MAY JOIN IDEC?
A. Anyone over 18 with a valid FCC amateur radio license AND who lives or works in the City of Irvine. One must be willing to accept the responsibility of participation.

Q. WHAT SORT OF CLUB IS IDEC?
A. IDEC is not a club. It is a RACES(Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service)/Auxiliary Communications Unit resource for the Irvine Police Department. It is very directed, goal oriented and structured. Although IDEC does have its social events, it is primarily in business to provide auxiliary communications.

Q. WHAT IS THE COST OF MEMBERSHIP?
A. There are no fees or dues, only time.

Q. WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?
A. IDEC requires members to attend at least four monthly meetings and two of any combination of drill/events/call-outs per year. The minimum requirements are necessary to make sure members keep up to date with the latest IDEC procedures and policies along with practicing their communication skills. The meetings usually last about two hours and the drills or events last from two to six hours. Members are also expected, when available, to participate in call-outs when needed by the Irvine Police Department. Members are always encouraged to commit to additional activities, committees, and functions based on their interest level.

Q. WHEN ARE THE MEETINGS?
A. General Membership Meetings are usually held from 7-9 pm on the 4th Thursday (3rd Thurs in November and no meeting in December) of each month. The location is usually at the Conference and Training Center at City Hall. Guests and visitors are always welcome--Ham or not!

Q. IS THERE A “NET” I CAN LISTEN TO?
A. Except for the General Membership Meeting night, there is a “Net” each Thursday at 7 pm on the Tango Repeater at 449.580- (88.5). It is a directed net designed for general information dissemination and equipment trials and lasts about 20 minutes. Visitors are encouraged to check in.

Q. DO IDEC MEMBERS WEAR UNIFORMS?
A. Yes, it consists of a white shirt (golf type) with the members’ embroidered name and call sign, a navy blue hat with an embroidered IDEC, and khaki pants or shorts. Reflective Vests are worn outdoors during call outs and events.

Q. WHY UNIFORMS FOR A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION?
A. Uniforms allow members and IPD personnel to recognize each other and those in the community that may be in need of IDEC’s communication capabilities to reach emergency assistance.

Q. WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR JOINING?
A. Attend one of the General Meetings. Fill out a New Member application and visitor registration form (accessible from the “How to Join” page on this website) and bring them to the next General Meeting. An interview will be scheduled and if approved to continue the application process, a police (IPD) background check will be run. Your picture and fingerprints will be taken. Upon passing the background check, completing the required on-line NIMS Training Courses, and attending the required new member training, you will be approved for membership. An IDEC/IPD Identification card, Field Operations Manual, Dash Placard, and other IDEC gear will be issued.

Q. DO I NEED A RADIO?
A. Yes, at minimum, a hand held 2m/70cm amateur radio. It is recommended that members install a mobile radio in their vehicle.

Q. WHAT OTHER COMMUNICATION MODES DOES IDEC USE?
A. Packet (e-mail/text type communications using amateur radio frequencies), APRS, HF (long distance radio communications), cell phones when appropriate, even two Dixie cups on a string! In an Emergency, anything goes.

Q. IN WHAT EVENTS DOES IDEC TYPICALLY PARTICIPATE EACH YEAR?
A. Field Day - 4th weekend of June
Spring Drill - May
National Night Out - August
Fall Drill - October/November
PCRF 1/2 Marathon - April/May
So Cal 1/2 Marathon - January

Q. WHO DO I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?
A. Please go to the “How to Join” section on this website.