FRS Radios

EPIC-FSC has a communications plan, ECHO, which stands for Emergency Communications for Home Occupants.

ECHO compliments the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) approach to emergency preparedness. Ref: CERT

One aspect of ECHO is radio communications between clusters of households that we call Cells. Each Cell uses Family Radio Service (FRS) radios. Residents within a Cell can talk to each other using these radios. They are easy to use and highly reliable over short distances. Each Cell uses the same FRS channel.

In addition to being able to transmit and receive on FRS channels 1 through 14, our radios receive KNX on channel 15, and the City’s amateur radio repeater (CALHAM) on channel 16. Amateur radio operators have a version of the radio that transmits and receives on CALHAM – amateur radio operators can relay messages from Cells to other volunteer amateur radio operators, who can communicate with the LA County Sheriff’s Department and other emergency services.

The on/off knob on the top of the radio also adjusts the volume. Side-switches choose the channel. When you turn on the radio, it announces Power On and the Channel Number. Each time the channel up/down switches are pressed, the radio selects and announces a different channel.

The radios are rechargeable using a supplied USB cable. You can plug it into any USB power source.

If you have questions about the communications program, please email

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