Vashon-Maury Island Radio Club

The Vashon Auxiliary Communications Service is the emergency communications committee of the very active Vashon-Maury Island Radio Club, which focuses on more than just emergency communications and has a great social component to it also. Learn more about the club at their website:

Contact us by radio:
If you have a FRS/GMRS radio, it is suggested that you use channel 2 (with privacy codes off) to communicate with other islanders. Be aware that GMRS (and more so, FRS) have a very limited range of ~1-4 miles (outdoors, with a clear line of sight to the recieving station) or much less depending on many factors.

After a disaster, licensed amateur radio operators can communicate with the local active ARES group (organized as part of the VMIRC) or Vashon EOC over these frequencies:

  • W7VMI repeater - 443.5 MHz (+5 MHz, 103.5 Hz tone)
  • ARES Simplex - 147.52 MHz
  • ARES Backup Simplex - 146.50 MHz

Frequency Plan


What is ACS?

Vashon ACS (Vashon Auxiliary Communications Service) is an island organization established on November 3rd, 2014 which supports all forms of emergency communication, primarily those used by radio hams. In conjunction with other island preparedness organizations, Vashon ACS provides communication and computing services to island organizations and business in an emergency.

If the phones go out and island organizations want to use radio communications instead, or set up a wifi network, Vashon ACS can provide experienced people to help.

How is Vashon ACS different from ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service)?

  • ARES provides ham radio operators with ham radios to emergency response organizations that need them, in an emergency.
  • Vashon ACS provides operators some of which may be hams with ham radios, some of which may be operators with cell phones, or folks who have expertise setting up emergency computer networks.

Is Vashon ACS an organization?

  • Vashon ACS is a committee of the Vashon-Maury Island Radio Club. It is a partner with the island's coalition of preparedness organizations: VashonBePrepared. The leaders of Vashon ACS are islanders who have expertise in emergency response (CERT), emergency management (Vashon EOC) and emergency radio communication (ARES).
  • Though independently managed, there are many ACS groups in the state and across the country. Local sister organizations include those in Seattle and Shoreline. Some seem to have grown from a merger of specialized radio oriented groups such as RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service), MARS, and others. 

What does Vashon ACS plan to do? In order to support Island emergency communications, to Vashon ACS members we plan on providing;

  1. Emergency communication training to those who want it to increase their skills
  2. Advice on the purchase, use and maintenance of emergency communication equipment
  3. Emergency communication plans, protocols and approaches which can be used to deploy and manage emergency communication resources and personnel
  4. A social community of people interested in supporting emergency communications

Periodic Vashon ARES & Vashon ACS Radio Communication Training

To continue with the practice session we began in October 2014, we run periodic emergency radio training sessions, which are announced through our email reflector and shown on our calendar.

As well as providing training, we will give advice and demonstrate different types of emergency radio equipment. If you have anything you would like us to cover, or have questions, we can answer those too.

You may notice that these sessions are being run under the joint banner of Vashon ARES/Vashon ACS.


These are other communication services' logos: Anyone want to create us our own logo that integrates some communications symbols and the island of Vashon?!

Frequency Lists

Here are ACS's suggested standard frequencies. These are dated 11April2019.

The following image files are for use with free CHIRP software, which will program your radio - if you have the right cables!

These .IMG files have had a .TXT file extension added, just so they can be downloaded. Once one your computer, please rename them with just a .IMG extension - ignoring the inevitable warning.

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."
-- Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio

How Can I Learn More?

Learn more by visiting the Vashon-Maury Island Radio Club website:, or contact the ACS leadership directly via email at

If you are interested in participating, please join our group at and introduce yourself, your callsign (if any) and any areas of special interest and expertise, especially with any of the following:

  • Emergency communication
  • Field communication
  • Radio communication
  • Emergency management (EOC)
  • Emergency response (CERT)
  • ICS
  • FEMA
  • Served Agency experience
  • Telecommunications
  • WiFi
  • Computing Technology
  • Local Area Network Administration
  • GIS
  • GPS
  • Microwave radio