Working for the Olympic Peninsula and Beyond

News Gathering and Community-Service Volunteers Helping to Meet the Needs of Cities and People on the Olympic Peninsula and in Greater Western Washington.

You Have Likely Heard of "First Responders", Who Are Highly Dedicated Professionals, but What About "First Informers?"

In the event of a natural or man-made disaster information-gathering is vital for broadcasters!  Each day, thousands of area residents turn to their radio for information about events that impact their lives and property.  Broadcasters HAVING that information is a prime concern!  Consequently, systems that will STILL work when normal land-line and cellular service is disrupted, are a must!  While Oly-Comm does have direct, low-band, two-way radio communications capability with the Jefferson County EOC, we believe that it is prudent to avoid single points-of-failure to information flow, so we have constructed additional means of information gathering, directly from the field, providing business, urgent and emergency traffic on a daily basis.  This additional information is available for EOCs and Broadcast usage throughout the region.

News Articles Regarding Communication Preparedness and Concerns: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

The Oly-Comm two-way radio systems not only fulfill this need, but also have sufficient operational space to accommodate additional operators active in various forms of community response.  For maximum availability, of and for potential volunteers, we have chosen to construct and operate Oly-Comm in the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).  What is the GMRSGo here for more information.

Although access to additional radio spectrum exists within the Amateur service, communicating regular business and news-gathering for broadcast operations within Ham Radio is largely prohibited (97.113) and significant operator-restrictions exist even between immediate family members.  Although our daily activities do include licensed HAM operations, these service restrictions caused us to look for a radio service with enough flexibility to allow for all local circumstances and the GMRS provides just that.  There are no technical tests, just registration and FCC licensing (with a $35.00 fee) that also covers immediate family members for ten years. 

[Immediate family members are the licensee's spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and in-laws. (95.1705 c2)]

For the Olympic Peninsula and much of western Washington GMRS and HAM are a good mix.

Condensed rules are here Complete GMRS eligibility details are here.


Please Go Here For Information About the Oly-Comm Structure and Details of Operation.