The Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service (DCS) is a volunteer organization administered by the Sheriff's Department for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors operating as the Emergency Operations Board (EOB). The responsibility of DCS, as authorized under County Ordinance, is to provide volunteer disaster relief communication for the citizens of Los Angeles County. The DCS training and readiness program includes weekly radio drills and exercises, monthly management meetings, and actual deployments on major Departmental operations.
The Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service, District 22 (DCS-22) Malibu / Lost Hills Station serves the Western portion of Los Angeles County from Chatsworth Hills on the North to the Pacific Ocean on the South. It includes the Cities of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu, and Westlake Village.
The DCS-22 organization consists of over 80 Amateur Radio Operators, operating their personally owned two-way radios and donating their time and equipment at no cost to the Taxpayers. The organization is authorized to operate under the RACES Rules of the Federal Communications Commission Regulations.
The Amateur Radio equipment installed at Lost Hills Sheriff station is owned by the County. Two repeater stations (Malibu and Castro Peak) and additional command equipment, are either owned or maintained by members of DCS-22 with the support of Disaster Communications Ten, Inc. [501(c)(3)], the fundraising arm of District 22. All other emergency apparatus is owned by individual members.
During disasters, such as the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and the many fires in the Malibu area since 1951, DCS-22 members have repeatedly provided auxiliary communications between government agencies. This has included communications support to Los Angeles County government and all the Cities in the area. Support has encompassed both Fire and Law Enforcement organizations as well as Federal Agencies like FEMA and the FBI. Other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) are often included. For example, during the first days after the Northridge Earthquake the only link the Granada Hills Community Hospital had with the outside world and city government was through Amateur Radio, provided by DCS-22 members.
DCS members are used to augment deputies at DUI checkpoints in client cities. They compile data and use radios to keep vehicle counts, working with the many unpaid volunteers at the checkpoints. DCS personnel set up and operate emergency lighting for the Coroner's Office when required in remote areas.
DCS-22 members also participate in many public service special events such as the Olympics, the Baker-to-Vegas Challenge Cup Relay race, the Sheriff's Cyclefest, the Great Race of Agoura, the Calabasas Independence Day Fireworks Display, the American Hero's Air Show, the Reyes Adobe Days Parade, and the Rose Parade. They also have assisted in disasters such as the Mexico City, Landers, and Whittier earthquakes, and local wildfires and severe weather road closures, to mention only a few.
Malibu Station (DCS-10) was first formed by County Ordinance in 1951, and served Los Angeles County in many disasters through the years. DCS-10 was converted to DCS-22 after the incorporation of Malibu as a City and the opening of the Lost Hills Station. Some DCS-22 members have served in public service Amateur Radio communications with DCS-10/22 continuously for over 30 years.
All of the members' personal expenses are paid for by the individuals as required by Federal Law. Currently members contribute approximately 6,500 man-hours yearly. This means that well over one hundred thousand dollars of service are contributed to the Los Angeles County taxpayer yearly by the Lost Hills / Malibu Amateur Radio organization.
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