Australian Citizens Radio Emergency Monitors Incorporated, or ACREM, is an Australian volunteer communications group whose primary role involves the monitoring of the
Citizens Band RadioService emergency channels. It is recognized formerly as a Public Benevolent Institution by the Australian Taxation Office(ATO), and is also endorsed as a deductible gift recipient (donations over $2 are tax deductible) [Australian Taxation Office, Australian Business Register [http://www.abr.business.gov.au/(mcauspz4yp10nt3om34ketbe)/search.aspx?SearchText=28118858567&StartSearch=True] ] .
ACREM provides a radio communications service for the community, travelers, community organizations, and government agencies in order to save lives, prevent injuries or loss of property, and provide assistance whenever and where ever possible. ACREM strives to establish and maintain a radio communications network of trained volunteers using any and all means available to deliver messages.
(1) The PRIMARY objects of the association are:
(i) To serve and provide assistance to the community through the use of the CBRS network (27 MHz HF and 477MHz UHF bands), and other forms of radiocommunications, in particular to establish and maintain voluntary monitoring services to process;
(a) emergency communications involving the immediate safety of life of individuals or the immediate protection or safety of property; and(b) emergency communications involving the potentially immediate safety of life of individuals or the potentially immediate safety of property; and(c) communications necessary to render assistance to travellers and the community as a whole.
(ii) To provide communications support and/or support personnel to recognised emergency services, welfare organisations, and government agencies, during times of need, or when requested.
(2) The SECONDARY objects of the association are:
(i) To provide community organisations, sporting groups, and other organisations with safety communications and/or personnel to assist in safety roles, as required, to help ensure the safety of persons participating in activities and members of the community.(ii) To provide support to community crime prevention and safety programmes.(iii) To do such other lawful things as may appear to be incidental or conductive to the above objects, or any of them, or that may be deemed as beneficial to the community in general.
ACREM is an offshoot of the group ACRM (Australian Citizen Radio Movement), which was originally formed in
South Australiain 1974 to help petition the Australian Government for the legalization of the then still illegal CB band. CB users in Australiaquickly realized the benefits of reporting emergencies via the CB emergency channels rather than searching for a public telephone.
ACRM soon spread across Australia, and following the legalization of the CB band in 1977 ACRM officially changed to become the Australian Citizen Radio Monitors, concentrating solely on the monitoring of the CB emergency channels.
In 1982 ACRM in
Queenslanddecided to add the word "Emergency" to their name, and so ACREM was created. ACRM continued to operate in other states, including New South Wales. By 1997 there were members of ACRM (NSW), ACRM (SA) and ACREM (Qld) operating in NSW. This fragmentation caused problems for all members and prevented ACRM from gaining any widespread support in NSW.
In December 1997 members from ACRM (NSW) and ACREM (Qld) reformed into a single group known as ACREM-NSW (Australian Citizens Radio Emergency Monitors). The reformed group allowed members to focus their attention towards the same goals and saw ACREM-NSW gain a number of new operators. In 2006, following the closure of ACREM in Queensland, the New South Wales based ACREM once again restructured to form a national based group known as Australian Citizens Radio Emergency Monitors Incorporated. The organization incorporated in New South Wales under the Associations Incorporation Act, and was also registered as an Australian Registrable Body through the
Australian Securities and Investments Commission(ASIC) to enable it to legally operate in all states of Australia.
Since its inception ACREM monitors have responded to many thousands of calls, many of which concern potentially life threatening emergencies. Even with the proliferation of mobile telephone and modern communication technology, CB is still widely used in many regions and calls for emergency assistance do still occur. In February 1998 the Lower Hunter branch of ACREM made the news when a member, assisted by another CB operator that would later join ACREM, provided a relay for SES Rescue and Ambulance crews attending to an injured youth in the
Barrington Topsregion of NSW. In an article appearing in a local newspaper it was reported [The Newcastle Herald, February 16, 1998, by staff reporter Rosemarie Milsom.] :
Due to difficulties with radio communications most of the messages had to be relayed from the rescue party via CB to ambulance control in Newcastle.
Adam and another CB operator and an Australian Citizens Radio Emergency Monitors member, Mr Martin Howells, of Cessnock, provided communications support for Barrington Guest House staff, ambulance control and Dungog SES volunteers.
From 1997 ACREM commenced actively representing the CB hobbyists of Australia to Government agencies and departments. Probably the most widely publicized of these was the opposition to Broadband over Power Line Communications, or BPL. BPL is a system of sending broadband internet over the electrical powerlines using HF radio frequencies. ACREM, and a significant number of other organizations, strongly opposed BPL stating that the frequencies used would radiate and cause interference to any HF radio users nearby.
ACREM took the argument direct to the computer users when an article appeared in a popular computer magazine [PC World magazine, "Sparks fly over power line Internet trials", February 2005. [http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index.php/id;650745972;fp;2;fpid;1] ] . The article presented the arguments for and against BPL, with ACREM State Coordinator, Martin Howells, quoted as saying:
Power lines tend to radiate the HF frequencies just like a giant 'long-wire' antenna.
ACREM continued its campaign against BPL through a number of submissions to the ACMA and various Ministers of the Australian and NSW Governments. [http://www.acrem.org.au/bpl/submissions.php]
ACREM also made significant submissions on a number of other matters affecting CB users in Australia, including the utilization of CB monitoring groups in an Australian version of the successful US
AMBER Alertsystem. [http://www.acrem.org.au/info/submissions.php]
First Aid Training
In 2008 ACREM launched a Public Education program aimed at encouraging more people in the community to gain a first aid qualification, therefore helping people to save lives. With some first aid courses costing in excess of AU$100, ACREM volunteers vowed to offer cheaper training in the hope that more people will be able to afford this training. [http://www.acrem.org.au/education/firstaid.php] [The Cessnock Independent, September 30, 2008, page 20.]
[http://www.acrem.org.au ACREM National website]
[http://www.nsw.acrem.org.au ACREM NSW website]
[http://www.qld.acrem.org.au ACREM Queensland website]
[http://www.vic.acrem.org.au ACREM Victoria website]
*ACREM website, [http://www.acrem.org.au]
*ACBRO website - Group Profile [http://www.acbro.org/aprofilesacrem.htm]
*Rememberme.com website [http://www.rememberme.com.au/Accident/Australian_Citizens_Radio_Emergency_Monitors_Inc.-69-2-0-0.html]
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