KJ6VVJgave a short history of the organization as a presentation to the council.
Mayor Bates, Vice President of Council Maio and members of the city council - my
name is Bruce Carleton. I am the Emergency Coordinator of NALCO, an amateur radio
organization serving Northern Alameda County.
NALCO is the Northern Alameda County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Radio
Amateur Civil Emergency Service. NALCO's mission is to provide civil emergency
communication services when requested by our stakeholders: the cities of Berkeley and
Albany; the University of California at Berkeley; and the Alta Bates Summit Medical
Center. NALCO is an affiliate of the American Radio Relay League, the national
association for amateur radio.
NALCO’s history began in 1982, when a meeting was convened to discuss how
amateur radio operators could help support the community in the event of an
emergency. NALCO was formally organized in 1984 as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt
organization to support charitable contributions. Equipment was donated by Chevron
Corporation. Public Service functions were supported, including bicycle races,
triathlons, CPR Saturdays, Simulated Emergency Tests, and Amateur Radio Field Day.
NALCO has served our community for twenty-nine years. We follow the volunteers that
came before us. There will be more when we’re gone.
Over its history, NALCO has been called a number of times to provide emergency
communications to the city. The Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989 saw NALCO support
the Red Cross Berkeley shelter 24 hours a day for 7 days. The Oakland Hills Fire of
1991 saw NALCO activated for a day at the request of the city of Berkeley. The positive
experience of the Oakland Hills fire activation led the Berkeley Fire Department to
discuss a local Amateur Radio Fire Patrol Program with NALCO.
The NALCO fire patrol was to assist the fire department in identifying fire conditions in
the city. That program was launched in 1992 and continues today. Over the years,
NALCO served agencies invested in amateur radio equipment at local emergency
operations centers, fire stations and hospitals.
Twenty-four years after Loma Prieta, and twenty-two years after the Oakland Hills Fire,
NALCO continues to operate a strong, locally based emergency communications
program. NALCO members enjoy participating in an organization that has the respect
that we have gained from our clients. Many of our operators pursue full time careers
and have extensive interests beyond amateur radio; they appreciate the efficient use of
their time to deliver a service that is well received.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve our community and testify today. I look forward to
any questions you may have.