The Citizen Assist Radio Service

Citizen Assist Radio Service

Citizens helping Citizens by Radio Communications is a new service that is replacing CB Channel 9 with newer radios and technologies

The CA RADIO program has been established so as to provide a local area emergency radio communications system for those times when communication channels normally provided become unavailable, such as telephone, cell phone and internet.

Its goal is to provide a means of contacting other nearby citizens in order to exchange information regarding a situation that is or could become a danger.

The system uses only small handheld portable radios operating on radio frequencies generally known as GMRS Radio. GMRS stands for “General Mobile Radio Service”.  This is a U.S. term which is also used in Canada as a misnomer.

GMRS radio frequencies are not Mobile Radio frequencies in Canada but are available only for low power hand held radio operation. GMRS portable radio use is not currently organized for citizen emergency service use in Canada.

In Canada hand-held GMRS radios up to 2 watts have been approved for use since September 2004. Typically these are dual FRS and GMRS units, with fixed antennas, and operating at 2 watts on GMRS and 0.5 watts on the FRS-only channels. A licence is not required in Canada for operation at 2 watts on the GMRS channels. Mobile units (permanently mounted in vehicles), base stations and repeaters are not currently permitted on the GMRS channels in Canada.

It is the goal of the CA RADIO program to provide a workable organization plan for Canadians, in order to utilize the readily available GMRS portable radios to obtain help and information under emergency power outage circumstances.

The GMRS Radios have available 22 radio frequencies. Channels 8 to 14 Family Radio Service (FRS) are low power channels and are not a part of the CA RADIO program. The other information located here will detail how channels 1 to 7 and channels 15 to 22 are designated under the CA RADIO program. The sub audible tone 20 (131.8 Hz) is used on all CA Radio transmissions. The tone blocks you from hearing stations that do not use the tone. They can hear you.

The CA RADIO activity operating under emergency conditions should have a number of Neighbourhood Control Stations (NCS) consisting of trained knowledgeable operators who are expected to listen out for stations needing help and to relay information as it becomes available. The primary listening channel is Channel 20 using privacy tone 20 which is referred to as ‘20 / 20’.

These NCS stations may be associated with local Amateur Radio stations that will be able to contact other Amateur Radio stations in order to pass information to and from emergency services as required.

Monitor Channel 20 462.675 / CTSS/PL Tone 20 (131.8 Hz)

Note: The USA also uses a Ch 20  462.675 / 141.3 Hz set up so I suggest setup both in your radio

Hopefully many non-hams can figure out how to set up their radios for Privacy Tone. If you need help just askk

cobra gmrsmidland gmrs