ACREM is a volunteer non-profit emergency communications organisation whose primary role is the monitoring of the CB band emergency channels. Incorporated in New South Wales under the Associations Incorporation Act, ACREM is the only Australian CB monitoring body that is also registered under the Corporations Act as a Registrable Australian Body. This means that ACREM is legally able to operate throughout Australia and its territories, including the operation of offices outside of NSW.
ACREM is the only CB monitoring organisation in Australia that is established to operate in more than one state. Currently ACREM operates members in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
How can ACREM help you?
ACREM can help the community and event organisers with:
- Monitoring of CB emergency channels, relaying calls for help to the authorities
- Communications Support & Emergency Communications during emergencies
- Safety Communications for community events
- Car Parking and traffic control for events
- Security & Safety services to keep events and participants safe
CB Emergency Channel Monitors
ACREM Monitors can contact such services as Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigades, Rescue, Coast Guard and Coastal Patrol, NRMA, Towing & Recovery Services, and many more, in a matter of minutes. They can relay messages, maintain a safety listening watch for your scout or guide camp-out, or provide street directions for lost travellers.
Many people helped each year do not even own a CB Radio, they simply flagged down a vehicle or truck with a CB antenna and asked them to call for help. This makes the services of ACREM of value to everyone, not just CB owners. CB’s are still widely used in the community and, unlike mobile phones, don’t require a monthly or even annual fee to be paid and, whilst a mobile phone will let you ring the required service direct, what happens if the phone fails or the network is out of range?
Emergency Communications & Support
During the 1989 Newcastle earthquake and the 1994 NSW bushfires, many people realised that the mobile and land-line based telephone networks can fail, even if only temporarily. The network that ACREM, and many other CB emergency monitoring groups, offer can operate totally independent of telephone and electricity services. As many trucks, cars and even homes are equipped with CB, we can offer a wide range communications network during times of need, relaying calls for assistance or information on road closures. Members also utilise private VHF frequency allocations to enhance the communications network as well as VKS-737 and our own HF frequencies for long distance communications, when needed.
But our service depends on volunteers and funds. To provide an effective and ongoing emergency service, we need members to supply the ever important communications network, and money to fund the expansion and operations of our services. All donations are used to help expand our services throughout NSW, Queensland and Victoria, and keep our Members trained and ready to assist the community when needed.
Members, who are entirely voluntary and receive no payment, provide a monitoring service on the CB emergency channels, relaying calls for assistance to the required authority or service.
In addition, the Group also serve the community through:
- broadcasting Severe Weather Warnings over local road channels, as issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (these include Severe Thunderstorm Warnings/Advice’s, Severe Weather Warnings, Gale Warnings and Fire Weather Warnings);
- participating in the Australian Tsunami Warning System
- broadcasting emergency road closures, due to accidents, fires, etc, over road & highway channels;
- involving members in the Bureau of Meteorology’s ‘Storm Spotter Network’;
- providing communications support for community programs such as Safety House, Neighbourhood Watch and other such programs that benefit the community;
- providing a safety watch for scout, guide or camping groups on outings, etc.
ACREM’s primary objective is to provide a volunteer monitoring service on the CB emergency channels, and such other local channels as may be appropriate for each community (e.g. a local repeater may be utilised by the community to obtain assistance more than the emergency channel). Whilst some other similar groups provide manpower support to emergency services during some major incidents, ACREM believes that during these major incidents having monitors on-air ready to answer calls from the community should be far more important than supplying volunteers to answer telephones or supplement internal communications. ACREM’s committment to the community is that the provision of monitoring services will always remain the primary objective, especially during major emergencies when the community may indeed need these services even more.
Safety Communications Network
ACREM does however provide personnel for safety communications for some events, and personnel to assist on barricades or traffic control when required by authorities or event authorities. ACREM Members can provide a donation based service offering radio communications between safety or check points for events such as fun runs, carnivals, cross country events, etc. Following a major incident ACREM Members may also be called upon to set up and operate radiocommunications links so that isolated communities can summon help using CB channels. ACREM is in the process of building 3 transportable repeaters for use on the UHF CB emergency channels for just such an event. ACREM Members are covered by Volunteer Workers insurance while participating in approved ACREM activities.
Car Parking and Traffic Control
ACREM volunteers can assist event organisers with car park management and traffic control on inclosed lands. Members in NSW regularly provide car park and traffic control for various events at the Hunter Valley Gardens in Pokolbin.
ACREM volunteers can provide low-risk security & safety services for various community events. As ACREM is staffed by volunteers, who do not get paid for their work, and as ACREM does not charge a fee but rather asks for a donation, ACREM members can provide “security” services without the need for a security or Master licence. This works the same as when SES or RFS provide security for various community events, including the Sydney olympic games. In a recent email from the NSW Police Force Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate (SLED), it was stated:
“The exemption previously offered to your organisation still stands as under section 4 of the Act, volunteers are excluded from requiring to hold a security licence.”
Many ACREM members have past experience working in the security industry, so they know what needs to be done. Event organisers that do not necessarily need licensed security on site can have ACREM volunteers perform the tasks. ACREM currently provides “security” for the Cancer Council of NSW for various Relay for Life events around the Hunter Region.
How to call ACREM
To call ACREM simply follow this procedure:
- Select the emergency channel on your CB - Channel
9 AM or USB on 27 MHz sets (channel 5 if it is an old 18 channel CB), or Channel
5 on the UHF Band (select ‘Duplex’ or ‘Repeater’ mode if in range of a channel
5/35 emergency repeater, otherwise use ‘Simplex’ mode - i.e. turn your Repeater
or Duplex button OFF).
In some country regions, ACREM Members monitor other local UHF repeaters in addition to, or instead of, the emergency repeater. If no response is received, try other local channels.
- Call “ACREM (pronounced as AKREM), this is (give your call-sign or first
name) calling ACREM”
As there are emergency monitors throughout Australia that belong to various groups, you may prefer to call “Any Emergency Monitor, this is (your call-sign or name)”
- Give the Monitor time to answer! If no response is received within 30 or so
seconds, call again. The ACREM Monitor will reply with “This is ACREM [Number],
Do you require assistance, Over”. This is your indication to reply.
- Respond with the nature of the incident, exact location and other
information. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what information to give, the
Monitor will ask you for the information that he/she needs in order to notify
the required services.
- IMPORTANT! ACREM Monitors can NOT offer first aid or medical
advice over the radio under any circumstances. If absolutely necessary, they
will contact the Ambulance Service or a Doctor and relay any advice they may
- There may be times when an ACREM Monitor is not available, or can not hear you. Atmospheric conditions can do very strange things to radio signals, and a local Monitor may not be able to hear your call above the level of interference being received at his/her location. This is one reason we are constantly seeking new Members, to help overcome these problems and provide the best possible service we can. If another Monitor, or another monitoring service, answers your call, give them the details of your call. If no one answers your call on the emergency channel, try other channels, especially HF Channel 8 (Road Channel) or other local repeaters (UHF Band).
The CB Emergency Channels are not a replacement for 000! In Australia Triple Zero (000) is the primary emergency call service number - if you have access to a telephone you should use it to call for help rather than your CB. Calling for help using a telephone is very simple:
If you are using a mobile telephone you can also use the digital mobile emergency number of One One Two (112). This redirects to the Triple Zero (000) service but allows you to make contact as long as you have a signal from any mobile telephone provider (even if you have no signal from your own provider there may still be a signal from another provider that you aren’t aware of!). 112 also works even if you have no SIM card inserted or the SIM card is damaged. Many mobile telephone handsets will also bypass keypad lock once 112 is dialed (check your phone user manual and your service provider to confirm this number is available).
These days most mobile phones and networks offer the same enhanced service when you dial Triple Zero (000). Check with your phone user guide and your network provider to confirm if your phone will offer the same enhanced features when you dial Triple Zero (000).
IMPORTANT! In order for 112 or 000 to work you MUST have a signal from a MOBILE PHONE NETWORK. 112 does NOT go through the satellite phone network, so it will NOT work in regions where there is no mobile phone network coverage or when these networks fail. For more information see ACMA: Calling the Emergency Services from a mobile phone FAQ
Using the telephone to contact Triple Zero (000) allows you to speak with the required service directly rather than via a relay. This can save time if they need to ask you questions regarding the incident. So remember, if you have a telephone close by, and you can use it, then please contact the emergency services that way. However! If you do not have a telephone at hand, you have no phone coverage, you are unable to use the phone you have (e.g. can’t stop the car, etc), or you need to go and search for a public telephone, then please try the CB emergency channels immediately. The key to any emergency situation is to obtain help as quickly as possible, so if you have immediate access to a telephone use it, but if you don’t or can’t, then use your CB!
If you would like further information on the Triple Zero (000) emergency telephone service in Australia:
- Australian Disaster Information Network: Triple Zero (000) - Australia’s Emergency Call Service
- Australian Communications & Media Authority: Emergency Calls FAQ
- ACMA : Calling the Emergency Services from a Mobile Phone
* Triple Zero logo reproduced with permission, NSW Police Force.
- ACREM - NSW
- ACREM - QLD
- ACREM - VIC
- Online Application
- Media releases
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