Amateur radio helping our community. Volunteers using radio help at civic events.
VECTOR operates repeaters and a Winlink gateway. We make and take care of emergency radio stations. We help prepare for emergencies and disasters. We share knowledge and experience. (More.)
Ready to join our team? Skip to Application Process.
Bringing together the power of ordinary citizens and amateur radio to enhance community resiliency for times of emergency and disaster.
VECTOR is the all-volunteer emergency radio communications team around which the wider Amateur Radio community can organize in a disaster. We are proud of our Amateur Radio heritage and the professional team we have built. Read more
From all walks of life, our members bring the varied skills we need to build an effective team. Beyond just radio or technology, emergency communications needs: planning, preparing, project management, training, developing proposals, relating with other agencies and multiple levels of government, and developing partnerships with the community and beyond. All with plenty of radio and information technology too. There’s truly something for everyone.
What benefits does membership and participation offer?
Members get to attend specific training; use radio stations; serve at civic events; do emergency drills and exercises; and build capacity in the community. Both through radio systems and processes. We are building core capabilities and facilities around which Vancouver’s broader amateur radio community can muster in times of emergency.
Members can participate in a wide range of training: peer-based informal internal sessions, City-sponsored classes, and EMBC-sponsored classes. Examples:
VECTOR sessions (details)
- Radio Room Awareness - prepare to operate in the radio room
- Personal Safety and Crowd Awareness - learn wise practices from Vancouver Police Department
- Radio Skills Course - over several sessions, get more familiar with VECTOR, protocols, and gear (includes lots of on-air practice time)
- VECTOR Grab and Go Radio Kit Operation - get familiar with our deployable kits
- DSA Awareness - prepare to start up and operate at DSAs
- HF Station Certification - prepare to operate the VECTOR HF station solo
- Net Control Operator - over several sessions, prepare to run event nets and the weekly emergency preparedness net
- Voice Operator Practice Workshop - meet other members and get familiar with standard wording for procedures
- Packet Night Data Setup and Get Started - set up and get familiar with Winlink
- Operator School in One Day - cover the 5 awareness and practice workshops at once
Mini-exercises throughout the year to keep your skills sharp, check this year’s program.
EMBC-sponsored training (details)
- Incident Command System Level 100 the foundation of the common command structure used in British Columbia and throughout North America by first responders and emergency organizations.
- Level 200 ICS courses in Planning, Operations, and Logistics
- Radio Communications Station Manager (via EMBC / Justice Institute of BC)
- Introduction to Emergency Social Services and many other ESS courses are available to interested members.
- Emergency Operation Centre Essentials (via the Justice Institute of BC), a prerequisite to certain advanced courses.
- DSA Level 1 and Level 2, to better support DSA operations.
- Team-building Workshop to better connect with other volunteer teams.
Access To Radio Stations
Our HF/VHF/UHF radio stations are available for the use of members who earn EOC Radio Room certification. Apartment-bound? Use contests to exercise the VECTOR HF station now and then. Radio mentors are available.
A VECTOR member becomes part of the City’s Emergency Response Plan. We plan and prepare for “the big one” and other significant emergencies, and hone our skills through drills, exercises and activations supporting civic events.
Each year the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Police Department celebrate their volunteer partners with a gala or open house event. In 2016, VECTOR as an organization was bestowed the City of Vancouver Award of Excellence in recognition of our team efforts.
As part of EMBC’s public safety lifeline volunteers, members can receive service pins at every 5 year anniversary.
What does VECTOR do?
Ready to join our team? Skip to Application Process.
Throughout the calendar year VECTOR is invested in the planning and preparation segments of the emergency management continuum. We identify a few major projects each year we wish to undertake, plan for them, raise funds and work the project to completion. Projects range from the purely technical to training and human resource development.
Exercises are a key component of emergency preparedness. We develop and run our own internal exercises. We also join larger exercises with other groups including Emergency Social Services, and Vancouver Emergency Management Agency.
We operate in a number of annual events with our close partner the City of Vancouver. Find VECTOR at Emergency Preparedness Week, Celebration of Light, and Vancouver Pride Parade.
What can I offer the team?
Growing and developing an all-volunteer emergency communications team requires many hands with different skills. VECTOR’s success relies on the diversity of experience and perspectives our members bring to organizing.
Areas of possible interest include:
- Planning: analysis, documentation, project management
- Training: producing courseware, teaching, coaching
- Systems: developing and maintaining our radio and computer systems; networking, software development; exploring new radio techniques and solutions
- Operations: voice and data radio operations, leadership
- Administration: membership, treasury, strategic planning, marketing, organizing, leadership and management
Must I already have an Amateur Radio Certificate of Proficiency?
Strictly speaking, no, but we do suggest all prospective members without one consider obtaining their Certificate of Proficiency and a Canadian Amateur Radio Call-sign. We can help. VECTOR runs several Amateur Radio Certificate of Proficiency courses each year and our students enjoy an enviable rate of success.
See Membership Frequently Asked Questions for further information.
- Confirm you are eligible for membership: VECTOR membership requirements.
- Introduce yourself to our Membership Team by emailing [email protected]. Ask any questions you may have about VECTOR or our application process.
- Register with the City of Vancouver as a volunteer by signing up on our Better Impact volunteer management system. Please let us know when you have done this or if you already have a volunteer account, by emailing [email protected].
- Fill in the application package forms. These will have been sent to you after you have a volunteer account set up.
- Obtain your (free) Police Information Check, following the instructions in the application package. See the membership FAQ for more information.
- Review your Police Information Check results. For privacy reasons the VPD sends you the results. It is then your choice to proceed with your VECTOR application by sending those results to us.
- Mail us your completed application. A checklist with full instructions and all that should be included, is provided in the application package.
- Pay your annual $20 membership dues after your application has been approved.
- Welcome. Our Membership team will be happy to welcome you with an orientation and provide you with all the information you need to participate in VECTOR activities and go on to become a valued member in the organization.
VECTOR offers to individuals both full and associate membership in the society. Members pay $20 in annual dues. Mail in a cheque or use your bank to send an Interac eTransfer (the membership team can share those details).
Full members can vote in board elections, run for executive positions, and obtain access to all VECTOR facilities. To obtain full membership, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age; those younger than 18 may contact [email protected] for advice.
- Have resided in Canada for a minimum of 5 consecutive years prior to the time of application, to meet the screening requirements of the Police Information Check.
- Support our mission: VECTOR exists so that members of the amateur radio service can build auxiliary emergency communications capability to enhance community resiliency in the City of Vancouver.
- Hold a Canadian Amateur Radio Operators Certificate.
- Apply through the membership application process as defined above.
Consider Associate membership if you have yet to earn a Canadian Amateur Radio Operators Certificate and meet all other requirements for full membership.
Since associate members need Amateur Radio certification for full membership we give you priority for registering in the VECTOR Amateur Radio License Training & Examination Course.