New York City Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Service

New York City ARECS Members and the
Attacks of September 11, 2001

Members of NYC-ARECS were activated during the 9/11 attack. At the time, Charles Hargrove (N2NOV), the NYC-ARECS co-founder and current President, was the New York City ARRL District Emergency Coordinator and Citywide RACES Radio Officer on 9/11. Over 500 amateur radio operators helped provide assistance during the emergency.

Within hours, New York City District Emergency Coordinator Charles Hargrove, N2NOV, said that RACES members would be used in the search-and-rescue efforts at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan and elsewhere. Plans called for hams to be on duty 24 hours a day. Not only were cell sites, police and fire communications, and most television antennas lost when the World Trade Center collapsed, the New York City Office of Emergency Management bunker was lost when 7 World Trade Center collapsed later in the day (it had already been evacuated). Besides emergency traffic, amateurs shadowed some New York City officials and medical officials, handled medical traffic, and assisted the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. (Read more: Remembering 911)

  • BBC Radio program "Unsung Heros" about the NYC Amateur Radio Operators on 9/11 (Open)
    with Charles Hargrove, President of NYC-ARECS
  • "Embedded Technicians: A New Approach to Emergency Communications" (Open)
    by Alan Dove N3IMU, Member of the NYC-ARECS
  • State of New York Legislative Resolution recognizing hams that worked in NY on 9/11 (Open)
  • "After nearly 2 weeks, the Amateur Radio volunteer effort in New York City is winding down" (Open)
  • Listen to the Fire Department dispatch from the attacks of 9/11 - a very powerful and sad broadcast (Open)

AUDIO: Bloomberg Radio 1130 AM New York City talks with Charles Hargrove (N2NOV) who was the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) RACES Officer and who coordinated the hundreds of amateur radio operators who assist with communications.

VIDEO: NYC Fox 5 news clip on amateur radio operations relating to the attacks of September 11, 2011 in New York City. Charles Hargrove, N2NOV (shown in the video), was the NYC RACES Officer and City-Wide Incident Commander for Amateur Radio.

Our 'RACES' desk WC2OEM in the NYC Office of Emergency Management inside the World Trade Center on the 23rd floor - destroyed on 9/11. Equipment consisted of Kenwood TM251, Kenwood TM742, Yaesu FT900CAT, Icom R70 Receiver, and a PK232 TNC. Antennas were 27 stories further up. This was the pride and nerve center of NYC RACES from February 1, 1999 until September 11, 2001.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani recognizing NYC RACES on September 19, 1997. Charles Hargrove (Current NYC-ARECS President is on the right)
The first Director of OEM, Jerry Hauer (center), holds Mayoral Proclamation. (Current NYC-ARECS President is on the right)
Charles Hargrove points out the contribution ARES, RACES, and volunteer hams from around the tri-state area, and elsewhere, provided during the "9/11 Attacks".
State of New York Legislative Resolution recognizing hams that worked in NY on 9/11

"Our city's vast and complex communications system, is indebted to the many trained amateur radio volunteers,
who are efficient and dependable and lend a much needed hand in times of crisis or disaster.
They are an invaluable part of our cities communication network."

--NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani September 20, 1997

There are many more articles on 9/11 on our News page here