The Emergency Services can make contact with RAYNET-UK by telephoning the national

24 Hour emergency contact number 030 30 40 10 80*
​ *This number should only be used by official Emergency User Services & only if local call out procedures have failed or are non-existent in your area.

The organisation

RAYNET is the acronym for the Radio Amateurs’ Emergency Network. The organisation was formed in 1953 after severe flooding on the east coast of England, when radio amateurs provided emergency communications cover. RAYNET members assisted after the Lockerbie disaster in 1988. More recently RAYNET assisted with communications following the flooding in Gloucestershire in 2007.

After disasters and emergencies regular lines of communication, be they landline or mobile telephone or even the emergency services’ own communication systems, are either overloaded or do not work because of the terrain. In many countries licenced radio amateurs have formed voluntary groups who train to provide communications to the public services in such emergencies.


RAYNET members also take part in training exercises and provide communications in local community events throughout the UK. In the Yorkshire area these include fell running, long distance walks and the Tour de France, while nationally such events include the Great North Run. Attendance at these events serves several functions: it provides useful practice for members of the groups, it provides excellent training opportunities for new members, and it helps to provide the event organisers with safety cover in that messages or calls for assistance can be relayed between the event marshals or stewards and the event’s base control. In this role RAYNET is helping the organisers of such events to provide safety cover for public and participants alike.

RAYNET’s role is purely to provide communications at these events; it is not involved in their organisation or running.

RAYNET’s role

RAYNET’s primary role is to assist with communications during emergencies. There have been many “real” examples help provided by RAYNET over the years. The most major example was the Lockerbie disaster. Debris was spread over hundreds of square miles, much of it over moorland with poor communications. RAYNET assisted the search of this area by providing communications from the search teams to control. Over one hundred radio operators, from all over the country, helped during a ten day period. Even in 2007 RAYNET was called out to assist with the flooding in Gloucestershire and in Essex to monitor tidal levels at a time of expected flooding.

RAYNET supports community

RAYNET supports community events as training exercises. RAYNET brings a flexibility to these events with the capability to place radio operators in remote locations only accessible on foot or by four wheel drive. The use of transmitters that are more powerful than those available on commercial systems coupled with masts and high performance aerials allow communications over significant distances and in difficult terrain. RAYNET is often asked to provide communications in areas with no mobile phone service.

Yorkshire RAYNET groups

The Yorkshire RAYNET groups work with local organisations and are active at fund-raising and organised events where they provide communications between marshals or stewards and the event control. They also make presentations and give talks to local meetings.

RAYNET groups provide their services free of charge. Members often provide their own radio equipment and pay their own expenses. Some supported organisations offer donations which the RAYNET groups are pleased to accept. Such donations are used by the Groups to purchase and maintain their radio equipment and accessories, or to further the aims of RAYNET

RAYNET Engineering Team

Keighley RAYNET Group’s members may be used for their own personal knowledge as experienced radio equipment operators on your existing business radio network i.e: Staffing of Event or Joint Operational Control Room. Keighley RAYNET Engineering Team can also be used to engineer a radio network for your own volunteers to use. (for this service you will need to book the radio equipment through GBSE Event Technology, Contact – Tel: 01422 822990)

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