History of Dallas County REACT
Dallas County REACT, founded in August 1967 as an unincorporated association, became affiliated with the nationwide REACT program on 11 November 1967. On 4 March 1968, it was incorporated as Operation REACT Watch of Dallas County, Inc., a Texas nonprofit corporation. In 1976, the Internal Revenue Service recognized REACT International, Inc., and its affiliated teams (including Dallas County REACT), as charitable "Section 501(c)(3) organizations," exempt from federal income tax and eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. The corporate name was changed toDallas County REACT, Inc., on 3 March 1981.
During these 46 years, Dallas County REACT, Inc., has been an active public service organization. Membership grew as high as 350 during the so-called "CB craze" in the mid-1970s. With the decline in CB radio popularity, membership declined, but has stabilized at about 45.
Beginning October 1970, Dallas County REACT operated "REACT Central" from a small office provided through the generosity of the management of the Southland Center in downtown Dallas. Through June 1995, more than 500 individuals had monitored more than 105,000 hours on Citizens Band Channel 9 (the national emergency channel) from REACT Central, handling an estimated 560,000 calls of every nature. Reports were relayed to every police and fire department in Dallas County and to many of those in surrounding counties. It is estimated that an equal number of calls were handled, and many hundreds of thousands of hours of monitoring were contributed, by individuals using home base stations and vehicle-mounted radios. The book was closed on Dallas County REACT Central on Saturday, 1 July 1995, as the station was disassembled and the equipment stored - after almost 25 years of support, the Southland Center could no longer provide space, as the entire building was being "gutted" in preparation for a complete rebuild of the interior.
Prior to this however, with the decline in CB usage, DCR's monitoring activities on Channel 9 had also decreased and the Team's primary thrust is now in other areas.
The Dallas County REACT Amateur Radio Club was formed as an integral part of Dallas County REACT on 1 August 1989. Affiliation with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) was approved on 15 December 1989, and Dallas County REACT became the first REACT Team in the world with ARRL affiliation. The Team became an ARRL "Special Service Club" in October 1991. About 50% of Dallas County REACT's members are licensed amateur radio operators.
Dallas County REACT, as a chartered (but independent) part of the nationwide REACT organization, was honored in April 1982 when President Reagan awarded REACT International the President's Volunteer Action Award - there were only 18 awards out of more than 2,300 organizations and individuals nominated that year.
The Team's public service activities have been almost exclusively supported by the membership dues and fund-raising activities of the members. From August 1977 through July 1990, the Team operated a concession booth at Texas Stadium, with most of the Team's annual budget derived from this source of income.
From 1988 to 2004, the Team sponsored Charitable Bingo at North Dallas Bingo, 7940 North Central Expressway. In 2005, the Team moved its bingo sponsorship to Balch Springs Bingo, 11903 Lake June Road, in Balch Springs and was discontinued in December 2009. Bingo revenue allowed the Team to discontinue the Texas Stadium Booth in 1990, allowing more time for public service activities. Members pay $20 per year for the privilege of contributing their time and equipment to REACT's program. All dues revenue goes to REACT International, as Team revenue covers local expenses.
The Team communicates in many ways. In addition to the original Citizens Band Radio, the Team uses an intra-team UHF FM system in the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) on frequencies 462.600 megaHertz and 462.675 megaHertz, using repeaters located on buildings in downtown Dallas. GMRS radios allow member-to-member communications throughout Dallas County, and even further, depending upon location and power of the individual mobile or walky-talky units. This system is owned and operated by React Communications Corporation (RCC), a trusteed non-profit corporation, for the use and benefit of Dallas County REACT. Most DCR members use their own GMRS equipment while others use equipment loaned by RCC. Approximately 35 DCR members are presently equipped with GMRS radios.
DCR's first amateur repeater (N5IAG, on 442.075 MHz) became operational in January 1991, with a two-meter remote base station added to the repeater in 1992. It is the primary UHF RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) repeater in Dallas County. The repeater equipment was replaced in 2010.
In 2000, an APRS digipeater (W5DCR-3, on 144.390 MHz) was put into service and serves the amateur radio community in the Dallas MetroPlex area.
Operation of the K5JD two-meter (146.960 MHz) repeater was assumed in June 2013, upon the passing of DCR member Johnny Davis (DCR65, K5JD), who had requested that RCC and DCR continue the operation of the repeater he had operated for more than 35 years. The repeater equipment was replaced in August 2013 and is currently operated as W5DCR. It is the Dallas RACES VHF (two-meter) backup repeater.
All of the repeaters operated by DCR are owned and maintained by React Communications Corporation (RCC). The DCR amateur repeaters are open to all amateur radio operators.
To celebrate the 21st century DCR applied for a club call sign, receiving the call KD5KES in May of 2000. Shortly thereafter the club applied for and was granted the vanity call W5DCR in early June 2000. The first event operated under the new club call was Field Day 2000.