Interconnected networks

OES (Office of Emergency Services) owns and operates 3 interconnected Mobile Relay radio networks for Mutual Aid coordination, and oversees a number of communications channels for field level coordination purposes. All of this is known as SMARS [Statewide Mutual Aid Radio System].

CESRS California Emergency Services Radio System

153.755 MHz [154.980 input]

CESRS has 21 interconnected sites around the state (and 4 stand alone radios not interconnected). It is used for radio coordination between OES staff (51xx and 51xxx units) and our facilities in Sacramento, Fresno, Los Alamitos, Oakland, San Diego and San Luis Obispo; and between our Regional Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) [in Oakland, Los Alamitos, and Sacramento] and around 30 county EOCs. Other users of CESRS are the facilities of the Calif. Youth Authority [for their direction & control purposes], and the Department of General Services' Telecommunications Division units ("Area xx", and "DC-xxxx" units), who maintain it all.

CLERS California Law Enforcement Radio System

150 and 450 MHz bands

CLERS is the Law Enforcement 'dispatcher to dispatcher' mutual aid network, and consists of 26 'cells' covering the state. Some areas like the East Sierra / Owens Valley area and Ukiah / Clearlake) are served by direct drops off the state microwave system. Otherwise, the users are served by a VHF or UHF repeater in their area. Some areas (Contra Costa County, for example) are really active; others are not so active day-to-day. CLERS also serves as the State's distribution network for Emergency Alert System (EAS) program feeds, and is occasionally used by CHP (California Highway Patrol) aircraft to coordinate with their operations bases.

OES FIRE and Rescue Radio Network

154.160 and 154.220 (with a combination of 33 and 159 MHz inputs)

OES FIRE has three purposes. First, it is used to coordinate between the 65 Fire Operational Area Mutual Aid Coordinators, the 6 Regional Mutual Aid Coordinators, and OES Fire & Rescue Branch's EOC at HQ in Sacramento. Second, it is used between OES Fire & Rescue HQ and the OES Fire field staff [52xx units] enroute to or at major emergencies. Third, it is used to coordinate any and all of the above points with the 130+ OES Engines and support vehicles located in local fire departments around the state.

OES FIRE, with 22 sites, is in transition. The system has both lowband (33 MHz) and highband (159 MHz) inputs to the two 154 MHz outputs. Over the next 12-18 months the 33 MHz inputs will be removed from service as new control stations at the Operational Area Coordinators are replaced.

CLEMARS California Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Radio System

There are CLEMARS frequencies in each Public Safety radio band (except the 220-222 MHz band). CLEMARS is used for on-scene Law Enforcement communications. The nationwide Law frequency of155.475 is included in the CLEMARS plan.

Frequencies to monitor [CLEMARS Ch. #]:

Statewide: 39.46 [6,7], 154.920 [1], 154.935 [2], 155.475 [3], 460.025 [4,5], 868.5125 [8,9].

Los Angeles Basin: 484.2375 [22]

CALCORD California On-scene Coordination Channel


CALCORD is a mobile-only channel for use on scene as a command channel. Yes, it is also Coast Guard channel 61A, but we have it licensed out of the old Highway Maintenance pool. No base stations are allowed (FCC regulation).

WHITE FIRE frequencies

WHITE FIRE 1, 154.280; WHITE FIRE 2, 154.265; and WHITE FIRE 3, 154.295, and the FIREMARS (Fire Mutual Air Radio System) Channels (800 MHz)

The WHITE FIRE frequencies (not "OES White") are used for multiple agency fire coordination operations. By FCC rules, base stations are permitted on WHITE FIRE 1 (154.280) only [except L.A. County Fire has a waiver for 154.295, as they were there before the FCC designated the frequency as "intersystem"].

The old OES "FireMARS" system (153.830 in, 154.295 out, using handhelds and portable repeaters) is dead. The BART UNDERGROUND (153.770/154.295) will disappear with BART's move to 800.

The FIREMARS channels ("FIREMARS", 868.9875; and "FIREMARS 2", 866.9125 in the "Northern California" area defined under CLEMARS, above) are designated for Fire & EMS operations by those agencies operating on 800 MHz.


Interoperability channels (866.0125, 866.5125, 867.0125, 867.5125, and 868.0125)

When the FCC opened the 821-824/866-869 MHz spectrum to Public Safety use in the 1980s, the FCC established an advisory committee (the National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee, or "NPSPAC") to recommended rules for the assignment and utilization of the new spectrum. NPSPAC recommended (and the FCC adopted) 5 Interoperability channels - a calling channel, and 4 tactical. In negotiating the boarder interface zones with Canada and Mexico, these 5 pairs were also adopted by those countries for Public Safety interoperability use. The channels, therefore, are known as I-CALL (866.0125), and I-TAC 1 thru 4 (866.5125, 867.0125, 867.5125, and 868.0125 respectively). Under the plans developed by California's two Planning Regions, OES administers the use of these channels.

STACOM STAte COMmunications, AKA Operation SECURE (HF)

Under Operation SECURE (State's Emergency Communications Using Radio Effectively), the FCC established frequencies in the 2-10 MHz range for State Government use. Each state can license up to 10 channels for intra- and inter-state emergency management communications. OES and CALTRANS use these frequencies, along with selected federal and local EOC sites in remote areas for an additional communications path when needed. Because of some confusion caused by the "SECURE" name, this network is called "STACOM". The network uses standard SSB for comms.

7.480 MHz (Upper Sideband)

They used to do a statewide (and Nevada) net every Weds at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on or near 7480 khz (7.480 MHz) might want to listen there. Then they switch to a ham freq, I think it's 7230 khz for another net right afterwards. About 30 minutes of stuff.

CALCORD California On-Scene Emergency Coordination Radio Plan


The California On-Scene Emergency Coordination System is established to provide common radio frequencies to be used statewide by state and local Public Safety and Special Emergency agencies during periods of man-made or natural disasters or other emergencies where interagency coordination is required.

It operates under appropriate Federal Communications Commission Rules and Regulations and is administered by the State of California through the Office of Emergency Services. The Office of Emergency Services Telecommunications Advisory Committee exercises general supervision and disciplinary control.


Participation in CALCORD is open to all California Local Government agencies which are eligible to operate on radio frequencies authorized by the Federal Communications Commission for the Public Safety Radio Services. In addition, the CALCORD channel may be placed in certain ambulances operating in the Special Emergency Radio Service. This must be under the authority of a city or county participating in CALCORD, and having an ordinance or code which provides for control over the ambulance(s) in which the channel is installed.

Unfortunately it has taken quite awhile for CALCORD to become adopted and usage is still spotty. Since it is not possible to determine users by license data, only by monitoring or by checking with the respective agencies can it be determined if they have CALCORD capability. CHP handhelds have CALCORD. A good time to listen is when there is a heli-evac from the freeway.

Washington state has a similar channel called OSCCR (On-Scene Command & Coordination Radio) on 156.135.

CALCORD Utilization

CALCORD will be used in mobile and portable units at the scene of any emergency incident requiring coordinate action by more than one agency. These agencies must be eligible to operate in the Public Safety or Special Emergency Radio Services. It is intended that this System be used to facilitate communications when the Incident Command System is used. Use of this System will be limited to emergency operations only, with the exception of tests and drills.

CLEMARS Utilization

CLEMARS is the California Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Radio System and is licensed to the state and administered by OES. Channels include 154.920, 154.935 (low-power), 155.475, 460.025 as well as low-band and 800 MHz channels. Uses are classified and prioritized. Some channels, like 154.920 and 460.025, may be used on a regular daily basis as a secondary channel, but the channel must be relinquished to mutual aid users. (There is no similar authorization for regular daily use of the CALCORD frequency.)

CALCORDCalifornia On-scene Coordination Channel
CESRSCalifornia Emergency Services Radio System
CLEMARSCalifornia Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Radio System
CLERSCalifornia Law Enforcement Radio System
EASEmergency Alert System
EOCEmergency Operations Center
FIREMARSFire Mutual Aid Radio System
NALEMARSNational Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Radio System
OESOffice of Emergency Services
SMARSStatewide Mutual Aid Radio System

OES Radio Plan
Description Channel Input Output Tone
NALEMARS GOLD-3 155.4750 none
CLEMARS GOLD-4 460.0250
CLEMARS GOLD-5 465.0250 460.0250
CLEMARS GOLD-6 39.4600 156.7
CLEMARS GOLD-7 45.8600 39.4600 156.7
CLEMARS GOLD-8 868.5125 156.7
CLEMARS GOLD-9 823.5125 868.5125 156.7
CLEMARS GOLD-20 866.2000 156.7
CLEMARS GOLD-21 821.2000 866.2000 156.2
CLEMARS GOLD-22 484.2375 156.2
FIREGROUND 480 FIREGROUND 487.2375 156.7
LA CO SMALL CITIES 487.2125 484.2125 167.9
CALCORD 156.0750 none
FIRE MUTUAL AID WHITE-1 154.2800 none
FIRE MUTUAL AID (Mobiles only) WHITE-2 154.2650 none
FIRE MUTUAL AID (Mobiles only) WHITE-3 154.2950 none
FIREMARS 823.9875 868.9875 156.7
FIREMARS D 868.9875 156.7
FIREMARS 2 821.9125 866.9125 156.7
FIREMARS 2D 866.9125 156.7
OES 1 154.1600
OES 1a 159.1350 154.1600
OES 1b 159.1950 154.1600
OES 2 154.2200
OES 2a 159.1350 154.2200
OES 2b 159.1950 154.2200
CESRS REPEAT 154.9800 153.7550
CESRS DIRECT 153.7550 192.8
NPSPAC I-CALL 821.0125 866.0125
NPSPAC I-TAC-1 821.5125 866.5125
NPSPAC I-TAC-2 822.0125 867.0125
NPSPAC I-TAC-3 822.5125 867.5125
NPSPAC I-TAC-4 823.0125 868.0125

  2. GOLD-20/21 AND FIREMARS 2/2D ARE NOT USABLE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (Northern Planning Region only channel) Northern California is North of the line making up the north edge of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino Counties.
  3. GOLD-22 and 480 Fireground are usable only within 50 miles of Los Angeles City Hall as per FCC Regulations.