On January 23, 1962, REACT’s founder, Henry B. “Pete” Kreer, convinced Hallicrafters to sponsor the REACT program. The initial requirement for a team was three members who agreed to monitor for CB emergencies. The first REACT colors were red and black. There were no dues or other requirements except to comply with government radio regulations.
By 1964, it was determined that there was a need for a designated CB Emergency Channel. REACT national headquarters asked all REACT Teams to monitor the channel as a voluntary emergency channel. REACT was at 800 Teams by this time.
In 1967, REACT initiated a movement to convince the FCC to designate channel 9 as the CB emergency channel.
In 1969, General Motors Research Labs assumed sponsorship of REACT. In the same year Jerry Reese came to REACT as Managing Director with Henry B. Kreer remaining with the title of Executive Director.
From 1970 to 1972, the Ohio REACT Emergency Network was formed, the same timeframe that channel 9 became the official CB emergency channel under FCC rules. This network issued several reports to state and federal agencies to detail the relationship between REACT and channel 9 as the emergency channel. This led to the formation of the Ohio State REACT Council as a pattern for future REACT Councils. REACT colors were changed to orange and black. The first Red Cross Memorandum of Understanding was reached and the documentary “Where Seconds Count” was produced. Dues were $1.00 per member with a $5.00 charter fee. All teams – new and existing – were issued a charter number. REACT Teams established in 1970 or earlier were designated ‘charter’ teams and identified with a “C” front of their Team numbers.
On April 24, 1973, NBC’s Today Show televised an interview with Gerald Reese and Henry Kreer. Their discussion about REACT aired over 220 network TV stations and resulted in over 500 inquiries about the REACT program.
In 1975, REACT International became an independent organization as a not-for-profit corporation in Illinois. In 2007 REACT marked its 45th anniversary.