The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) is currently seeking applications for membership.
1. Will you register your qualifications and communications equipment for use in public service during a communications emergency?
2. Can you work in a controlled environment?
3. Do you have a desire to contribute to your community?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then consider volunteering for the ARES®.
The first thing in the FCC Rules and Regulations concerning the amateur radio service is our basis and purpose:
§97.1 Basis and purpose.
The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.
To keep our service current with our served agencies requirements the amateur radio service has always been on the cutting edge of technology, and we will continue to move forward with new and improved methods of communications.
Candidates for ARES® are asked to visit https://www.hamradioelpaso.com/emergency-coordinations and do the prerequisites to get started with becoming a member.
We are also seeking applications for the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES). RACES is the only amateur service recognized be the FCC. It serves state and local governments. It is governed by FCC rule part “§97.407 Radio amateur civil emergency service”. Completion of the FEMA courses is required just as with ARES®.
Candidates seeking membership in RACES must be able to pass a criminal background history check. Candidates can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will email the RACES application along with the criminal history disqualifier form. Fill out and sign the forms and send them back to me along with a copy of your FCC amateur radio license. The application must be signed by the District Radio Officer, (DRO). I will complete the application and send it on to Austin. We have many open positions.
There is a new kid on the block now - AUXCOMM or Auxiliary Communicator. The Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) is moving in this direction. AUXCOMM does not replace ARES® or RACES but provides an alternative communications opportunity for the amateur services to serve the community alongside our public safety partners with communications support.
Candidates must complete a 20-hour resident course or there are some virtual courses still being offered. The course introduces the auxiliary communicator on how to work in a NIMS/ICS environment under the direction of the Communications Unit Leader (COML) or at an EOC under the direction of the EMA Director or designee.
To register for an AUXCOMM course go to https://www.preparingtexas.org/index.aspx and watch for a course announcement. Create an account then register for the AUXCOMM course. The prerequisites for the course are the same as for membership with ARES® and RACES and must be current.
NOTE: The terms ARES® and Amateur Radio Emergency Service® is both registered trademarks of the American Radio Relay League, Inc. and are used by permission.
Questions and comments about the content of this article are always welcome. Send an email to the address shown below.
Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
Amateur Radio Emergency Service®
DEC, District 6, WTX Section
TX RACES: DRO-08A