Join Wood County WI ARES/RACES

Qualifications for Membership in ARES

All participants shall have a valid Amateur Radio license issued by the Federal Communications Commission.

All participants must have a serious interest in providing volunteer radio communications support in an emergency.

All participants shall have an interest in self-improvement and maintaining standards for excellent community service.

Previously, participation in ARES was open to all interested Amateur Radio operators. The only requirements were a valid FCC license and an interest in serving. There were no requirements for ARES participants to be trained and no skill sets were specified.

In contrast, many of the partner agencies that ARES serves have mandated and structured training programs where all participants receive the same training and, when activated, or assigned to serve an agency in the field would be qualified to assume any position to which they were assigned.

Therefore, changes have been made to resolve this issue identified by our partners about the inconsistent training required of ARES participants. Under this policy, a national standard for qualification in ARES is instituted to address the needs of our partners.

Training is expected to be phased in over time and will be required for all ARES participants. Such training will be measurable and recognized across a broad spectrum of the country by served partners.

Three levels of training will allow ARES participants to enter the program and migrate to higher levels of qualification and service.

  • Level 1 — This is the primary level for those who choose a non-leadership role as well as those new to Amateur Radio or emergency communications. This introductory training is conducted by the local ARES group to meet their needs and those of their served agency or partners. This training could be formal or informal and would introduce the ARES participant to the fundamentals of emergency communications and provide instruction on how participants are to conduct themselves while serving in the field or otherwise activated. Participants may elect to remain at this level, or any level, based upon the extent of their desired ARES involvement.  National Weather Service Storm Spotter Training every two years,Spotter Network Training every two years. and we encourage new members to obtain theirFEMA IS 100, 200, 700 and 800 courses right away as well.
  • Level 2 — To qualify for this level, participants shall have completed the following courses:ARRL’s EC-001 Introduction to Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (a no-cost program) and FEMA IS-100c, IS-200, IS 700, and IS-800. Participants are also encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities available through partners to enhance their knowledge and skill set.
  • Level 3 — This level of training prepares ARES participants to take on leadership (ARRL Officer) positions such as (EC) Emergency Coordinator, (ADEC) Assistant District Coordinator, (DEC) District Emergency Coordinator, (ASEC) Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator, and (SEC) Section Emergency Coordinator, and other designated positions in the ARES program. Participants are required to complete ARRL’s EC-016, Emergency Communications for Management, when available along with FEMA Professional Development Series of courses IS120, IS-230, IS-240, IS-241, IS-242, IS-244, and IS-288 the Role of voluntary Organizations in Emergency Management. Participants also are encouraged to complete the FEMA courses IS-300 and IS-400 should they be available locally.

Completion of all training programs will be verified by the participant’s Emergency Coordinator (EC) before the participant advances to the higher level. Those individuals holding leadership positions as the new program is introduced will be allowed one (1) year, or such further time period as authorized by the Section Manager, to complete the necessary training to meet qualifications for Level 3. Training requirements for ECs, DEC, and their assistants will be verified by their SEC or the SEC’s designated individual. All ARES Personnel are strongly encouraged to participate in continuing their education through various local, state, tribal and federal programs such as Auxiliary Communications (Auxcomm). As needed, local ARES organizations may choose to add special training courses to fulfill local requirements and obligations.

To join Wood County WI ARES/RACES, you must go to the ARES Connect link listed below and register. To create your account, you must use your call sign as your username (that’s how we identify who you are), choose your own password and fill in the information on the page. Once registered, sign out and sign back in. That will complete the process. The account creation process is painless and asks about training that was recommended as minimum standards. Contact Mike at if you have questions. Make sure that your landing page says Welcome to ARES Connect Wisconsin! 
Here’s the link: