ARES Program Updated

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It’s about time!

I have been a ham now for over 20 years, and in that I have been a member of our local ARES group as well. During that time the requirements for being a member has changed on the program level but has changed on our local level.

With the introduction of the NIMS system over 15 years ago, our local group implemented the requirements of the IC-100 and IC-800 course to be able to participate in the group. This was mainly done in response to the agencies we serve requiring it for all their first responders.

EDIT: My EC corrected me, my local group requires IC-100, IC-200, IC-700 and IC-800. Thanks Kenny

I think that this should have been done on a program wide level long ago, but it is just now being done, some 15+ years after the NIMS system was put in place.

Even with the new changes to the ARES plan, however, there still isn’t an entry level requirement other than your FCC license and local training. I would have liked to see at least the IC-100 and IC-800 included in the entry level.

Here are what the levels are define at according to the new ARES Plan:

  • 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.

  • 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-100, 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 positions such as EC, ADEC, DEC, ASEC, and SEC, 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 IS- 120, 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.

    The plan goes on to define what each level of member is required to have within a year of this plan going into affect or after the person is appointed to said position.

    Here is a link to the full ARRL ARES Plan.

    What are your thoughts on the new plan? Leave a comment below and let me know. Also let me know what your local ARES group requires for training to be a member.

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