The mission of ACS/ARES is to maintain and train amateur radio volunteers capable of providing professional emergency communications, increasing our emergency response effectiveness, and speeding the recovery effort. Areas of knowledge that directly support this mission include:

  • Operational and technical knowledge in message handling
  • Packet operation
  • Proper emergency network voice operation procedures
FEMA Training

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, has established training guidelines for personnel involved with disaster response – which includes ham radio volunteers. ACS members assigned to County or Government facilities are required to complete these four FEMA training courses:

FEMA Course recommended but not required:

IS-317  Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

In addition to FEMA courses, for your own knowledge, it would be important to look into:

  • American Red Cross training
  • Skywarn training
  • WebEOC
ACS/ARES Training Requirements

Helping your community can be accomplished in two ways.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) offers entry level participation allowing for communicating during emergency events to the Emergency Operations Center and possible evacuation centers and message centers. 

Auxiliary Communication Service (ACS) allows for increased participation in an emergency by staffing EOCs and other areas. Training in technology, operations and equipment maintenance is offered – along with continued refresher training.

Proficiency in emergency communications is enhanced by participating in weekly network operations – along with reviewing available documentation. Training classes will increase your knowledge and allow for more active participation when needed in an emergency. Classes will be made available in various areas of technology and operations. Times and dates will be published when offered.

To maintain effective levels of participation, all ACS and ARES personnel must:

  • Check-in to their area net at least once a month

In order to keep levels of proficiency, All ACS personnel must, and ARES personnel are strongly encouraged to also:

  • Attend an ORT, training class, or EOC staffing twice each year.

ACS/ARES Orientation and Training Program

ACS/ARES Orientation Course
ACS/ARES Voice Procedures Course
ACS/ARES Traffic Handling Course
ACS/ARES Digital Training Course

rev. 01/23/2024