For current Idaho ARES News, please be sure to visit the Current News page that is located under the Idaho ARES menu. The Current News page includes information that is critical to obtaining access to, and maintaining your account (see article #1).
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is made up of Amateur Radio operators, who have registered their equipment and qualifications with ARES. These amateur radio operators provide volunteer communications services in times of disaster or civil emergency.
The ARES national organization is comprised of smaller regional organizations, each being within an ARRL Section . This web page serves the Idaho ARRL Section, covering the entire state of Idaho and is managed by the Idaho ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC).
Idaho ARES is segmented into six districts, which are aligned with Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security Regions. Each Idaho ARES district may have a District Emergency Coordinator (DEC). Within each district, Idaho ARES is organized by counties, with each county having an assigned Emergency Coordinator (EC).
Idaho ARES members participate in NET (i.e. Network or on-the-air information gathering) operations, exercises and training. These activities may be organized at the statewide, district or county levels.
ARES is open to all Amateur Radio operators. Amateur Radio operators need not be a member of the ARRL to join ARES.
Any Amateur Radio licensee may register to become an Idaho ARES member. ARRL membership is not required to become a member of ARES. There are no registration fees or dues associated with ARES membership.
Amateur Radio operators may participate in training in order to obtain qualifications beyond that of holding an Amateur Radio license. Such qualifications will enable an Amateur Radio licensee to participate in Idaho ARES at a higher level of service. All Idaho ARES Amateur Radio operators are encouraged to obtain additional training.
The primary sources for Amateur Radio operators to obtain qualified training include both the ARRL and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute. Training resources for both of these organizations can be found under the Training menu on this page.
Recommended ARRL and FEMA Training training includes:
EC-001: Introduction to Emergency Communications
EC-016: Public Service & Emergency Communications Management for Radio Amateurs
EC-015: ARRL Public Relations
ICS-100: Introduction to Incident Command System
ICS-700: Introduction to National Incident Management System
ICS-800: Introduction to National Response Framework
ICS-200: Incident Command System for Single Resources & Initial Action Incidents
Additional training opportunities are listed under the Activities menu on this page.
Amateur Radio’s role in Public Service Communications and Emergency Communications is declared within the purpose of Amateur Radio as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations:
CFR Title 47, Part 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:
From a practical, and operational perspective, Amateur Radio provides several resources and capabilities to Incident Commanders. Among these are:
A pool of fixed, mobile and portable stations that can be utilized to augment communications systems, or to put in place a communications system where non exists, such as providing communications with emergency disaster evacuation locations.
Communications infrastructure, with a wide range of capabilities, that can be used in place of other failed infrastructure.
Amateur Radio has the same vulnerabilities as Public Safety communications infrastructure, and implements the same standardized redundant protection features as Public Safety communications. Because of similar redundant systems, both Amateur Radio and Public Safety communications infrastructure share the same robust capabilities.
Amateur Radio is not a replacement for Public Safety or governmental agencies, but acts to serve those Public Safety and governmental agencies in a subordinate capacity. Amateur Radio enables Public Safety agencies to focus on their primary role by freeing them from tasks that do not fall within their daily mission. Amateur Radio is particularly well suited to serve the logistical communications requirements of an Incident Command, thereby keeping critical Public Safety radio services free for more critical tasks. Amateur Radio is also well suited to provide communications infrastructure, which can be used as a replacement for failed public communications infrastructure. Amateur Radio can provide communications services to non-governmental agencies, such as the Red Cross, in time of disaster. It is this mission that the Idaho Amateur Radio Emergency Service is committed to.
Please join us! Amateur Radio operators can enroll in the Idaho Amateur Radio Emergency Service by selecting the Register menu item under the Idaho ARES menu on this page or by clicking here.