Basic Training Requirements

According to Presidential Homeland Security Directive-5, Yavapai County ARES/RACES operations must comply with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  We operate under the Incident Command System (ICS) when activated.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now requires all volunteers, including amateur radio operators, to have completed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) IS-100.c, IS-200.c, IS-700.b and IS-800.d course material. For non-governmental employees and others without access to classroom instruction, these courses are available as on-line independent-study courses that are free of charge at the links above.

As a result, the Yavapai County Office of Emergency Management (YCOEM) has mandated that all amateur radio operators participating in emergencies must have completed the FEMA training courses.  A secondary reason for requiring these courses is that grant money from various government organizations requires certification of all emergency participants, including volunteers.

Obviously, amateur radio is at the core of what we do, but in order to officially participate with Yavapai County, all members must have a common understanding of the ICS.  The baseline courses are defined above.  We have added the ARRL EC-001-S course so that everyone has the fundamental knowledge of how amateur radio operates as part of emergency communications.   So, in order to join ARES/RACES you must complete 5 on-line courses. 

Most hams interested in ARES/RACES have a basic understanding of FM voice communication, as a result of the popularity of 2 Meters and the low price of radios for that band and mode.  With the practice that comes from net check-ins, public service events and our exercises, this skill level will allow you to contribute during emergencies.

Additional Requirements

In order to ensure that our members maintain an appropriate level of preparedness and to allow us to evaluate your skill levels, we have put in place some additional requirements which are summarized in this table:

Basic Training Requirements Completed Initial 6 Months 100%
Weekly Net Participation Annual 40%
Net Control Participation Annual 1 time
Online/In Person Training Participation Annual 50%
Public Service Event Participation Annual 1 event


*Threshold = % of possible opportunities unless otherwise defined

These requirements are subject to the discretion of ARES/RACES leadership for unexpected circumstances.

ARES/RACES members are expected to own a computer with an Internet connection and have some knowledge of its operation.  Email is our primary tool for newsletters and day-to-day communications.  Although we are not first responders, we are expected to respond quickly when an emergency occurs.  During fire season (roughly May through September, with some relaxation during monsoons), we use email to notify our members of possible deployments.  So it is necessary to pay close attention to emails during that season and especially when you become aware of a fire.

Advanced Training Opportunities

The expectations of the YCOEM people working in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) are that we understand the latest in radio communication technology (including the use of computers) and have the competence to make use of it. 

So, we provide training in various these areas of interest, the Winlink system (email over radio), HF operating and deployment, our PC Go Kit (all the software an ARES/RACES operator might need on a thumb drive), AUXCOMM (over half our members are AUXCOMM trained) and others.