The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) established Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) to be its field component for giving back to the communities in which amateurs live. In Colorado we have 9 All-Hazards Regions and 28 ARES districts. Amateur Radio Emergency Services Region 3 District 2, covers Larimer and Weld counties in Colorado. We encompass 2,640 square miles in Larimer County and 3999 square miles in Weld County and more than 30 agencies between the two. Our served agencies are diverse and include law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire protection, the National Weather Service, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and even other volunteer organizations such as VOAD or Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters.
When looking at the amateur radio community you will find staggering communications capabilities covering many modes including voice, data, digital voice, and television. ARES is a group of amateur operators who have registered their equipment and made a commitment of their time and talents to assist their communities with these vast communications capabilities and experience in the event that normal communications methods become inadequate or fail. Our operators have augmented or replaced communications for a variety of our served agencies across a whole host of emergencies and disasters including floods, fires, tornadoes, and even snow emergencies.
Our membership is committed to providing the best communications available to our served agencies and as a result train in emergency communications methods and we learn the ins and outs of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) by taking ICS 100 and 200. An exciting new opportunity for ARES membership is working in state-level Auxiliary Communications, or AUXCOM, requiring ICS 700 and 800 and some other training. We participate in weekly nets to practice directed communications and we train for and practice traffic handling. In addition, the radio art is always changing as new discoveries or enhancements are made and we make those available to our served agencies as well in an effort to meet their ever changing needs.
We are always looking to increase our numbers and welcome new members within the district. You might ask, “What's required to be an ARES member?” Well, it requires a sense of community and a commitment to serve the same. ARES members cannot be interested in what they can get out of their service or it ceases to be service and becomes a job. ARES members dedicate themselves to the service of their communities when those communities need them the most during emergencies and disasters. If this sounds like something you desire then we hope you'll make the commitment and join the group and get involved. Just ask an ARES member about the many ways to serve and be involved and we're sure there's a place ideal for you.
Thanks for visiting the ARES R3D2 website and we hope to see you become involved with us!
Jeff Ford / K0JEF
CO ARES R3D2 Emergency Coordinator