Major Changes to ARES

Major Changes to ARES and OO Programs

The ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group has completed its two-year project to re-tool the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) to meet the requirements of partner agencies, nationwide. The new program will consist of ARES Members who are “organized, trained, qualified and credentialed” to better serve our partner agencies.

The new program features three levels of ARES membership, which are matched by three levels of required training and certification. The training requirements will be met by members completing free, online courses including NIMS IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800 and the newly revised ARRL EC-001, which will be provided free of charge to ARES members. Additional training is required for all ARES leadership appointees (“*ECs”).

The ARRL Board has opened a public comment period which runs until October 31. ARRL requests your comments to be sent through your Section Emergency Coordinator <sec@wpa-arrl.org> and Section Manager <sm@wpa-arrl.org> only. The Board will review all comments and vote on the final program at the January 2019 ARRL Board Meeting.

The current OO program will end, and be replaced by a new Volunteer Monitoring program, administered by ARRL HQ, working closely with FCC. All current OOs will be invited to apply for the new program, which will concentrate on major enforcement issues the FCC requests. The goal is to provide more rapid enforcement response to significant, developing on-the-air violations rather than more minor operating and technical issues.

Much more information about these developments is available online at  www.arrl.org and in upcoming issues of QST.

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