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It is important that all emergency communicators possess basic communications skills to be of use to any organization we may be called upon to support. Additionally, emergency communicators need to practice these skills on a regular basis with other members of ARES to be proficient in them prior to an actual emergency. Practical Exercise Training is scheduled during the year to enable members to hone these skills.

Training is available from many sources as outlined in the previous chart. Most of this training is free of charge or available at a nominal fee. Members are encouraged to utilize this training to help develop skills required to be effective emergency radio communicators.

The absolute minimum training for emergency communicators is the ARRL's Introduction to Emergency Communications. Additionally, participation in the Annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is very helpful in honing communications skills.

A basic understanding of the Incident Command System is important as public officials generally require support personnel to work within that structure.

Some of the more advanced NIMS/ICS courses require a classroom setting, but the majority of courses are available online. FEMA’s ICS classes are available on-line, for free. They require an ID, but no fees and can be completed as you find the time. The 100, 200, 700, and 800 are the most important for what ARES does, and are roughly 2 to 3 hours long, or at whatever pace you set for yourself. See below for URLs.

The Resources page has a number of links to educational material not part of any particular course, but useful and interesting.




Section Manager
Paul Gayet, AA1SU

Section Emergency Coord.
R. Conway, N1WWW






Training Options

ARRL Training Resources ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Courses are available online. The ARRL has revamped the Level I and II courses and combined them ino 1 unit, The former Level III is now an advanced emcomms leadership course aimed at those interested in leadership/managerial positions. Cost is roughly $50 for ARRLmembers/$85 for non-members.

  • Introduction to Emergency Communication—Course #: EC-001
           Description. This course is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. The course has 6 sections with 29 lesson topics. It includes required student activities, a 35-question final assessment and is expected to take approximately 45 hours to complete over a 9-week period. You will have access to the course platform at any time of day during this 9-week period so you may work according to your own schedule.
          Prerequisites. Before you begin the course you should have completed the following prerequisites. These courses provide a foundation for the content of this course. These are free mini-courses you can take online at
    • ICS-100 (IS-100.b) (Introduction to the Incident Command System)
    • IS -700 (National Incident Management System)
  • Public Service and Emergency Communications Management —Course #: EC-016(EC-002)
           Description. This course is designed to train licensed Amateur Radio operators who will be in leadership and managerial roles organizing other volunteers to support public service activities and communications emergencies.
           Prerequisites. Before you begin the course you should have completed the following (required unless noted otherwise)
                  •ARRL EC-001 Intro to Emergency Communication (or Emergency Communications Level 1)

               And the following Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) courses:
    • ICS-100 Introduction to Incident Command System
    • ICS-200 ICS for Single Incidents and Initial Action Incidents
    • ICS-300, Intermediate Incident Command System, classroom (opt.)
    • IS-700 NIMS: An Introduction
    • IS-800 National Response Frameworkk
    • IS-240 Leadership & Influence
    • IS-241 Decision Making & Problem Solving
    • IS-250 Emergency Support Function 15 (ESF-15) External Affairs
    • IS-1 Emergency Manager, An Orientation to the Position
    • IS-288 The Role of Voluntary Agencies in Emergency Management
    • IS-244 Developing and Managing Volunteers
    • IS-120.a An Introduction to Exercises
    • IS-130 Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning
    • IS-139 Exercise Design

FEMA Self Study ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The FEMa courses are the NIMS (ICS) courses. They are free, and most are available online. A FEMA Student ID is required, see for info on getting one (no cost). A certificate of completion is awarded at the succesful passing of the ending exam. LEPCs will frequently offer the classroom versions, again, at no cost.

  • FEMA Independent Study Courses
  • NIMS–IS-700—An overview of the National Incident Management System (3 hrs)
  • IS–100 (3 hrs)  & IS–200 (3 hrs) —Basic Incident Command System; IS–100 and 700 are often taken together as a bare minimum.