What is FCC, ARRL and ARES
The information presented in this site is extracted from FCC, ARRL, ARES and other authoritative websites and presented in condensed form with references to their sources.

The Amateur Radio Service is part of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

Regulations for Amateur Radio Service are defined in Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Subchapter D Part 97 - Amateur Rado Service

The Amateur Radio Service is a voluntary noncommercial communication service, used by qualified persons of any age who are interested in radio technique with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

ARRL is the national association for Amateur Radio in the US. Founded in 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim as The American Radio Relay League, ARRL is a noncommercial organization of radio amateurs. ARRL numbers within its ranks the vast majority of active radio amateurs in the nation and has a proud history of achievement as the standard-bearer in amateur affairs. ARRL's underpinnings as Amateur Radio's witness, partner and forum are defined by five pillars: Public Service, Advocacy, Education, Technology, and Membership.

As the national association for Amateur Radio in the United States, ARRL:
  • Supports the awareness and growth of Amateur Radio worldwide;
  • Advocates for meaningful access to radio spectrum;

  • Strives for every member to get involved, get active, and get on the air;

  • Encourages radio experimentation and, through its members, advances radio technology and education; and

  • Organizes and trains volunteers to serve their communities by providing public service and emergency communications.
In June of 2003 a Statement of Affiliation was signed between the FEMA Citizen Corps and the American Radio Relay League. In this document FEMA and the ARRL "agree to work collaboratively to:
  • Raise public awareness about the use of Amateur Radio as a public safety resource;

  • Provide training and acccreditation for Amateur Radio Emergency Communications;

  • Promote the formation of local Citizen Corps Councils and assist these Councils with provideng public education, training and volunteer service opportunities that support first responders, disaster relief organizations, and community safety efforts;

  • Publicly acknowledge the affiliation of Citizen Corps and the ARRL, which may include website links, co-logos on publcations, and reference in printed materials, including articles and news releases;

  • Coordinate their respective activities to further their shared mission; and

  • Keep each other informed of activities conducted in support of Citizen Corps and to provide an annual report summarizing those activities.
ARRL's volunteer Amateur Radio operators help their communities in good times and bad, through community events, disaster response, and various programs.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)ARES Field Resources Manual, 2008 page 14
The ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public interest when disaster strikes. Membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is not required to join ARES or participate in ARES activities. ARRL membership is, however, required for the leadership appointments described here. Because ARES is an Amateur Radio service, only licensed amateurs are eligible for membership.

ARES Organization
There are three levels of ARES organization - section, district and local. At the section level, the Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) is appointed by the Section Manager (SM) and works under his supervision. (The SM is elected by the ARRL members in the section.) In most sections, the SM delegates to the SEC the administration of the section emergency plan and the authority to appoint District Emergency Coordinators (DECs), Assistant District Emergency Coordinators and local Emergency Coordinators (ECs) to help him run the ARES program in the section. An Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator may be appointed by either the SM or SEC.

Most of the ARES organization and operation gets accomplished at the local level. The local level is where most emergencies occur and where ARES leaders make direct contact with the ARES member-volunteers and with officials of the agencies to be served. The local EC is therefore the key contact in ARES. The EC is appointed by the SEC, usually on the recommendation of the DEC (if there is one). Depending on how the SEC has set up the section for administrative purposes, the EC may have jurisdiction over a small community or a large city, an entire county or even a group of counties. Whatever jurisdiction is assigned, the EC is in charge of all ARES activities in his area, not just one interest group, one agency, one club or one band.

In large sections, the SEC has the option of grouping EC jurisdictions into "districts" and appointing a District EC to coordinate the activities of the local ECs. In some cases, the districts may conform to the boundaries of governmental planning or emergency operations districts, while in others they are simply based on repeater coverage or geographical boundaries.

Special-interest groups are headed up by assistant emergency coordinators (AECs). Assistant ECs are designated by the EC to supervise activities of groups operating in certain bands, especially those groups that play an important role at the local level, but they may be designated in any manner the EC deems appropriate. These assistants, with the EC as chairman, constitute the local ARES "planning committee" and they meet together to discuss problems and plan projects to keep the ARES group active and well trained.

There are any number of different situations and circumstances that might confront an EC, and his ARES unit should be organized in anticipation of them. There is no specific point at which organization ceases and operation commences. Both phases must be concurrent because a living organization is a changing one, and the operations must change with the organization.

Ameteur Radio participation in the Palm Beach County - Division of Emergency Management ICS is spelled out in the Community Emergency Management Plan - 2011 (CEMP) as functional entities under Logistics Section, Support Branch, Communications Unit, Supporting Agencies (page 59); All-Hazards Exercise Plan (page 86). Ameteur Radio participation is also called out as part of its functional ties to the CERT Teams in the EOA Branch (page 53); as a Support Agency (page 54); Rapid Impact Assessment (page 112); and in the Public Information Unit, CERT Teams (PAGE 142).

Ameteur Radio participation in Citizen Corps CERT the ICS is called out in the FEMA Starting & Maintaining a CERT Program, How to organize CERT Teams, pages 17 through 19 and CERT Basic Training Participant Manual, Unit 6:CERT Organization, page 6-2 through 6-8.

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