ACARES Monthly Meeting -- June 8th 7:00pm -- CCSD ESC 4700 S. Yosemite St. Greenwood Village, CO

What is ACARES (Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service)

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service, (ARES) is a part of the field organization of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) the national membership association for Amateur Radio operators. The League represents Amateur Radio interests to regulatory bodies, provides technical advice and assistance to Amateur Radio enthusiasts and supports a number of educational programs throughout the country. ARRL is a non-profit organization and has a membership of approximately 156,000.

The ARRL has 120 full- and part-time staff members. The field organization of the ARRL is broken down into fifteen (15) Divisions which are further broken down into a total of seventy-one (71) administrative sections. Each division has a Director and Vice Directors as appropriate. Each section has a Manager, who then appoints other assistants and coordinators to assist them in fulfilling their role. One of those positions is the Section Emergency Coordinator who is responsible for all emergency communications and ARES within their section.

The sections are then divided down into even smaller areas called districts. The SEC appoints District Emergency Coordinators who are responsible for their particular district. Districts are generally further divided down by counties as in the case of ACARES as we are in Arapahoe County. In some cases a district may include one or more counties but regardless, each district will have an Emergency Coordinator and assistants who are responsible for emergency communications for that unit.


Amateur Radio During and After Disasters

Amateur Radio operators set up and operate organized communication networks locally for governmental and emergency officials, as well as non-commercial communication for private citizens affected by the disaster. Amateur Radio operators are most likely to be active after disasters that damage regular lines of communications due to power outages and destruction of telephone, cellular and other infrastructure-dependent systems.

Amateur Radio Operators Help Local Officials

Many radio amateurs are active as communications volunteers with local public safety organizations. In addition, in some disasters, radio frequencies are not coordinated among relief officials and Amateur Radio operators step in to coordinate communication when radio towers and other elements in the communications infrastructure are damaged.

Nationally Amateur Radio Is Recognized as a Resource by National Relief Organizations. Many national organizations have formal agreements with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and other Amateur Radio groups including:

  • American Red Cross
  • Association of Public Safety Communications Officials
  • Citizen Corps - Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • National Communications System
  • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • National Traffic System
  • National Weather Service
  • Salvation Army

Locally ACARES cooperates and works hand in hand with a number of local governmental agencies, hospitals and non-governmental agencies. We have Memorandums of Understanding with the following agencies:

  • Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office
  • Aurora Repeater Association
  • City of Aurora
  • City of Englewood
  • City of Greenwood Village
  • City of Littleton
  • O.M.E.G.A. Responders
  • Rocky Mountain Ham Radio
  • Rocky Mounting United Methodist Church
  • Tri-County Health Department

For more information including our corporate, non-profit status and details regarding our Memorandums of Understanding, please visit our Admin Section.