Adams-Arapahoe County ARES Monthly Meeting -- Next membership meeting planned for Thursday, June 9th at 19:00 hours.-- DETAILS IN EMAIL AND ONLINE --

2021 has come to a close and as we move in to 2022, I thought we should take a look back at some of the things that we accomplished this year and while there are too many to list them all but here are a few…

  • Update Weather Forms
  • Winlink Training
  • Operation Big Boy
  • Updated Alert Application
  • Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and Dispatch Training
  • All things digital are just some of the things we did this year.

I would like to thank Randy Councell, NØOEM, and his Training Team. They did a fantastic job of putting together all the training. Also, a big thank you to Ben Baker, KBØUBZ, and the Administration Team for all they do without them we would be at a standstill as he and his team keep all the Google Forms up to date, the alert application, and a few other things so he has a lot on his plate. Ben is also our Operations Section Chief and does a great job helping me and running things when I am not available in addition to the normal things, he does nearly every day to keep us on track. After a year off because of COVID-19, the Arapahoe County Fair returned and we were again asked to provide Public Safety Communications on-site, provide roving patrols for situational awareness, and over-watch of the county’s largest Fair on record and to all those from other districts that responded to our mutual aid request to help with the Fair, a big Thank You! There were a couple of events last year that took us all by surprise and that was Peter Meer, KCØVAQ, stepping down as Emergency Coordinator and of course, the merger of Adams and Arapahoe Counties into one district and me being appointed the new Emergency Coordinator of the newly created district.

As we move into 2022 and beyond, I look forward to working to enhance the great working relationship that each of you in the two counties have established with each other on past exercises into one solid district that is the district everyone inspires to be like. While we lost a few people we picked up a few new members as well and with the background expertise the folks from Adams County ARES brings, we are in outstanding shape.  That does not mean we do not have learning curve as each county brings new components to the table that we are not all at the same knowledge level with and we all need to learn about operating in another county. For example, Adams County ARES brings Amateur Radio Television (ATV) equipment and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. Arapahoe brings Incident Command System (ICS) training, Task Books and the Arapahoe County Fair.  As you see, there is a lot of opportunity for you to be cross trained in just about any area you like, and you have the opportunity to become one of our Subject Matter Experts (our “go to person”) for just about any area you might like to learn about.  Please share your knowledge with us! You are all extremely knowledgeable please share that knowledge with all of us. These two organizations that are merging into one are what they are because one reason. YOU! You are the reason this district exists and without you, your knowledge, your dedication, and willingness to serve other in times of need is why we are one of if not the premier district in the state and for that you should all be very proud!

2022 will bring with it many challenges but none that we cannot overcome if we all lean where we can and help where needed.  We have already done training on the new Arapahoe County EOC and our position in Dispatch and soon we will do training at our other dispatch locations Aurora and Air Life.  Recently, we were asked to participate in an Emergency Operations Center exercise at the Adams County EOC.  There was limited space, so we had three seats available to us. This was attendee my myself, our ARES Operations Section Chief, and our ARES Training Section Chief. It is my understanding that this is the first time in a long time that ARES has been asked to participate. I believe we have built on the relationship that Adams County ARES had started, and I see us doing more with them in the coming years. Planning for the Arapahoe County Fair will start soon and as time goes on, we will have opportunities to work on planning for the Fair. If you are interested, watch for more information to come. I also expect that we may play a part in the Adams County Fair, nothing like the part we play in Arapahoe, but it is the following week. Key members of Command Staff have recently been granted access to some new tools that are used by State, the North Central Region and the Emergency Operations Centers that we have not been able to access to share someone else’s account. We now have our own accounts and have access from anywhere to these tools which is a huge leap forward for us!  You may not realize it, but YOU are a big part of the reason we have made the strides we have. Because of you we have an outstanding reputation with our served agencies the region and the state and you have proven us to be a valuable asset to all of them. It is because of that we are granted more and more access and responsibility to the tools used by our agencies to manage disasters.

This is your organization as without your there would be no Adams and Arapahoe Counties ARES (ACARES). I and your Command Staff appreciate each of you and all you have done to make this organization what it is today! I am here to guide the ship, but this is your organization and your ideas and opinions matter and should be heard and I ask that bring any question, comments, ideas, or concerns to me or a member of your Command Staff.  

Thank you for your service and all you do for ACARES and your communities you are ACARES and while we have a serious mission there is no reason you cannot have fun learning and teaching what you know.

Michael Curta, KDØUFO
Emergency Coordinator
Adams-Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service

Jon Blome, the Colorado Section Emergency Coordinator has appointed Mike Curta, KDØUFO as the new Emergency Coordinator of the newly combined Adams-Arapahoe County ARES district. Here's some information about Mike:

Mike started in public service at 13y/o when he joined Civil Air Patrol.  When Mike was 14, I took a EMT Class before he was old enough to get licensed.  At the same time, he joined a Volunteer Rescue Squad in my hometown where I grew up on the Mississippi.  Mike's father had to sign a release so that he could go on emergency calls. H did a few river rescues and recoveries, responded to a couple of tornadoes, grain elevator explosions and fires etc. At about 16, Mike also joined the Police Explorers where he became Cadet Chief. After High School Mike moved to Denver in 1984 and took his EMT Training for real a year later at the Swedish Hospital Paramedic Education Center. Shortly after that Mike joined Ambulance Service Company (ASC) the largest Ambulance in the state and spent most of my 10 years on the streets on a 911 First Response Ambulance in Downtown Denver, Wheat Ridge and Arvada, where Mike and Erick Bettinger were based at the same station for a year or so. After a back injury, Mike moved on from the ambulance to IT/IS for a cable/internet provider where he has been for over 21 years.  Mike have kept involved by staying active in ARES for the last 12 years or so and holds ICS Certs ICS-100, ICS-200. ICS-300, IS-700, IS-800, NIMS, OPSEC, and EOC Ops. Mike is an S-158 Wildland Fire RADO and has sat on the E I-70 Public Safety Group for several years. Mike is a Certified Drone Pilot and AMA Drone Instructor and fly fixed wing as well. Mike has spent the past 25+ years in Public Safety and have led a successful Non-Profit in the past.

Welcome Mike!!!

This past weekend, Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) showed how prepared we are for responding to our served agencies. The Arapahoe County Office of Emergency Management as well as the Aurora Office of Emergency Management utilized reports from our radio operators to assist in handling the fourth largest winter storm in the metro area history. Our nineteen volunteers, operating from their home stations, provided up-to-date information including: snow fall amounts, visibility, wind speed, temperature, and road conditions.That information was used by the City of Aurora and Arapahoe County to help dispatch appropriate equipment to specific geographic areas.

Arapahoe County ARES was on standby beginning Saturday, March 13th for ten (10) hours. On Sunday, we were active from 09:30 hours to 1800 hours. There was cooperation with our neighboring (Jefferson, Denver, Douglas/Elbert, Boulder, and Adams) counties. Our efforts are really what Amateur Radio and ARES is all about. We believe that we had over 300 volunteer hours of assistance, allowing our served agencies to more effectively handle such disaster as we saw this weekend.

As Emergency Coordinator for Arapahoe County ARES, I am extremely proud of the help we provided. Thank you to all our members who participated. Special thanks to: Mike Curta, KDØUFO, Severe Weather Coordinator, Ben Baker, KBØUBZ, Operations Section Chief, Randy Councell, NOØEM, Training Officer and Liaison Officer, John Nanny, ADØPD, Planning Section Chief, and Alan Bieber, KIØEP, Deputy Training Officer.

Working with Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and all the outstanding members remains a privilege for me.

Respectfully submitted,

Peter Meer, KCØVAQ
Emergency Coordinator
Arapahoe County Amateur Radio Services