Arapahoe County ARES Monthly Meeting -- Next meeting planned for Thursday, October 14th at 19:00 hours. This will be an in person meeting. NOTE NEW START TIME -- DETAILS IN EMAIL AND ONLINE --

Minimum Requirements

Why do we need ICS Certifications?

We require ICS 100, 200, 700, and 800 at a minimum but why? In a nutshell, the reason we need it is because our served agencies, Arapahoe County Sheriff and City of Aurora to name a few use it. Period. We MUST know where we fit in, how we fit in, and why we fit in so that we can blend in and contribute to solving the problem at hand.

Maybe my introduction to ICS will be helpful to your understanding. I started out in the Volunteer Fire Department before ICS and everything worked great! Our mutual aid departments were also in Santa Fe County so we all followed the same training format and shared the same terminology. Our district, La Cienega Fire & Rescue, included Interstate 25 which meant we we shared a border with Sandoval County and also with Santo Domingo Indian Pueblo. Lucky for us, we all had the New Mexico State Fire frequency programmed into EVERY Fire/EMS/LE radio. This allowed us to talk and coordinate just fine.

As time went on we kept reading and hearing about the firefighter fatalities and complete failure of firefighting in Southern California and it was then that people started talking about a “Unified Command.” In short and over a long period of time this evolved into what we now know as ICS.

When ICS was thrust upon us, we thought, Hey!, our system isn't broke so why fix it? For me, it was an event/case study complete with video and graphic photographs that put it all in perspective.

This is what I remember from almost 30 years ago...3 firefighters, in what you and I would call a Class A engine or pumper for slang were sitting on a ridge top in Southern California. This truck was not as big as the City Engines we see today, but was typical of rural fire engines. It was a relatively short wheelbase, had a pump that could push 1250 gallons per minute, and had a 500 gallon water tank. When they ran out of water they moved to top of the ridge line and radioed into their “Unified Command” and requested a tanker. California Department of Forestry acknowledged their request and told them to “sit tight” someone was on the way. As the 3 firefighters took a break they noticed a slurry bomber coming in for a run. I suppose they watched it with a sense of awe,as I have, until they realized it was headed straight for them. At the last second they dove underneath their Fire Engine to protect themselves. The weight of the slurry at the speed of the bomber hit the fire truck so hard it blew the tires out and bottomed out the suspension and killed the firefighters.

But how and why did that happen??? They radio “Unified Command” that was supposed to fix all of the earlier problems!

As a rural firefighter called out to wildland fires in other districts and areas it was clear to me that I needed to learn the new way so I did not end up like those 3 firefighters on that ridge line.

In our rural and metro fire departments a “Tanker” was a semi-truck with a 3,000 to 5,000 water tank. In a “local” wildfire scenario the “tanker” takes water to the “engines” that need it. In the Forest Service(Federal/National Level) a “Tanker” is what you and I would have called (before our ICS Training!) a Slurry Bomber, a big airplane. Incidentally, the Forest Service term for the Rural/Metro “tanker” is “Water Tender.”

ICS bridges the gap by providing common terminology, a common command structure, and a common duty. You ALWAYS know what YOUR role in the situation is, what the chain of command is, what everybody else' role is and everybody knows what frequencies are used for what communications. Another huge benefit of ICS is it's scalability. You can use it for an event like the Hayman fire and just as easily use it for a single car off the road with a handful or responders.

As Radio Communicators you may put somebody's life at risk if you get the radio call for a Tanker and you send a Slurry Bomber!. This is why it's so incredibly important that you take the training seriously and every year you revisit it for updates. As someone who's been on the other end of that radio call and who put his life in the hands of that unfamiliar voice I cannot understate the importance of this!

It's clear to me that we've done the ICS training but, we don't really use it so we don't fully understand it. At Agua Fria Fire & Rescue we made it a point to implement ICS in EVERY event we did. When we had public activities we did an IAP and we filled every ICS position. Some positions might have been filled by the same individual but every position was filled. When we had that 1 car rollover in the middle of the night we used ICS. There may have been 4 responders but we used ICS! That's how we learned it and I would like to see us start using it more in our events & training's.

In the March 2016 edition of QST magazine, Public Service column pages 81 & 82 titled”Education – The Foundation of Preparation” K1CE gives writes “A brief guide to FEMA's Independent Study courses for he public service communicator.” I will send an e-mail out with this article attached in case you missed it. Please read it!

In the May 2016 QST, the same column pages 77 & 78 K1CE pen's an article titled “AUXCOMM – Intense Training for Incident Communications” in which he provides a “review of a tough Federal course for serious communicators.” This article will give you a heads up on what our Colorado AuxComm training will be like. I will send a scanned copy of it too.

I hope my rambling has helped some of you, but if it's still clear as mud I ask that you let me know as I'm sure you aren't the only one. It is vitally important that YOU fully understand ICS before you participate in events with our served agencies.


We have uploaded the New Member Orientation in a PowerPoint format for you to download to your PC and view locally. If you do not have Microsoft PowerPoint we recommend you download the Apache Open Office suite at the link below. There is no cost for Apache Open Office and it will read and create Microsoft Office compatible documents.

Please download the New Member Orientation pps above, view it, and once you are comfortable with the information it contains please click on the link to the New Member Orientation Quiz. This is a short and easy quiz just to review the highlights of the Orientation. It should take you about 5 minutes to complete. Once you have taken the quiz your results will be e-mailed to training, for grading. He will respond to you with your score and can answer any questions you might have.

If you have any questions about the Orientation or it’s contents please contact Training. If you have any problems downloading the Orientation or accessing the Quiz please contact Kevin, N2NWA.

2021 Training & Exercise Calendar - Updated September 15th

(Trainings & Exercises are subject to change during the year)

  • Jan 14 - POD Preparation/HIPAA/Media/Situational Awareness by ARES Staff
  • Jan 24 - Winlink review filling out and sending ICS309 by KIØEP
  • Jan 30 - Communication Exercise - NCR Winter Field Day - Regional ARES Groups - (0930-1200hrs)
  • Feb 11 - 911/PSAP, & Public Safety Dispatching by Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office 911 Trainer Cory Rieck
  • Feb 25 - DTRS Radio System overview - Special Training by KBØUBZ/NØOEM
  • Mar 11 - HazMat Awareness by Randy Perlis CDPHE/Weather Preparedness by KBØUBZ/KDØUFO/NØOEM
  • Mar 14 - Winter Storm Blizzard - Operation Snow Dump 2021 - (0800-1800hrs)
  • Apr 08 - SKYWARN Training by NWS (Open to the Public & All ARES Members - starts at 1830hrs)
  • Apr 11 - NET Exercise - Operation Triple Break - (0930-1000hrs)
  • Apr 24 - Weather Exercise - Operation Cherry Bomb - Regional ARES Groups - (0800-1500hrs)
  • May 06 - Winlink/EMCOMM by KIØEP/DMR by KE0DC/Weather Reporting Protocol by KB0UBZ
  • May 08 - World Red Cross Day EMCOMM Exercise (Nationwide Exercise)
  • May 13 - SKYWARN Training by NWS (Open to the Public & All ARES members - starts at 1830hrs)
  • May 16 - NET Exercise - Operation Now What - (0930-1000hrs)
  • Jun 10 - Search & Rescue by WØJEN & K0KHA / MARS by WØUAW / ARES Operation/Response Manual by KCØVAQ
  • Jun 17 - Cancelled - Night Exercise - Operation Do You Know (1900-2030hrs)
  • Jun 26-27 - ARRL Field Day - Regional ARES Groups 
  • Jul 08 - County Fair IAP by KBØUBZ - (In Person Meeting at ACSO Substation at 19:30hrs)
  • Jul 10 - Table Top Exercise - Operation Merry Go Round  (0930-1230hrs at ESC Room 147)
  • July 22-25 - Arapahoe County Fair - Regional ARES Members  (See Public Affairs webpage for further details )
  • Aug 12 - AAR of County Fair by KBØUBZ / Sept & Oct Exercise Updates / County Infrastructure TTX by N0OEM 
  • Aug 23 - NET Exercise - Alert System Drill at 0945 hrs
  • Sep 05 - East I70 Corridor Exercise/Event - Operation Big Boy 4014 (1200-1900hrs)
  • Sep 09 - AAR Big Boy Exercise / East I70 Corridor Plan by N0OEM / Drones by KD0UFO
  • Sep 11 - Text Alert Readiness Drill at 0945 hrs
  • Oct 02 - Colorado SET Exercise - (0900-1300hrs - TBA Further Details)
  • Oct 14 - Colorado SET Exercise AAR by N0OEM & ARES Staff 
  • Oct 23 - Great Colorado Shake Out Exercise (TBA - Further Details)
  • Nov 10 - OEM Update by OEM Nate Fogg / ACSO Dispatch Update by Corey/Tiffany - Tour OEM & Dispatch 
  • Dec 04 - SKYWARN Recognition Day Exercise (TBA - Further Details)
  • Dec 09 - Training & Exercise AAR & LLIS of 2021 / 2022 Plans by ARES Staff 

          2020 Training & Exercise Calendar                                                         

  • January 9:         Winter Net Training. by John, ADØPD
  • February 13:     Winter Go Bags. by Ben, KBØUBZ and Yaesu Fusion system, by Mark, KA0TPG
  • March 12:         ICS Forms. by Randy, N0OEM (Meeting Cancelled - COVID)
  • April 9:             Ham Software. by Mark, KD5DKQ
  • May 14:            AuxComm. by Emit Hurdelbrink, WØUAW
  • June 11:           Arapahoe County OEM Nate Fogg - COVID 19 (Summer Wx Exercise June 20)
  • July 9:              Damage Assessment - by Randy, N0OEM  (Damage Assessment Exercise July 19)
  • August 13:      Shelter Communications by ACARES Staff (Shelter Exercise August 29)
  • September 10: National Traffic System (NTS) & Medical/Hospital Communications - by KBØUBZ 
  • September 16: ICS refresher & updates - Make up from cancelled March training - by ACARES Staff  
  • October 3:       (Colorado ARES Statewide SET from 8am-12pm)
  • October 8:       Fusion Communications - by KEØDC & WØSUN
  • November 12:  DMR & WinLink Communications - by KEODC & KIOEP
  • November 14   (Red Cross EMCOMM Exercise - Nationwide)
  • December 5:    (SkyWarn Recognition Day 2020 - Nationwide)
  • December 10:  ACSO Command Post & 2020 Review of Exercises & Training - by ACARES Staff

How to Use COTRAIN, the Colorado state training web site:

  1. Browse to
  2. If you do not have a COTRAIN account, click on the Create an Account button; if you have an account, log in and skip to step 5
  3. When the COTRAIN Create Account page appears, fill in the fields as directed and click Create Account
  4. Log in using your new user name and password
  5. To check what courses COTRAIN has on file for you, click YOUR LEARNING and then click on the Your Transcript tab
  6. To see what courses are available for you to take, click on COURSE CATALOG


All monthly training/meetings are being held on Google Meet at 19:00 hours. Beginning with the August 2021 meeting, we will resume in person meetings.