July 18, 2024


There have been many articles written about training needed to belong to an ARES group.  I think we need to remember the ARES manual indicates that only licensed amateur radio operators are eligible to apply for membership.  That is the basic qualification and you also want to provide communications in time of natural or man-made disaster to your communiy.

Certainly, when disaster strikes, there will be much activity in a very short amount of time to get up and running and establishing emergency communications to a particular group.  Procedures and processes may not be important in the short term.  But, as we interact with agencies that have a structure in place, they will expect and in some cases require us to have certain basic emergency communications training before we can provide them any communication services.

The Peoria County ARES groups is committed to provide training for the necessary emergency communication support that Amateur Radio Operators are known for.

Weather Spotter Training

2 Dates for 2023 Spotter Training have been published

  • March 9, 7 PM at Bartonville American Legion (PAARC Club Meeting)
  • March 20, 6 PM at Caterpillar Edwards Demonstration & Training Center – sign up at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KMWCFZC (sponsored by Peoria County EMA)

Some courses are provided by the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League):

Basic EmComm Training Course

Intermediate EmComm Training Course

Here are links to FEMA courses of critical interest to ARES operators:

ICS-100.b Introduction to Incident Command System

ICS-200.b ICS for Single Incidents and Initial Action Incidents

IS-700 NIMS: An Introduction

IS-800 National Response Framework

IS-240.a Leadership & Influence

IS-241.a Decision Making & Problem Solving

IS-1 Emergency Manager, An Orientation to the Position

IS-288 The Role of Voluntary Agencies in Emergency Management

IS-244.a Developing and Managing Volunteers

IS-120.a An Introduction to Exercises

IS-130 Exercise Evaluation and Improvement Planning

IS-139 Exercise Design

Many of these courses are requirements for ARES operators registering with local emergency management/public safety agencies and more and more ARES programs across the country. Along with the basic ARRL emcomm course, they form the foundation for an educated, certified, trained corps of ARES volunteers prepared to serve as assets and not liabilities to their communities during disaster situations.

How to get a FEMA Student Identification Number (SID)

You must obtain a FEMA SID to register for FEMA online courses
● Go to the following site – https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid
● “X” out of the messages pop-up screen
● Click the “Register for a FEMA SID” button
● Place your info in the fields presented
● Click Register button at the bottom
● Your SID will come in an email – save that SID securely and forever

How to Take FEMA Courses Online (look for some of the following words)
● Start at https://training.fema.gov
● Click on “Independent Study Online courses available free of charge”
● Scroll down the page, next to “Distance Learning” enter IS-100 in the search box (repeat later for 200, 700, 800).  Then Click on the “Search IS” Box
● Scroll down the resulting page, click on the Title next to IS-100
● Scroll down the page, click on “Interactive Web Based Course” under “TAKE THIS COURSE”
● You can also download Classroom Materials here
● Final Exams are also Online – plan to take them without leaving your computer
● You must login with your FEMA SID to take the exams!

Training Documentation

● Our Training Documentation Form is available as a fillable PDF file at this link:

● Save this file to your computer, rename it to include your Name and Call Sign
● Open the file with a modern PDF application (Adobe Acrobat, Fox-It PDF Reader, etc), and enter your information (dates are best or simply “Yes” for the Skills you have demonstrated)
● Send the file back to KD9ANU@ARRL.net
● Keep this file around to later update with future Training that you complete