Changes Coming to the Amateur Radio Emergency Service

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) has been the public service communications program of the ARRL since 1935. Over the program’s eight decades it has occasionally undergone updates to make sure it meets the needs of partners at all levels, adjusts to changes in the Amateur Radio Service, and incorporate lessons learned from emergency and disaster activations. However, the last major update to ARES occurred more than 40 years ago, and it is quite clear that a lot has changed since then.

So, two years ago, the ARRL board of directors created the Public Service Enhancement Working Group to study the ARRL’s public service offerings and recommend changes and improvements. The working group focused on many areas including training, volunteer management, field organization positions, and mission – all areas of concern brought to the board and staff’s attention from those in the field. The recommendations were vetted through a peer review group of field organization volunteers and readied for implementation.

In the months ahead, you will receive information on enhancements coming to the ARES program, including:

  • A new national mission statement for ARES
  • New national training requirements and local training resources for ARES
  • Updated field organization job descriptions
  • Improved ARES operating guidelines
  • New ARES group benefits
  • A new volunteer management system – ARES Connect

The first step in the next evolution of ARES is group identification. Currently there is no way to identify ARES groups or their associated volunteers with a searchable unique designator, which makes reporting and accountability difficult. Beginning January 1, 2018 ARES groups will need to sign up for their unique ARES identification number. This number will be utilized by the ARES Connect system and provide ARES groups with unique benefits (think club affiliation, but for ARES!).

Once ARES groups receive their identification numbers they will be eligible for benefits including:

  • ARES book sets (great for the EOC or Red Cross radio room)
  • New ham referral
  • Early access to the annual ARES Report
  • Email forwarding, which will provide ARES groups that have a club callsign with a uniform “call
  • More to come!

Groups that will need an ARES identification number include local level (city/county/district) and section level. Information about the ARES identification application process will be sent out the week before the application system opens.

If you have any questions, please contact ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U,

ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group

Dale Williams, WA8EFK


ARRL Nebraska Section Emergency Coordinator-Lonnie Rech WDØAOP

Nebraska   UPDATE

New appointments in Nebraska for most all ARES Regions. These are exciting times for ARES in Nebraska, and we have many positions that need to be filled. Getting Re-Energized is part of the process to help make Nebraska ARES one of the best in the Midwest. We are in the process of updating Names, Faces, and Appointments. During the last several months we have made the following appointments for DEC’s:

ARRL New District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for the Northeast Nebraska District is J.R. Rieder KØJWR. J.R. has been busy working with local officials and getting the Northeast District moving forward. Congratulations J.R. Raider KØJWR.

ARRL New District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for the South Central Nebraska District is Michael Matthews-KDØQEO. Congratulations to Michael. Roger Hammond KCØMWM has retired from this appointment to spend more time with family. Thanks Roger for your service.

ARRL District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for the Nebraska Panhandle District is Neal Ziller NØUVP. This is a re-appointment for Neal who has served the Panhandle District for many years. Neal has agreed to stay on as the DEC for this area. A big thanks to Neal.

ARRL District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for the Southwest District is Rick Disney KAØDIZ. Rick has been re-appointed for this area and has been the DEC in this area for many years. Thank you Rick for continued service in this area.

ARRL District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for the Southeast Nebraska District is Reynolds Davis KØGND. Reynolds has agreed to serve another term for the Southeast Nebraska District. Congratulations to Reynolds, and we really appreciate your efforts in this area.

We still have 3 Regions in Nebraska that the DEC appointments are unfilled as of yet.

They are the East Central Region-East Central District (10 Counties) Boone, Platte, Colfax, Dodge, Nance, Howard, Merrick, Polk, Butler, and Saunders.,

The North Central / Sandhills District (22 Counties) Deuel, Keith, Arthur, Grant, Cherry, Hooker, McPherson, Thomas, Logan, Keya Paha, Brown, Rock, Holt, Boyd, Blaine, Loup, Garfield, Wheeler, Valley, Greeley, Sherman, and Custer.,

And the USAI or TriCounty District (3 Counties) Washington, Douglas and Sarpy..

If you are interested in one of these appointments, or know of someone who is, please contact me Lonnie Rech WDØAOP by email at, or

We could use those interested in ARES that are available, qualified and want to serve the ARRL Nebraska Section ARES. You can make a difference. Thank You.