Category Archives: Training

New EmComm Training Course from ARRL

This is a revision of the ARRL’s former Emergency Communications Basic/Level 1 course. The course is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. The course has six sections with 29 lesson topics. It includes required student activities, a 35-question final assessment and is expected to take approximately 45 hours to complete over a 9-week period. You will have access to the course platform at any time of day during this 9-week period so you may work according to your own schedule. You must pace yourself to be sure you complete all the required material in the allotted time. Prerequisites include the free mini-courses you can take online at ICS-100 (IS-100.b) (Introduction to the Incident Command System); and IS -700 (National Incident Management System). Also recommended, but not required, are: IS-250, Emergency Support Function 15 (ESF15) External Affairs; and IS-288, The Role of Voluntary Agencies in Emergency Management.

This is a mentored course. You will be assigned to correspond with an experienced radio amateur who will be your resource for any questions you have about the course content. Student and Mentor Expectations are included in the Policies for Online Courses. To register for the course, go to the registration page. The cost is $50 for members, and $85 for non-members.

Why the FEMA courses?

(Reprinted from the October ARES e-letter at

For many years, Amateur Radio has longed to be taken seriously by governmental authorities as a professional-quality resource in disaster response. Although there are areas of the country where achieving and maintaining emergency management agencies’ respect is still a struggle, Amateur Radio’s service during 9/11 and the major hurricane disasters has brought us a new level of respect and new opportunities at the national level.

Being taken seriously as a resource comes with a price, however, that must be paid by individual volunteers, not in dollars but in precious personal time. When the federal government instituted the National Incident Management System (NIMS), it imposed a set of requirements on state and local emergency management agencies and their personnel. Affected personnel include not only paid employees of emergency management and related agencies but also volunteers such as those in volunteer fire companies, ARES, and RACES. If the emergency management agencies are to continue receiving federal funds, personnel must complete a number of FEMA training courses having to do with the Incident Command System (ICS) and NIMS. Individuals who do not complete the training will not be allowed to participate, even as volunteers.

These FEMA courses are free of charge, available on line or sometimes in person at emergency management offices, and not particularly difficult. The courses are useful in familiarizing volunteers with the principles of the Incident Command System and showing where communications fits into the ICS structure. These formal requirements are here to stay and more may follow. At the national level, Amateur Radio has earned the respect we always wanted, bringing us closer to the emergency management establishment. – excerpted from the ARRL National Emergency Response Planning Committee Report (2007)

Recommended Courses

Federal Way Amateur Radio Club Offering D-Star Classes

The Hands on Basic Training and Introductory DSTAR and DRATS Digital classes will be held October 22, 2011 starting at 8:00AM.

This event is located at the City of Federal Way Council Chambers  at 33325 8th Ave. South, Federal Way, WA 98003.

Learn the future of Digital Communications from the ground up by attending all of the Introductory October 22nd classes.

Two weeks later on November 5th,  you can enjoy all of the Main DSTAR and DRATS Workshop talks and advanced techniques that will be held at the Federal Way Community Center located at 876 S. 333rd Street • Federal Way WA 98003

Everyone is welcome to attend and learn about this exciting ham radio future.  The Total Cost for both classes  (Oct 22nd, and Nov 5th) is $35.00 will take you to the pages full of info and registration.

ACES Training

ACES is a very comprehensive training designed to provide the skills necessary to support emergency communications.  It is not just a class with static material because the other attendees are often from other jurisdictions and offer an additional opportunity to network and learn their issues and solutions.  Beyond this, there is a practical element that requires formal message passing and radio programming, in addition to other skills.  We have had great reviews from attendees of all skill levels.

 If you are interested or know someone who might be, please take a look at this flyer.