Who We Are
The American Radio Relay
League has 15 Divisions covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Each Division is further broken
down into Sections. Larger states may be divided into multiple Sections
but most states, like Connecticut, is a Section onto itself. In our case,
Connecticut is a Section onto itself. Connecticut has been further subdivided
into five Districts that align with those created by the Department of Emergency Services
and Homeland Security (DEMHS).
One of the "League's" programs is called ARES (pronounced air'-ees) which stands
for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service.
ARES works with FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) and provides
emergency communications services for agencies such as The American Red Cross,
the Salvation Army as well as the State Offices of Emergency Management. Many
of our volunteers work in their local communities to help with emergency planning
and communications assistance in times of need.
We are not first responders.
In a crisis, our first priority is to provide needed communications to
the State Office of Emergency Management. This is usually done through
their main HQ in Hartford and the five regional emergency operations centers. We
go where they need us. The next priority is providing communications for
the Red Cross chapters within Connecticut.
Where Am I and Who's In Charge?
Each of these 5 Districts has a District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) appointed to
oversee operations there. Other special DEC’s have been appointed
for working specifically with the Red Cross, National Traffic System, Special
Operations, and National Weather Service/Skywarn.
Emergency Coordinators are appointed by the District Emergency Coordinator to
work in specific towns or localities within their District. All appointments
are subject to the approval of the Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) and the
Section Manager (SM who is the elected head of the Field Organization of the American
Radio Relay League.
If you click on the various positions listed below, they will describe the
qualifications and requirements needed for the position.
Towns in Region 1 and their ECs
Southwest part of the state
Towns In Region 2 and their ECs
South Central part of the state
Towns In Region 3 and their ECs
North central part of the state
Towns In Region 4 and their ADECs
Eastern part of the state
Towns In Region 5 and their ECs
Northwest part of the State
How Does It Work?
Usually we’ll first hear about a situation just like everyone else –
on the news. If not, a call will be placed to the SEC or a DEC from the
State OEM or Red Cross asking for aid. Information about what is needed,
where and when is gathered. This information is passed on to ARES leaders
using whatever communications means are available, most often phone or via linked VHF
Local radio nets are established in each district on planned frequencies and
one or more nets are set up for overall state coordination. This will
include the use of HF, UHF/VHF and packet modes. The SEC coordinates
all movements of volunteers and equipment through the state. The DECs
will set up marshalling sites in the affected areas, make their needs known, and
log in all teams coming into the area to give aid.
WHAT IF I JUST SHOW UP?
Given the current requirements of emergency aid and the probability that it will
also be a crime scene, people who just show up without going through and being properly
assigned and documented at the marshalling areas will probably end up arrested!
ARES volunteers can expect to be assigned to Emergency Operations Centers,
shelters, mobile units working on tactical and logistical problems, hospitals
and clinics, triage areas, and provide communications for critical agencies who
do not have compatible radios of their own. You may be in an office
or out in a parking lot. Our strength is our ability to set up most
anywhere we are asked to help.
The CT ARES Leadership Council
Current members of the CT ARES Leadership Council (CALC) are:
The person in charge of everything in the Section is the Section
The Section Manager (Chuck Motes, K1DFS) is an ex officio member
of the CALC;
The SM may have several assistants:
Al Cohen, W1FXQ; Emiritus Assistant Section Manager (ASM)
Wayne Gronlund ,N1CLV; Assistant Section Manager (ASM)
The person responsible for all the ARES work in a Section
is the Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC).
Mike Walters, W8ZY - Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) -
leader of the team, and overall operational coordination;
Because this is a major job, the SEC will often also have
one or more assistants:
Rod Lane, N1FNE – Assistant SEC;
The District Emergency Coordinators:
DEC (Region 1) Emily Clarke, N1DID
DEC Digital Communications Coordinator;
Official Emergency Stations assigned to management responsibilities may be included
at the discretion of the SEC. These appointees may also be included at
ARES leadership meetings at the request of the SEC.