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. 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
Southwest part of the
Towns In Region 2
and their ECs
South Central part of
Towns In Region 3
and their ECs
North central part of
Towns In Region 4
and their ADECs
Eastern part of the
Towns In Region 5
and their ECs
Northwest part of the
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 repeaters.
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 Manager (SM)
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
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.