Save the date!

The 2022 Wisconsin ARES/RACES conference will be Saturday, October 15th from 9:30am - 4:30pm at McMillan Library in Wisconsin Rapids

2021 WI ARES/RACES Conference Take-Away

COVID-19 changed the 23rd annual Wisconsin ARES/RACES Conference, presented by WeComm, Ltd, and held on Zoom Sat. Nov. 13, 2021. The day long event ran from 9 a.m. through 4:45 p.m. with vital talks and discussions as well as special presentations and prizes.


Leaders included:

  • Kyle Schaefer, KC9SDK - SEC
  • Patrick Moretti, KA1RB, SM WI
  • Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA - Central Division Director
  • Paul Hughes, W9CBJ, WI Emergency Management Communications Officer
  • Mike Martens, KB9VBR, DEC NE
  • Douglas W. Lofreddo, N4UCM – Assistant Communications and Warning Officer at WEM
  • Jonathan Markworth, KD9GAE – Ozaukee County ARES/RACES

SEC Kyle Schaefer, KC9SDK, recognized numerous changes in the organization due to the pandemic as well as structural changes in ECs and national movement. Schaefer noted the loss of Richard Engels who started the Wis ARES RACES Webpage and who was a familiar figure documenting past conferences with a camera around his neck.

WECOMM, ARES/RACES statewide net “is there to use, open and free,” noted Schaefer. "Please use it! He said there have been some upgrades to lower its cost of operation. "The biggest cost saving was switching from local ISPs to mostly a single provider—Firstnet." The WECOMM system is aging and needs replacement, warned Schaefer. Operation of effective state-wide communication means funding and that means a daunting $15,000/year. Schaefer noted that if everyone at the conference would give $10-15 a month it would fully fund the WECOMM system. He said government grants formerly available are now gone. Regarding ARES Connect, he said the data was preserved and that Jeff Fillian, KC9UNZ, is working on a new Website. "Member data is critical for credentialing by the state." He showed the WICAMS ID explaining that it tracks its users, adding that it is done professional and it doesn’t look like it’s made in a basement. Schaefer emphasized it is the only valid EMCOMM credential in Wisconsin.

The state of the section is only as unique as Wisconsin, according to SM WI Patrick Moretti, KA1RB. "We have specific ways of doing things," he said. Moretti mentioned that Hamfests have resumed but attendance is still only 70 percent of pre-Covid and club meetings are still on but half-and-half in-person vs Zoom.

Central Division Director Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, addressed the ARRL Chief Executive Officer "merry go round." He said current CEO David Minister, NA2AA, is very aware Ham radio has to move into 21st century.

Special appreciation:

Longtime conference chair Kathy Schramm, KB9UAZ, is retiring. Her enthusiastic efforts were recognized.

EC of the Year Award:

Brian Jansen, KC9GMW, EC for the combined Milwaukee and Waukesha County organizations was recognized for pulling the two counties into one effective group.

Don Michalski Leadership Award:

Amber Kraft, KD9KKY, ASEC Marketing/Recruitment, was licensed in 2019 to be a part of a central Wisconsin search team. She seized every opportunity to better herself, helped improved search and rescue operations.

Texting via APRS is a tool for Hams in emergency situations especially when in cell-limited areas according to Michael Martens, KB9VBR – EC & DEC Marathon County. "Any ham can use the system and anyone can respond," said Martens.

On a very crummy day our served agencies are looking for some calm and that’s you, said Paul Hughes, W9CBJ, WI Emergency Management Communications Officer. He discussed being in the "outfield" for events like an earthquake in the New Madrid (MO) zone. He called on the group to practice, be accurate, learn served agency’s methods, philosophy, and operations. Then be a teacher and interpreter of EMCOMM forms and communication procedures.

A very effective communications mode for EMCOMM is Winlink, according Douglas W. Lofreddo, N4UCM – Assistant Communications and Warning Officer at WEM. And he emphasized that simple rules dominate communication responders:

  • If you did not bring it, you don’t have it
  • Simple is better than complicated
  • If it is not portable, it's expendable
  • You carry your own gear
  • Up and running on VHF is about 15 mintues

New methods of communication create new hazards for communicators, said Jonathan Markworth, KD9GAE – Ozaukee County ARES/RACES. In the past communicators only had to deal with a loss of voice communication but as the complexity of communication modes increase so so the hazards. He also noted that the usual environmental disasters such as tornados and earthquakes now have to include ransomware and hacking. Markworth warned that we—communicators—must remain vigilant because, "THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN....UNTIL IT DOES!" Added Markworth, "we can’t train for every eventuality."

A panel discussion with Jonathan Markworth, KD9GAE; Douglas W. Lofreddo, N4UCM; and Paul Hughes, W9CBJ; concluded the program.

Winners of the major prizes were Aaron Diers, KC0WKP, of a KB9VBR J-pole antenna; Anthony Campion, KC9SZW, a Yaesu HT and Jeff Fields, KF0CTR, a Yaesu FT70DR HT.

Submitted by Bob Seaquist, W9LSE


From Kyle Schaefer, KC9SDK, ARRL Wisconsin Section Emergency Coordinator.....

"Welcome to the Wisconsin ARES/RACES website. I am honored by the opportunity to lead this dedicated group of amateur radio volunteers. Please explore our web site, the means by which we tell our story of service to various public and private agencies and ultimately to our communities. Come back often."

Welcome to Our New SEC
We now have a NEW SEC in Wisconsin ARES/RACES! Please welcome Kyle Schaefer, KC9SDK, to his new position in Wisconsin ARES/RACES.

And a thank you should also go out to Mark Rasmussen, N9MEA, For his service to our organization.

ARES Connect
Amateur Radio Emergency Service Transitioning to New Online Reporting System 02/20/2018 The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will phase out the traditional ARES report forms later this year in favor of an online system called ARES Connect, a volunteer management, communications, and reporting system.
For more information on ARES Connect, go to the ARRL website.
Wisconsin ARES/RACES SE District Certification and Credentialing Opportunity
The Wisconsin ARES/RACES SE District is providing an opportunity for all licensed amateur radio operators to receive instruction for FEMA ICS courses 100, 700, 200, and 800. These courses are required for basic and advanced certification and credentialing for Wisconsin ARES/RACES.
To see more information, click here! (PDF 42KB)
Meet the new leaders stepping up in Wisconsin ARES/RACES

Please welcome Nick Proulx, KC9YLK. His introduction is posted here!

Joshua Roskos, KC9WWH, has accepted the position of WC DEC. His letter of introduction is posted here.

Help Support WeComm

Here is a way for all of us to help support WeComm, who has been helping to support our role for many years.

If you use to make any of your on-line purchases, consider using Amazon Smile ( instead. It is the same old Amazon that you are used to except this link will allow .5% of your purchase to be donated back to WeComm. It doesn't cost you anything to use this. You can buy anything at Amazon Smile that you can purchase at the regular Amazon site. The link provided above will take you to an Amazon Smile login screen that is basically the same as the login for Amazon except that it automatically selects WeComm as the recipient of the donation.

Thanks to WeComm and I hope that the Amateur community can help out WeComm as much as they have helped us.

ARRL Public Service Communications Manual &
ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service Manual

Public Service Communications Manual: PDF - 590KB

ARRL ARES Manual (2015): PDF - 2.6MB


The WI ARES/RACES WinLink Net meets every Tuesday during the 24-hour window of 0000-2400, local time. Check ins accepted by sending a Winlink message with call, first name, city and county to net control operator Jim , KB9MMC. All check ins are acknowledged. This net lets stations do a weekly check on their sending and receiving capabilities, and a complete list of all check ins for the week are is to everyone who checks in on Wednesday.

A reminder of the net is sent each Monday morning. Short exercises or queries are sent about once a month with the reminder. Info bulletins or queries are sent anytime. All WinLink digital operators are welcome, there is no need to be a member of WI ARES/RACES.

SIMCOM Review from WI DMA

WI ARES/RACES gets a nice mention from the Deparment of Military afairs. Read the article here!


At this years conference we paid tribute to Don Michalski W9IXG and his leadership role in Wisconsin ARES/RACES.  Don Michalski was our Section Manager from 1999 – 2015. 

Don’s dedication and commitment to public service helped provide a strong foundation for Wisconsin ARES/RACES.  That is why it was unanimous to permanently change the Wisconsin ARES/RACES Senior Leadership Award, to the Don Michalski Leadership Award.

We are honored that Don’s family could attend and present the award. Don might be gone but we know that his legacy and hard work will continue-on.

Thanks to Michael KB9VBR for recording this tribute.  

Get to know Patrick Moretti, KA1RB
Section Manager (SM) WI

Click here to learn more about our new Section Manager.


To read the current issue or look at past issues, just follow the link: 

The Newest WI ARES/RACES Brochure

Click here to take a look. PDF - 455KB

Are you a Traffic Handler?

We are adding lots of Tips and Resources for the Traffic People out there. Go to the menu and look under "Training" or you can click here!

Abbreviated Incident Action Plan

Skip Sharpe, W9REL, has forwarded a new version of the "Abbreviated Incident Action Plan" Please review here or by going to the vertical menu on the left under "Governing Docs". It is also available on the menu at the bottom of this page.



The Wisconsin ARES/RACES Conference Committee would also like to thank the following for their generous donation of certificates and door prizes: Yaesu, KB9VBR Antennas, ARRL, Tigertronics, MFJ, Unified Microsystems, West Mountain Radio, RT Systems, NF3PJ Software, HRO, John Burningham - W2XAB
Wisconsin ARES/RACES Works With:
arrl WEM Amber alert
FEMA Skywarn WeComm