Emergency Coordinator Job Description

PURPOSE: The ARRL Emergency Coordinator is a key person in WI ARES/RACES. The EC prepares for, and engages in, management of communications needs in disasters, and promotes and enhances the activities of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) for the benefit of the public as a voluntary, noncommercial communications service.


  1. Manage and coordinate the training, organization and emergency participation of members of your unit working in support of the communities, agencies or functions designated by the Section Emergency Coordinator and/or the Section Manager. You direct all matters involving recruitment and utilization of ARES/RACES volunteers for your unit, and work for the growth and increase in strength of the unit. Hold regular meetings of your organized ARES/RACES group, with a significant training activity at each meeting.  Establish local communications networks on a regular basis, and periodically test them by conducting realistic drills. During activations evaluate the communications needs of the jurisdiction and respond quickly to those needs. Assume authority and responsibility for emergency response and performance by ARES personnel under your jurisdiction.

  2. Establish viable working relationships with federal, state, county, city governmental and private agencies and organizations in your jurisdiction, which will need the services of your ARES/RACES unit in emergencies. Determine what agencies are active in your area, evaluate each of their needs, and which ones you are capable of meeting, and then prioritize these agencies and their needs. Discuss your planning with your District Emergency Coordinator, and your counterparts in each of the agencies. Ensure they are aware of your group's capabilities and limitations. Your DEC may elect to bring the SEC into the consultation process.

  3. Develop detailed local operational plans with "served" agency officials in your jurisdiction that define what each of your expectations are during a disaster operation. Work jointly to establish protocols for mutual trust and respect. Technical issues involving message format, security of message transmission, Disaster Welfare Inquiry policies and others, should be reviewed and detailed in your Emergency Communications plan.

  4. Establish an emergency traffic plan (including Welfare traffic), utilizing the National Traffic System as one active component for traffic handling. Establish an operational liaison with local and section nets, particularly for handling Welfare traffic in an emergency situation.

  5. Work with other non-ARES amateur provider-groups and non-ham emergency communications groups to establish mutual aid agreements.

  6. Report monthly to your DEC and SEC.

      a.  Provide information about your ARES/RACES group monthly to your DEC and SEC via ARRL form FSD 212.

      b. Report regularly to the SEC by sending an initial roster of all hams in your group (name, call, address, city, state, zip, home telephone and class of license) so each member may be RACES registered. (All ARES hams in Wisconsin must have registered status as a member of RACES). You are expected to update this data by sending changes to the SEC, or his or her designate, promptly when they occur, with information copies to your DEC.
    QUALIFICATIONS: Technician or higher-class FCC license, and full ARRL REPORTS TO: The DEC in your district. In Wisconsin, the appointing authority for ECs is the SEC, with recommendations from the DEC.

    TIME COMMITMENT: Variable.

    LENGTH OF APPOINTMENT: Open-ended, until terminated by you or the SEC.

    RELATIONSHIPS: You will work closely with your District Emergency Coordinator. However, you will also work with and receive support from the Section Manager, Section Emergency Coordinator and other ARRL officials such as Official Emergency Stations, Section Traffic Manager and members of the National Traffic System. Build relationships with neighboring ECs and plan for mutual aid assistance. Work to develop and build a close functional relationship with your county Emergency Manager and other officials of Wisconsin Emergency Management.

    Literature, guidance and training aids will be provided by the DEC, SEC or SM whenever possible and practical. Special support will be provided on an ad hoc basis, when possible.

    An annual ARES/RACES Conference is held to enable you to meet with your peers, hear of new developments and share ideas. All ECs receive a quarterly ARES/RACES Newsletter that serves these peer communications functions throughout the year as well as serving as an official policy document for Wisconsin ARES/RACES. A wide variety of training courses are available such as several dozen pertinent courses available through FEMA. Wisconsin Emergency Management courses are also available to you.
  7. Revised June 3, 2015

Wisconsin ARES/RACES Works With:
arrl WEM Amber alert
FEMA Skywarn WeComm