To prospective members ....

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.

We are ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) and RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service). ARES is sponsored by the private, non-profit organization, the American Radio Relay League (our ham radio national organization). RACES is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered in our state by Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM). Our members are Amateur Radio operators, individually licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. They are trained emergency communicators who have volunteered personal time, skill, and equipment to serve in the public interest. The members have taken ICS-100 and IS-700 to be compliant with NIMS and Incident Command requirements for volunteers. Many members have also taken the basic weather spotting class from the National Weather Service. Many members have gone far beyond this in their training and/or careers when it comes to public safety and emergency communications training/experience.

To our visitors from served agencies and the news media: this is where we convey how we meet the purposes and principles quoted below in Part 97.1 of the Federal Communications Commission regulations governing amateur radio, especially sections (a) covering emergency communications and (d) covering expansion of trained operators.
To our members: this is our place to share what we are about internally, as well as with others, along with maintaining situational awareness through information of activations, events and opportunities to continuously improve through training.

To prospective members, both current amateur radio operators and individuals thinking about becoming "hams" due to interest in being of assistance to your community in emergencies and participation during public service events: this is where we will try to pull you in by telling you about our experiences and capabilities, from our well tested traffic handling process of getting the message through when all else fails to high tech leading edge electronics. There is a fun side to this hobby, too! There is so much to discover.
There are so many specialized interest areas in amateur radio and we have members with experience and knowledge of most, if not all portions of the hobby involving the modes used for emergency communications and provision of public service at a variety of events. Emergency communications and public service are the common themes that bring us together.
Here are those official purposes for amateur radio from the Federal Communications Commission. These are the reasons we have the frequency allocations we enjoy and utilize in the various bands. These are important points to remember for every licensed amateur radio operator.

§97.1 Basis and purpose.-
The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

Look around, there is plenty here to discover and we can always use positive suggestions to keep this web presence current, interesting and worth your time. Thank you for visiting.

Mark Rasmussen, N9MEA
ARRL Wisconsin Section Emergency Coordinator ARES/RACES

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