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Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®)
3962 Archer Parkway
Cheyenne, WY 82009
The Laramie County ARES® group meets the last Monday of odd months at 7pm and the last Saturday of even months at 8am at the Cheyenne/Laramie County EMA office at 3962 Archer Parkway.
Robert “RJ” Bragg
Laramie County ARES® Emergency Coordinator
ARES® District 7 Emergency Coordinator
Welcome to the Laramie County ARES® site! This site has been designed for everyone, of all ages, interested in Amateur Radio communications during emergencies and volunteering with the Laramie County ARES® group. Here you will find information on our ARES® program and links to other sites associated with ARES®.
If you are an existing ARES® volunteer, click here for volunteer resources.
What is Amateur Radio?
Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It's fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.
Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the "Amateur Bands." These bands are radio frequencies allocated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use by ham radio operators.
Before you can do anything, you need to get an Amateur Radio license from the Federal Communications Commission. Once you have your license, the rest is up to you. What you do next depends on what sort of equipment you intend to use and what type of communication you'd like to try. Find helpful advice for your first ham station and how to get on the air and be sure to join ARRL to take advantage of the numerous membership benefits, including technical support from our Technical Information Service.
Amateur Radio operators come from all walks of life -- doctors, students, kids, politicians, truck drivers, movie stars, missionaries and even your average neighbor next door. They are of all ages, sexes, income levels and nationalities. Whether through Morse Code on an old brass telegraph key, voice communication on a hand-held radio or computerized messages transmitted via satellite, all hams use radio to reach out to the world.
Information from American Radio Relay League website at http://www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio
One of the primary responsibilities of the Amateur Radio Service, as established by Part 97 of the Federal Communications Commission’s regulations, is the performance of public service communications for the general public, particularly in times of emergency when normal communications are not available. To that end, the Laramie County Amateur Radio Emergency Service members, under the oversight of the American Radio Relay League, will equip themselves and train to provide communications as a direct service to the general public through government and relief agencies of Laramie County Wyoming, the State of Wyoming, and Federal Agencies when requested by those agencies. Laramie County ARES® supports our primary served agency, Cheyenne/Laramie County Emergency Management Agency (CLCEMA).
There are two principal groups that handle emergency communications using Amateur Radio; ARES® and RACES. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) is a volunteer group organized through the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). You do not need to be a member of the ARRL to be part of ARES®. The only requirements are to possess an Amateur Radio licensee and have a desire to serve. ARES® members enjoy no special privileges and must comply with all FCC and other government rules when operating. If the President chooses to limit access to the Radio Spectrum under the War Powers Act, or another emergency declaration, ARES® members must fully comply with these rules.
The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) was created to deal with just this situation. Amateur Radio Operators must register with the state or local government in advance of an emergency to be part of RACES. There are many special regulations in part 97 of the FCC rules dealing with this service (Â§97.407). Other than limited drills, RACES can only operate during an officially declared emergency.
Many operators are registered with both organizations so that they can just “change hats” to meet the requirements of any given situation. LC- ARES® members are encouraged to register with RACES as well. Anyone with a valid FCC Amateur Radio Operator License residing in or with a connection to Laramie County is eligible to become a member of LCARES.
Who We Are
While amateur radio is a hobby, we encourage everyone to participate in our weekly nets, various drills/exercises throughout the year, and be prepared to answer the call from our community when emergency communications are needed.
Who We Are Not
We are NOT storm-chasers, nor are we First-Responders. We are a dedicated group of amateur radio operators that follow a chain of command. We deploy only when requested by our served agency, and only when approved by your Emergency Coordinator of Laramie County, or one of the delegated Assistant Emergency Coordinators.
ARES® and Skywarn®
Severe weather affects countless people across the United States and the world each year. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.
Although SKYWARN® spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, the main responsibility of a SKYWARN® spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threatened lives and property.
Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by SKYWARN® spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods.
SKYWARN® storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation's first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time-- seconds and minutes that can help save lives.
Information from National Weather Service-Cheyenne website at https://www.weather.gov/cys/skywarn
Laramie County ARES® members provide support for this program through the ARRL and NOAA Mutual Aid Agreement. In this area, our ARES® volunteers along with other Amateur Radio operators assist with weather spotting and designated ARES® volunteers run the weather nets when SKYWARN® is activated by the NWS office. SKYWARN® Training is provided annually in the Spring using a virtual platform and/or in person. You can find a link to their class schedule in the additional resources section at the bottom of the page.
Become an ARES® Volunteer
Anyone with a valid FCC Amateur Radio Operator License residing in or with a connection to Laramie County is eligible to become a member of LCARES. ARES® volunteers include people from our local neighborhoods, businesses, faith communities, schools and clubs/organizations. ARES® volunteers are described as:
If this describes you, we would be excited to have you on our team! If you do not have an Amateur Radio license, there are several resources that are included in the links below that can help you obtain your license. You may also contact the ARES® Emergency Coordinator with any questions at Laramie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those under 18 years of age, that are interested in ARES®, and you would like to participate in our trainings or events please have a parent/guardian contact us Laramie.email@example.com and specify that you are a teen seeking information on our ARES® group.
The success of the ARES® program is contingent on the quality of training. For all volunteers that may be called upon to respond during a disaster, shall have basic training in the Incident Command System (ICS). The basic trainings are free and online to anyone wishing to take them. The courses are offered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and can be found using the link provided below.
As an ARES® volunteer, a Position Task Book (PTB) will be completed based on the level of involvement you would like to participate in. There are 3 skill levels:
As an Amateur Radio operator and ARES® volunteer, there are endless possibilities for trainings. Since we may be called upon by other agencies to assist with their needs, we conduct trainings on a regular basis and encourage everyone to participate in other group’s trainings. In the past, many Amateur Radio operators looked at themselves strictly as communicators. In the current environment, this is a needed skill that must be matched with other skills that the served agency needs. Most ARES® members look at their job as anything that includes communications. The Amateur Radio community must have the proper training and certifications to be fully utilized by other organizations. Other organizations include, but are not limited to, the following:
ARES® Activity Calendar
LARAMIE COUNTY ARES® INFORMATION
ARES® TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
ARES® Training & Activity Calendar
NWS Skywarn® Annual Training
FEMA Training Site
American Radio Relay League ARES® Site
Wyoming Information Sharing Platform (WISP)
University of Utah Online CERT Basic Course (Lecture) CERT Training & Activity Calendar
Wyoming Office of Homeland Security
National Weather Service
Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department
Wyoming Department of Health
American Red Cross
Wyoming Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services
Shy-Wy Amateur Radio Club
Laramie County CERT
Amateur Radio Licensing Resources
Shy-Wy Amateur Radio Club Website
American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Study Aids American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Test Sessions
National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC)
QRZ.com Practice Exams
FCC Regulations Part 97