AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE®
Founded in 1935, the ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and capabilities with local ARES leadership - for communications duty in public service when disaster strikes.
We would like to invite you to join the ARES® organization. https://www.arrlstxvps.org/vault_area/vault_gateway/site_gateway/vault_gateway.php - you will see "Register New Member" on the top left. Click on that and complete the information.
Polk County Area ARES® is part of the South Texas Section, District 2 of the National ARRL organization. The South Texas Section has a Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) who is in charge of the 14 districts. Each district has a District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) and each county is assigned a Emergency Coordinator (EC).
We assist Polk County Emergency Management and other organizations with emergency communications. We also participate in other public service events.
State and Federal agencies mandate that anyone involved in any type of emergency organization, paid or volunteer, be required to meet the minimum requirements of the National Incident Management System - NIMS. The minimum requirements for ARES in Polk County is IS100 and IS700. These courses are online courses and, upon completion, a link will be sent by email to print your certificate. These are the links to the two mini-courses;
The Polk County Office of Emergency Management, as well as Polk County ARES® also require that each member complete (and keep current) the National Weather Service SKYWARN class. Again, this class is offered free of cost and you can attend one of the many offered in the area every year - there is even an online version.
I look forward to you joining us and helping us "When All Else Fails®"
Skip - W5TXT
District Emergency Coordinator - STX ARES® District 2
RADIO AMATEUR CIVIL EMERGENCY SERVICE
Many of us involved in ARES are also members of RACES: Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. RACES is the FEMA 'arm' of Amateur Radio and, as such, in the State of Texas RACES members are so-designated/approved through the Texas Department of Emergency Management. This does require separate application process through the State of Texas, Department of Emergency Management.
ULLWA ARES® Team – Polk County OEM
A Partnership That Radiates!
The Upper Lake Livingston Wireless Association’s ARES® Team (ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service) has had a long relationship with the Polk County Texas Office of Emergency Management. That relationship has really grown this past year.
The ULLWA ARES® group had dwindled in size and interest but has seen renewed energy and growth since the early part of the year, thanks in part to the appointment of a new Emergency Coordinator (EC) who has promoted training and professional development amongst the team members.
Earlier in the year, meetings with the Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator, Courtney Comstock, resulted in the decision to upgrade the old equipment and antennas at the Emergency Operations Center. Multiple members of the ARES® Team worked with the OEM to suggest the new equipment items. The budget for purchasing those new items was approved by the County for the start of the new fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2023.
Several members of the team participated in the statewide Hurricane drill in May of 2023 at the EOC and on their radios. Following that exercise, the new EC met with EMC Comstock and asked if it would be possible to order and install the equipment before October 1. This would allow the team to be fully operational should the county experience an emergency during the current Hurricane season. Ms. Comstock was able to get that approved through the Polk County Judge, Sydney Murphy.
Installed was a Yaesu FTM-300dr and an Icom IC-7300 along with a new vertical dual-band antenna and an OCF dipole antenna on the roof of the Office of Emergency Management.
The ULLWA ARES® Team has grown from seven members at the first of the year in 2023 to twenty-four members today, eleven of which are qualified/credentialed to participate at the EOC, if needed. Nine of our members are also credentialed with RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) as operators through the Texas Department of Emergency Management.