Amateur Radio Emergency Service
|Canada's National Amateur Radio Society|
|"We're ALL about Amateur Radio!"|
If terms used on these pages are confusing to you, you may find some help at the RAC Field Services glossary of terms.
Photo ID Cards for the entire RAC ARES -- All ARES members, regardless of position, are requested to obtain official ARES identification.
If you are an EC, a DEC, an SEC or an SM and do not yet have a RAC ARES Photo ID card, please CLICK HERE.
If you are an ARES Unit Emcomm Operator, AEC, ASEC or ADEC and do not yet have a RAC ARES Photo ID Card, please CLICK HERE.
Emergency Radio Operators Are Needed
As the incidence of disasters and emergencies of all types and causes increases, so does the need for emergency agencies to provide help in stricken areas. Major emergencies can strike anywhere, anytime, without warning.
Often, existing means of communications, be they landline telephone, cellular phone or wireless radio links, become unusable because they are overloaded or simply no longer exist. They get overloaded when too many persons try at the same time to dial for help or to check on a friend or family member in a disaster area. They can become non-existent when wires and towers topple and electrical supplies fail, due to acts of nature or terrorism.
When emergency agencies are required in a zone of disaster, their regular means of communications can be affected by the same disruptive causes as others. That creates a need for a supplemental or back-up communications system, one that comes complete with equipment and trained operators who are licenced by the Canadian government, all at no cost to the public or the agency involved. In fact, these men and women are volunteers, members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) sponsored and operated by Radio Amateurs of Canada.
Amateur Radio is in need of persons who recognize how crucial our back-up service is to those agencies that respond in times of emergency and to the members of the public we serve. If you have not yet obtained your Amateur Radio Operator Certificate, you are strongly urged to do so in order that you, too, may become a trained emergency radio operator. (See Beginners Info)
Primarily because of age, our numbers are becoming smaller and new volunteers are needed for this important community resource. If you are a licenced ham, you too are encouraged to consider helping in this vital service and giving something back to a hobby/service that we all love.
The ARES is composed of licenced radio amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications (see the Registration Form below) and equipment for communications duty in the public service, when disaster strikes. Every licenced radio amateur, whether or not a member of RAC or of any other local or regional organization, is eligible for membership in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. The only qualification is a sincere desire to serve. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable but not a requirement. Training is accomplished locally, using documents provided by or through RAC. And RAC has its own national ARES Operations Training Manual -- see below.
Emergency service activities in each RAC Section are under the direction of the Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC), who is appointed by the Section Manager (SM). The radio amateurs in each community within the Section register their facilities with the local Emergency Coordinator (EC), who is also appointed by the SM or SEC. In order to provide better support in areas where there is a large number of EC appointments, the position of District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) is appointed by the SM. Being RAC officers, these appointments must be RAC members.
However, as noted above, other members of a local ARES organization need not necessarily be RAC members, but membership is strongly urged and it only makes sense to be a voting member of RAC. YOU could fill any of these positions, either yourself or by nominating someone else. Fill out the ARES Registration form below and send it to the EC nearest to you or to your Section Manager.
Click RAC Membership Search to verify membership of appointed Field Organization officials or of other Radio Amateurs.
ARES National ID Cards
A new official RAC ARES national identification card has been created, for RAC-appointed leaders and for other members of the RAC ARES. SECs, DECs, ECs and SMs, please click HERE. All other ARES members, including locally appointed Assistants, please click HERE.
Official RAC ARES Safety Vests
An official RAC ARES EMCOMM vest is now available to members of the RAC ARES. The vest includes a sewn-on ARES crest, an epaulette for a speaker-mic clip, pocket to hold most modern hand-helds and a pen pocket. For more information, please click HERE.
RAC ARES Operations Training Manual
After more than a year of planning, research and writing, the new official RAC ARES Training Manual has been completed. To download this comprehensive document, please click HERE.
RAC ARES EMCOMM Frequencies
A list of suggested HF emergency frequencies for ARES and other Emcomm groups across Canada has been created. To see it, please click HERE.
Want to Support the ARES Financially?
To make YOUR donation, large or small, either by mail or on-line, please CLICK HERE. Additionally, any person, club, group or business wishing to make a donation may do so by contacting RAC Headquarters by , >website or by telephone toll-free at 1-877-273-8304. Or contact the CFSO directly. You will be helping to support a community resource and at the same time quite possibly helping to ensure the future of Amateur Radio.
Questions About the ARES?
Please check our Frequently Asked Questions About ARES page. You may also contact the , Chief Field Services Officer, or your local Section Manager, if you want specific information about how you can participate in any aspect of the ARES.
ARES Registration Form
You may become a part of the ARES in your locality by completing this National Registration Form.
Start A New ARES Unit
If you or your club wishes to propose formation of a new ARES unit, in an area where one does not currently exist or isn't active as a true ARES unit, you may do so using the Proposed New ARES Unit Information Form.
On-line Discussion Group for ARES
A forum exists for SECs, DECs and ECs to discuss matters of mutual interest and to exchange useful information and to receive news directly from the RAC Field Organization. It is limited to those appointed officials. To subscribe please .
Official Field Services Badges
These may be ordered using this order form (elected/appointed FS officials only).
Items including jackets, caps, magnetic signs, ceramic mugs, note pads and ready-bags are available from the RAC Online Store.
SET and CEC Info
Click on the navigation bar links at the top of this page for information on the annual Simulated Emergency Test, the RAC Certified Emergency Coordinator program and for the names and addresses of some of the selfless volunteers across the country who contribute their time and effort to making the organization a success as a vital community resource.
Public Service Activity Reporting
Each year Amateur Radio donates thousands of person-hours of supplementary public service communications during real emergencies, through simulated emergency tests and at events such as parades and marathons. Participation in these kinds of events shows Amateur Radio at its best. It is critically important that RAC bring documentation of this public service work to the attention of Industry Canada and other public officials. Don't hide your light under a bushel.
Please REPORT your activities through use of the Public Service Report. ALL activities, not only those involving RAC-sponsored services, should be reported.
Regional Amateur Radio Alert Network
A new service, the Regional Amateur Radio Alert Network (RARAN), has been set up by RAC's Field Services to support the AMBER Alert, a voluntary co-operative plan with various supporters, including radio/television stations, certain commercial interests and provincial transportation ministries. It is operated by and for the police. The plan calls for police to provide critical information concerning a confirmed child abduction, which could assist in locating the child, to the public.
So far, Amateur Radio operators in Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan have volunteered to form the networks and RARAN is active in both Sections. If you are willing and able to participate in either network, you are encouraged to register by clicking on your respective province (above). More information about the AMBER Alert in Canada can be obtained at here
Any Radio Amateur wishing to assist in setting up a RARAN in a province not yet having one should contact the Chief Field Services Officer.
"RARAN" is a term created by RAC Field Services specifically to identify RAC's Regional Amateur Radio Alert Network and must not be used by any entity or organization to denote any other service or enterprise.
Donations Are Accepted To Support the ARES
In trying to do all that we -- you and the RAC ARES -- wish to do, often the matter of money gets in the way. While those who are members of RAC are also paying the way for those who are not, many tangible support items are virtually impossible to provide without passing along the associated cost to ARES volunteers. We would like to change that and make such items more readily available to the ARES family.
RAC gratefully accepts financial donations, strictly to help in providing the support to which we are committed for the ARES. Even an extra couple of dollars, submitted when joining or renewing membership, can be of great assistance in ensuring that the ARES thrives. Corporate or other such donations would also be beneficial to strengthening and supporting this community resource. Clubs or ARES units might donate fifty cents or a dollar from each hamfest/fleamarket admission or table sale. Even a quarter per head would help! Or, a small portion of receipts from 50/50 draws, commonly held at club meetings, could be earmarked for the ARES.
Membership forms carry a check-off box for such donations, either by mail or on-line through the RAC website. Additionally, any person or business wishing to make a donation may do so by contacting RAC Headquarters by , website or by telephone toll-free at 1-877-273-8304, or by contacting the Chief Field Services Officer directly. The future of Amateur Radio depends upon the ARES and, as a Radio Amateur/ARES member, the future depends upon YOU. (A partial list of ARES fund donors appears here.)
Lapel Pin Identifies Wearer As Part of the ARES Community Resource
RAC Field Services is pleased to introduce a new lapel pin designed and intended solely for those concerned with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), while at the same time providing a source of financial support for the ARES.
ARES members and those who wish to support the ARES may now proudly show themselves in a more formal manner as being part of an important and vital community resource by wearing this exclusive, smartly-styled emblem. Proceeds from sales will go toward supporting the ARES.
This classy-looking pin, just slightly larger than a Canadian quarter, is handsomely crafted in black enamel with gold-coloured raised letters, border and RAC ARES logo.
Instead of the common "push on" method of attachment, which allows "spinning", the pin features a jeweller's clasp, thereby keeping it securely fastened in correct position on your jacket, shirt or coat and greatly reducing chance of loss.
The pin is offered on the RAC Online Store.
RAC Certified Eemergency Coordinator Badge
Important Notice RE Use of the RAC ARES Name and/or Logo
In Canada, the ARES name and logo are the rightful property of Radio Amateurs of Canada Incorporated and registered to RAC as a trade-mark. Only official RAC Amateur Radio Emergency Service organizations or bonafide sponsoring clubs of those organizations are authorized to use the ARES name and/or logo on correspondence, business cards and websites without first obtaining permission from RAC. Any and all use of the RAC AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE & DESIGN trade-mark requires a written licence or permission from Radio Amateurs of Canada Incorporated.
ARES members may use the ARES logo on their own personal QSL cards, stationery, business cards and web pages.
In cases where the ARES logo or name is used on a website that is not part of a recognized RAC Field Services ARES organization or a bonafide sponsoring club, or on a website operated by a non-ARES member, that fact must be prominently displayed on the website's home page by way of a "disclaimer" and notice of trade-mark
This simply means that if you are operating a website displaying the ARES name or logo, but which in itself is not associated with or provided by any recognized ARES unit or ARES member or by a club sponsoring an ARES unit and is not part of the RAC FS ARES internet services, permission must be obtained and the disclaimer and notice of trade-mark must be displayed once that permission is given
In no way is it intended to lessen the importance of that website. Actual bonafide ARES members or groups, or clubs sponsoring those groups, are deemed to be authorized but still must display the disclaimer and trade-mark notice. Those not part of the ARES must obtain written permission by contacting RAC through the Chief Field Services Officer. This is a legal requirement for users and for RAC. If in doubt, contact the CFSO.
The wording for this "disclaimer", to be displayed by the authorized [user] of the RAC ARES logo, is:
"This is an independent website and not part of, nor sponsored by, the Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. The RAC AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE & DESIGN trade-mark is owned by Radio Amateurs of Canada Incorporated. [*User] is a licenced user of the RAC AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE & DESIGN trade-mark". (Note: Insert name of ARES group or other [*User] authorized to use the trade-mark. But make certain that the authorization exists. If in doubt, please contact the Chief Field Services Officer.)
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