The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), is the field arm of the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL). The League deals with all aspects of amateur radio, including legislation, licensing, and contests; the ARES branch specifically handles field communications, particularly during emergencies. When you hear in the news that amateur radio operators were part of a search and rescue operation, assisted in getting aid to a ship in trouble at sea, or provided communications for a Red Cross shelter, you’re likely hearing about ARES volunteers.

ARES consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership. However, federal regulations and other requirements require specific training over and above that required for an amateur license, and to accept a leadership role, you do need to join the ARRL.

ARES volunteers also serve our neighbors by providing free communications at planned events such as air shows, parades, and other events, a win-win situation. Experienced and new operators refresh and polish their emergency-response skills through helping at public events and the public benefits through the service directly provided.

Multnomah County ARES serves agencies within Multnomah County.

Our mission is to provide backup radio communications, staffed by licensed professional amateur radio operators, to served agencies and community organizations within Multnomah County.

Our vision is to continually evolve into highly skilled amateur radio operators who provide multimode communications during community events, emergencies, and disasters for served agencies, community organizations, and the public.

For more information about ARES, see: