Clermont Amateur Radio Emergency Services
(From the CARES website at www.w8ema.org)
We are two organizations operating transparently as one with over 25 amateur radio operators participating. CARES is a joint effort from both Clermont County RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) and ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) to assist with emergencies for Clermont County.
Clermont County RACES is part of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), and is a public service provided by a reserve (volunteer) group of Amateur Radio Operators that are administered by local, county and state emergency management agencies, and supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the United States government.
Originally for wartime use, RACES has evolved over the years, as has the meaning of civil defense (which is also called civil preparedness), to encompass all types of emergencies. While operating in a RACES capacity, RACES stations and amateurs registered in the local RACES organization may not communicate with amateurs not operating in a RACES capacity. (Of course, such restrictions do not apply when such stations are operating in a non-RACES–such as ARES–amateur capacity.) Only civil-preparedness communications can be transmitted. Test and drills are permitted only for a maximum of one hour per week. All test and drill messages must be clearly so identified.
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (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.
Although RACES and ARES are separate entities, the ARRL advocates dual membership and cooperative efforts between both groups whenever possible for an ARES group whose members are all enrolled in and certified by RACES to operate in an emergency with great flexibility.
To become a RACES member for Clermont County first acquire your Amateur Radio License and then contact the Clermont County RACES officer, Mark Baker.
Amateur Radio licenses may be obtained by attending classes held by the Milford Amateur Radio Club (www.w8mrc.com).