Association of Emergency Radio Organizations in Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN, February 17, 2012:  

FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino, during the FEMA Think Tank webcast Friday announcing a working agreement with the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), said,   "They're not Amateurs’ but they are very much professionals.

FEMA has a signed agreement with ARRL through its Citizen Corps Program to raise public awareness about the use of Amateur Radio as a public safety resource, provide training and accreditation for Amateur Radio Emergency Communications. FEMA and ARRL hopes this agreement will spur local Ham Radio groups to assist Citizen Corps Councils with public education, training and volunteer service opportunities that support first responders, disaster relief organizations, and community safety efforts.

The agreement adds the ARRL as an affiliate to the four charter Citizen Corps programs: Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), and Medical Reserve Corps. The ARRL joins the National Safety Council, Points of Light Foundation, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, National Volunteer Fire Council, National Fire Protection Association, Save A Life Foundation, and The U.S. Junior Chamber as Citizen Corps affiliate programs.

FEMA, through its Regional Offices, encourages State and local emergency management officials to interact with ARRL officials to establish cooperative relationships, and closer ties with ARRL field organization volunteers. FEMA recognizes that, when these relationships develop at the local level, effective service to the public is significantly enhanced.

In order to facilitate communications with Amateur Radio stations in an emergency, the FCC has issued distinctive Amateur Radio call signs to FEMA. These call signs will be used primarily on the high frequency (HF) bands.

ARRL will encourage the use of Amateur Radio resources in the development of state and local emergency operating plans and the use of those plans to support exercises.

Comments by local ARRL leaders:

“I think it's a good start, and it'll be interesting to see how the ARRL and FEMA work together as this goes forward. Citizens Corps is a good vehicle with which to work. As an SEC, I consider FEMA to be our ultimate served agency, and the League's relationship with them will have a huge impact on how we formulate and strengthen our relationships with state partners at the Section level.” -- Dan Anderson, KD0ASX, Minnesota ARES Section Emergency Coordinator

“I am thrilled that Federal Officials from FEMA are eager to cement a relationship with local amateur radio emergency groups recognizing the importance of such a working emergency relationship in the defense of our communities.” -- Mike Sigelman, K0BUD, ARRL Dakota Division Public Information Officer