CCAR, ARES and RACES
CCAR is a volunteer organization of licensed radio amateurs who register their capabilities and
equipment for providing emergency communications as a public service to the community.
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), is a field organization of the American Radio Relay
League (ARRL). ARES community service events are generally in cooperation with well known
charitable fundraising organizations and are considered part of CCAR training.
The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)--as stated in Part 97 Amateur Radio
Service, Federal Communications Commission Regulations [97.407]--requires that a participating Amateur station be "certified by a civil defense organization and enrolled in that organization." This registration form is an addendum to the CCAR roster on file with the Chester County Department of Emergency Services, our Civil Defense sponsor. We suggest that you carefully read Part 97 (with emphasis on 97.407 concerning RACES) for additional information. RACES training exercises are conducted by the Chester County Government, usually in cooperation with PEMA and/or FEMA.
Active Membership Requirements
In order to maintain an informed, prepared and effective volunteer emergency communications group, CCAR has minimum requirements to stay in active status. The active member requirement is participation in a minimum of one activity each month. Activities are (1) public service events, (2) weekly information net check-in, (3) exercises, (4) training sessions, and (5) meeting attendance. Activities provide information and familiarity that helps to minimize confusion during a real incident call out. Charitable or community public service events have several purposes and are truly hands-on training opportunities that identify equipment capability, proper communications interaction and tactical effectiveness.
Emergency communicators with experience know that normal amateur radio operating skills are not enough in an emergency. The ARRL has set a standard for the training of Amateur Radio emergency volunteers with their three-level emergency communications courses and certifications. CCAR has adopted the Level I Emergency Communications Certification as the standard for active member knowledge and operating skill. We strongly encourage continuous improvement through training, self-study and practice, which is necessary for effectiveness and to maintain the respect of our government sponsors and served agencies. CCAR maintains an active training and examination program by which members can easily earn all three levels of certification.