When All Else Fails... Amateur Radio


The Darke County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (DCARES) is a non-profit organization, which does not use local, state, nor federal funds (including tax dollars), to provide this volunteer service to the public. Instead, we are supported through donations, as well as fundraisers, along with time graciously donated by volunteer professional radio operators to provide this service.

To aid in this ever-important endeavor, we have a mobile communications unit that we have been putting together, which will enable these professional volunteers to provide this most important of services to the public at any time it may be needed.


Since the invention of wireless telegraphy at the turn of the twentieth century, amateur radio has brought some of the biggest innovations in communication. Several voice and digital modes are available, on a wide range of wavelengths and frequency, enabling messages to be exchanged locally, nationwide, or globally with minimal equipment and resources. 

Amateur radio emergency communications can be traced back to the very early days of radio when wireless telegraph stations normally used for casual chit-chat and experimentation, would be organized in a network to handle health and welfare messages from the scene of a fire, flood, or other disaster.

Operators taking part in the Amatuer Radio Service are licensed by the Federal Communications Commision (FCC). All candidates are tested for basic to more involved knowledge of electronics and wireless communications, depending on license class. FCC regulations also include the stipulation that amateur stations be available to assist in times of disaster:

Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications. - FCC Part 97.1(a)

It is with these same notions that the Darke County ARES wishes to make itself available in times of public need, and do our part to assist getting the message through.