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Spokane County ARES/RACES Plan
Amateur Radio Emergency Service --- Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
Attachment Number 3 of Emergency Support Function Number 2

I. Introduction

A.    Mission

The mission of Spokane County ARES/RACES is to support and enhance the telecommunications needs of its served agencies with the versatile talents and flexible resources of trained and competent amateur radio operators, thereby serving the public interest in times of emergency or special need and fulfilling the basis and purpose ideals of the amateur radio service.


B.     Scope

This plan provides guidance to Spokane County ARES/RACES in its support to local and state government during certain emergency conditions.  It also provides guidance to all parties as to the maintenance of an ARES/RACES program in Spokane County.

C.    Purpose

The purpose of this plan is to address Spokane County ARES/RACES as an officially sanctioned volunteer emergency communications resource in Spokane County and the State of Washington.

This plan stands as Attachment 3 to Emergency Support Function #2 (Communications and Warning) of the Spokane City/County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and enables agencies and organizations having responsibilities outlined under other Emergency Support Functions of the same Spokane City/County plan to include Spokane County ARES/RACES in their emergency plans and programs.

D.    Recognition:  Spokane County ARES/RACES

The Amateur Service is a radio communication service (often referred to as “ham radio”) for the purpose of self training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, duly authorized (federally licensed) persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) are emergency communications services that consist of licensed operators in the Amateur Service who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service.  Though ARES and RACES are technically separate organizations, the Spokane City/County Department of Emergency Management recognizes the privately administered ARES in tandem with the publicly administered RACES as an effective and versatile unification of the county’s amateur radio emergency communications resources.  RACES registration of its total membership officially links the group to its primary client, local and state government, while ARES serves, day to day, as the organizational and operational foundation of the county RACES program.

1.      RACES:  RACES is administered by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is mandated in the Rules and Regulations of the Amateur Service to provide emergency communications to local or state civil preparedness agencies.  RACES operation is authorized by the FCC at the request of a state or federal official, and this operation is strictly limited to official civil preparedness activities in the event of an emergency communications situation.  Amateur radio licensees become members of RACES by registering with their county DEMs.

2.      ARES:  ARES is an activity of a national amateur radio support organization, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) through its Field Services department, offering an effective national-to-local command structure, training aids, operating activities and networking opportunities.  The ARRL maintains memoranda of understanding with national communications trade organizations, relief organizations and government agencies.  ARES membership is open to all amateur radio licensees, and activities are not limited by the necessary operational restrictions placed on RACES activities.  This allows ARES to serve both government and non-government aid providers regardless of whether or not a declared emergency exists.  ARES allows some of the best emergency training opportunities available to members, namely providing support communications for several of the area’s public events and activities in which ARES/RACES operators are often the link between event organizers and emergency services providers.  For this reason, it is the recognized policy of Spokane County ARES/RACS to run all of its operations under this arrangement unless a declaration of a national communications emergency necessitates that operations be conducted exclusively under the RACES rules of part 97.

As one organization, Spokane County ARES/RACES unifies and strengthens the public and private resources of amateur radio and offers consistent and uninterrupted service to the community.    

II.      Authority

Part 97, Subpart E, Federal Communications Commission Rules and Regulations;

RACES Plan, State of Washington Department of Emergency Management;

Spokane City/County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, Emergency Support Function #2:  Communications and Warning;

Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Radio Relay League, Inc., dated August 3, 1984.

III.    Situation

A.    Public Service Obligation

Basic to the ability of any member of Spokane County ARES/RACES to serve the public is a clear understanding of the relationship between amateur radio and the concept of public service.  The Basis and Purpose statement of Part 97 of the FCC Rules and Regulations provides for the Amateur Service by recognizing and encouraging the enhancement “... of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.”  Therefore, all amateur radio licensees should feel an obligation to consider public service a necessary and continuing part of their activities.  Such service is provided strictly on a volunteer basis, as FCC rules prohibit amateur radio operators from either receiving compensation for providing communications or from providing communications specifically intended to further the conduct of commerce.  Active involvement in ARES/RACES is the primary key to be used by the individual Amateur Service licensee in fulfilling this public service obligation.

B.     Planning Assumptions

During the early phases of any area-wide emergency, either within or outside of Spokane County, it can be assumed that the existing communications systems used by most agencies, particularly by those concerned primarily with public safety, may become severely overloaded and may fail completely.  In these instances, volunteer radio communicators may be called upon to supplement existing systems when it is anticipated that those systems may become overloaded or disabled, or when it is necessary to supply communications services where no established links exist.

Public safety communications systems are designed to handle routine emergency situations.  It is not feasible for public service agencies to maintain resources that can meet each and every demand of each and every major disaster or wide-spread communications emergency.  The volunteer communications systems of Spokane County ARES/RACES can be used to complement public safety communications resources, augmenting existing systems, substituting for damaged or inoperable systems, and establishing communications links with otherwise inaccessible areas. The magnitude of a particular emergency situation will determine the degree to which ARES/RACES communications systems and operators are utilized.

IV. Concept of Operations

Under the supervision of the Deputy Director, in accordance with the rules governing RACES, Spokane County Emergency Management provides for involvement of licensees of the Amateur Service in officially sanctioned emergency service work.  By tradition and agreement, Spokane County Emergency Management recognizes Spokane County ARES as the established organizational and operational foundation of the county’s RACES program.  Therefore, in order to encompass the full scope of the group’s mission, the joint organization shall be called Spokane County ARES/RACES. 


A.    Membership

1.      Membership Application and Registration for new ARES/RACES   members

a.   Membership is available to any citizen of the United States possessing a valid FCC Technician class or higher Amateur Radio Operator License.  A copy of the applicants FCC Amateur Radio Operator License shall be submitted to the Spokane County EC with application for membership to be kept on file. Membership in the American Radio Relay League is not required. 

b.   Each candidate for membership must complete and send a Spokane City/County Emergency Worker Registration Card application to Spokane County Emergency Management for a Spokane County Sheriff’s Department Volunteer photo identification card.   Applicants should expect a limited background check to be conducted before approval of their registration is finalized with the signature of the Deputy Director.  Spokane City/County Emergency Management reserves the right to refuse membership to any applicant it deems unsuitable.  Should Emergency Management refuse to issue a Sheriffs Department Volunteer photo identification card, membership with Spokane County ARES/RACES cannot be considered. Furthermore, should the Deputy Director or any representative thereof require any person holding a current Photo ID to surrender this card due to conduct not becoming good amateur practice or behavior that could lead to criminal conviction, membership with Spokane County ARES/RACES shall be terminated.

c.   Completion of additional ARES/RACES database registration forms will be requested by the EC to document the personal skills and resources that applicant’s can offer in service to the organization.

d.   Members are expected to provide and use their own equipment for ARES/RACES activities and training.   There are no specific equipment requirements for members

e.   Members are expected to have transportation in the form of a personal vehicle, someone who will provide them with transportation or public transportation to meetings, public service events, practice drills and activations.  

All members of Spokane County ARES/RACES are volunteers, and the degree of professionalism and/or expertise to which members may either aspire or reach must never cloud this fact with respect to the expectations that are placed upon them at the time of their registration and afterward.

2.    Proof of Membership and Identification

Proof of membership in Spokane County ARES/RACES is an official letter of acceptance from the RACES Officer.  Upon receiving this letter, new members well be directed by the EC to contact Emergency Management to obtain a Spokane County Sheriff’s Department Volunteer photo identification card, complete with identification number and photo on the front and department insignia on the back.  The identification card serves as proof of membership in the field and is to be worn conspicuously on the person of any ARES/RACES member involved in official business for Spokane County.  It will be worn as well for emergency activations, this includes official drills and non-emergency public service events in which ARES/RACES members are working along side personnel from any government agencies served by ARES/RACES.  It is the current practice of Emergency Management to issue the card after six months of active service in ARES/RACES.

Members are not authorized to wear this identification at any other time and must relinquish possession of their Emergency Management and ARES identification cards upon termination of their membership in Spokane County ARES/RACES. 

In addition to the County identification card, an ARES membership card will be given to all new members.  This ARES card, required by the ARRL, serves as a receipt of membership in the ARES organization only and carries no official identification significance with regard to Emergency Management, the Sheriff’s Office or any served agencies.

There is no official uniform for members of Spokane County ARES/RACES, though members may be asked to participate in acquisition of certain clothing items (such as vests, shirts, jackets or hats) that, for certain situations, serve to offer individual members some visual association with the group.

3        Responsibilities of Spokane County ARES/RACES Members

a)      Participating in training sessions;

b)      Briefing the RACES Officer of any changes in equipment or license status that may affect operation in the program

c)      Developing a strong background in emergency procedures, FCC Rules and Regulations and network procedures

d)      Being available when emergency communications are required by the Director of Emergency Management

e)      Helping strengthen the organization by offering suggestions and positive feedback to correct deficiencies

f)        Complying with volunteer standards established by Spokane County ARES/RACES and its served agencies:

Completing NIMS ICS 100 & 700 training   

Receiving HIPPA training to comply with local and state hospital requirements

g)      Notifying the RACES Officer, in writing, when terminating membership.

4        Participation Evaluation and Membership Renewal

Membership will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. Each member is encouraged to participate to the fullest of his or her ability considering the following as active membership:

Checking into at least ten Tuesday night nets per year

Attending at least two monthly meetings per year

Participating in at least one public service event per year

 Participating in at least one practice, simulated emergency or activation per year


The EC can substitute or waive these specific requirements to accommodate members with conflicts due to physical limitations, employment or other personal situations that make participation in these activities difficult or impossible.

The EC can substitute or waive these specific requirements to accommodate members with conflicts due to physical limitations, employment or other personal situations that make participation in these activities difficult or impossible.

B.      The RACES Officer

                                        1.      Appointing the RACES Officer

From the ARES/RACES group, Emergency Management will choose one member to serve as the group’s administrative leader or RACES Officer.  This position is mandated by the rules governing RACES itself, and must be filled by a General Class, Advanced Class or Extra Class licensee, thoroughly knowledgeable of FCC Rules and Regulations and familiar with the functions of the American Radio Relay League and ARES.  Individuals with strong organizational abilities, good verbal and written communications skills and experience in emergency center operations are ideal candidates.


All eligible members of Spokane County ARES/RACES may be considered, though the obvious choice for RACES Officer is the holder of the appointed ARRL Field Services position of Spokane County Emergency Coordinator (EC).  Provided that this individual meets the mandated criteria and is willing to serve in the capacity of RACES officer, and provided that this individual is also acceptable to both the Deputy Director and the Director (the Spokane County Sheriff), the Director will, in writing, appoint this individual RACES Officer.  Should the EC not wish to serve as the RACES officer, or should the Director, for some reason, find the EC an unsuitable candidate, another ARES member may be considered for the position of RACES Officer.  In this case, at the discretion of both the Director and the Deputy Director, the ARES EC will serve as an Assistant RACES officer and the RACES officer will serve as an ARES Assistant EC.  Additional ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinators may serve as assistants to the RACES Officer.  It must remain clear that the RACES Officer serves at the discretion of Emergency Managements Director.

                                        2.      Responsibilities of the RACES Officer

1.      Developing and/or maintaining the local and state government service of Spokane County ARES/RACES;

2.      Acting as a liaison between ARES/RACES and the Deputy Director, keeping the Deputy Director informed of all ARES/RACES activities, progress and needs;

3.      Developing, maintaining and executing a Spokane County ARES/RACES Plan that meets the needs of served agencies in Spokane County and the region;

4.      Recruiting new members from the ranks of both new and established radio amateurs, recommending acceptance or non-acceptance of applications to the Deputy Director;

5.      Developing training and education opportunities for the membership;

6.      Maintaining individual membership files including application form, copy of license, and records of participation in meetings, activations, drills and training (including ARES/RACES public service operating events);

7.      Maintaining records or files pertaining to RACES Station licenses and any equipment belonging to the RACES Unit or otherwise made available to the group on a loan basis;

8.      Leading the group during emergency activations and drills;

9.      Maintaining liaison with other ARES/RACES officers in Washington and northern Idaho.



The ARES/RACES Plan is a document developed by the RACES Officer outlining the organization, administration and action of Spokane County ARES/RACES before, during and after an emergency. It is prepared in accordance with the needs of Spokane County and the region it serves and is approved by the Spokane County Director of Emergency Management. It is forwarded to the Washington State Department of Emergency Management communications officer for coordination and retention. The Spokane County ARES/RACES Plan is to be maintained in the same review and revision cycle as Emergency Support Function #2 of the Spokane City/County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.


FEMA suggests that a Spokane County ARES/RACES Plan should address:

1. Areas where coverage is required;

2. Types of support needed;

3. Identification of networks to be used, including mode, frequency and location of the network control stations for each network;

4. Establishment of the unit’s chain of command;

5. Identification of frequencies (High Frequency, Very High Frequency and Ultra High Frequency) to be used by mobile, portable, repeater and fixed stations;

6. Identification, by address, of all known fixed station locations required to support each network;

7. Definition of the areas of operation of mobile stations required to support each network;

8. Brief description of the communications equipment, including antennas and power sources, required for portable, mobile and fixed operations;

9. Inclusion of a statement that states, “FCC Rules and Regulations apply to the operation of a radio in the Amateur Service and, therefore, apply to the RACES organization.”

V. ARES/RACES Radio Spectrum Network Resources

A. Significant High Frequency (HF) Network Frequencies

1. Washington State Emergency Net, 3985 KHz, LSB, State-wide ARES and RACES coordination between State/County officers;
Scheduled Net Sessions: Monday, 1830 hours Pacific Time and
Saturday, 0900 hours Pacific Time (see Attachment 1); These times may vary depending on seasonal band conditions.

2. Washington Amateur Radio Traffic System, 3970 KHz, LSB,
ARRL National Traffic System Liaison;
Scheduled Net Sessions: Daily, 1800 hours Pacific Time; this time my also vary depending on seasonal band conditions.

3. Washington State Net, 3563 KHz CW,
ARRL National Traffic System Liaison.
Scheduled Net Sessions: Daily, 0730, 1845 (1800 winter, depending on conditions) and 2145 hours Pacific Time;


B. Significant Very High Frequency (VHF) Network Frequencies

1. Spokane County ARES/RACES Net, Primary, 147.30 MHz
FM repeater W7GBU, +600 KHz offset, 100 Hz sub audible tone access;
Emergency simplex (repeater failure only): 147.30 MHz;
Scheduled Net Sessions:  Every Tuesday, 2000 hours Pacific Time (see Attachment 2); Should this repeater fail for any reason, procedure dictates that all stations shall use 147.300
simplex unless otherwise directed.

2. Spokane County ARES/RACES Primary Simplex, 147.48 MHz FM;

3. Spokane County ARES/RACES Net, 1st Alternate:
Inland Empire VHF Radio Amateurs (club) 146.88 MHz
FM repeater WR7VHF, -600 KHz offset 123 tone.  Telephone patch access;

4. Spokane County ARES/RACES Net, 2nd Alternate, 147.06 MHz
FM repeater WA6HSL, +600 KHz offset , 77 Hz sub audible tone access.  This repeater is linked to the Stevens County ARES/RACES 146.62 FM repeater, -600 KHz offset;

5. Spokane County ARES/RACES, City Center Alternate:
Inland Empire VHF Radio Amateurs (club), 147.34 MHz FM repeater WR7VHF, +600 KHz offset, 123 Hz sub audible tone;

6. Spokane County ARES/RACES, North Coverage Alternate: Inland Empire VHF Radio Amateurs (club), 145.43 MHz-FM repeater -600 KHz offset, No sub audible tone.

7. Spokane Repeater Group, Repeater call of K7SRG. on 147.20, +600 KHz. For access please visit - The repeater has a large footprint in Eastern Washington.; 

8. Agilent Spokane Amateur Radio Club 145.210, FM repeater, -600 KHz offset, no sub audible tone required;

9. Spokane County Packet availability: 144.93 FM simplex, type SPOKN, or KC7AAD-4 to connect;

10. VHF packet digipeaters;  145.010 Spokane 1, WR7VHF -3, 145.090 Spokane-2 WR7VHF-4,

11. Spokane County Winlink Gateway station located at the Combined Communications Building, Spokane County Department of Emergency Management. W7GBU-10, 145.090 simplex;

12. Don Felgenhauer.  Winlink Gateway station, K7BFL-10, 145.01 FM simplex;

13. Don Felgenhauer.  Winlink Gateway Station, K7BFL-11, 145.05 FM simplex;

14. Stevens County ARES/RACES Net, 146.62 MHz
FM repeater (Colville, WA) K7JAR, -600 KHz offset.
Scheduled Net Sessions:  Every Sunday, 1945 hours Pacific Time and is linked to the Spokane County, N7BFS 147.06 FM repeater, +600 KHz offset

15. Pend Orielle County ARES/RACES Net, 147.12 MHz,
FM repeater, (near Newport, WA) W7ORR, +600 KHz offset;

16. Bonner County (Idaho) Emergency Communications Net,
 FM Repeater VHF (Sandpoint, ID) N7JCT 145.23 MHz, -600 KHz offset, 100.0 Hz tone  FM Repeater UHF (Sandpoint, ID) K7MEE 444.075 MHz, +5 MHz offset, 100.0 Hz tone Scheduled Net Sessions:  Every Monday, 1800 hours Pacific Time

17. Kootenai County RACES, 147.08 MHz
FM repeater (Coeur d’ Alene, ID) KC7ODP, +600 KHz offset, 100Hz Tone The Kootenai ARES/RACES net meets the first Thursday of the month at 7 PM, following the daily traffic net at 6:30 on 147.08. 

18. Northwest Tri-State Repeater System, 146.82 MHz
FM repeater (Moscow, ID) W7HCJ, -600 KHz offset, linked to
147.24 MHz FM repeater (Spokane) W7HCJ, +600 KHz offset;

19. KBARA System, Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho,
FM repeater system, linked 24 hours:
147.36 MHz,       +600 KHz Offset, NE Washington, Chewelah;
147.38 MHz,       +600 KHz Offset, NE Washington, Spokane;
146.74 MHz,       -600 KHz Offset, SE Washington, Colfax;
147.02 MHz,       +600 KHz Offset, N Idaho, Lookout Pass;
147.28 MHz,       +600 KHz Offset, SE Washington, Walla Walla.

C. Significant Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Network Frequencies

UHF frequencies (in the 440-450 MHz range) are used most often as auxiliary frequencies, in tandem with VHF frequencies, and will be selected just prior to use.

Agilent Spokane Amateur Radio Club repeater, 443.475 -5 MHz, 88.5 sub audible tone.  Echo link node # 282039.  All power has automatic backup power availability;

Inland Empire VHF Club Repeater, 444.900 MHz 123 tone. Spokane Valley

VI. ARES/RACES Emergency Activation

A. Activation of the ARES/RACES group for Served Agencies

1. Activation Authority

For service to government agencies, Spokane County ARES/RACES is activated solely by or through Spokane County Emergency Management. Agencies requesting the services of ARES/RACES must make the request to the EM Deputy Director or the authorized duty officer. Spokane County EM must obtain a mission number from the Washington State DEM before ARES/RACES is authorized to serve these agencies. This policy is of great benefit to ARES/RACES members, for it ensures that, for every activation, each participating member is afforded the protection of the state’s insurance coverage as per RCW 38.52.

Activation Procedure

To activate Spokane County ARES/RACES, the EM Deputy Director or the Duty Officer will make contact with the RACES Officer via telephone. The Deputy Director or Duty Officer may also alert the RACES Officer or a designated RACES assistant via the Spokane County Paging System. (see Attachment 3). If the RACES Officer is not available, a list of several Assistant Emergency Coordinators and other primary ARES/RACES contacts will be consulted, and calls for activation will be made accordingly. Emergency Management will also have the current general membership list and telephone mobilization tree available in case no primary contact is available (see Attachment 4). If a communications emergency exists, a request for Spokane County ARES/RACES members may be aired via the Emergency Alert System. As ARES/RACES members are trained to meet on-the-air on the frequency of the local ARES/RACES repeater when they believe an activation may be imminent, members of the Spokane County Mobile Emergency Coordination Center group (many of whom are also ARES/RACES members) may be used to communicate with ARES/RACES members on behalf of the Emergency Management.

3. Proactive Response

Certain agencies will have in place agreements by which prior contact with and/or by ARES/RACES leaders will be encouraged in order to speed up an eventual response. This practice is called Proactive Response (see Attachment 5). This contact does not signify an official authorization to serve. Standard activation procedure must be followed and a mission number obtained before ARES/RACES volunteers are officially allowed to serve in the field for government agencies.

4. Activation by the Red Cross

With regard to the American Red Cross, the Spokane County ARES/RACES group is authorized to provide service by virtue of the group’s ARRL affiliation and the memorandum of understanding that exists between ARRL and the American Red Cross. Service of this type is possible during times when no emergency has been declared. At this point, such activation is strictly between the group and the Red Cross and does not involve Emergency Management authorization, as members are acting as Red Cross volunteers for whom the Red Cross assumes responsibility. When the Red Cross becomes involved in an incident that calls for ARES/RACES members to serve government agencies as well (with Red Cross responding in cooperation with those agencies), the status of members serving Red Cross may have to be re-evaluated in order to determine if some or all should be considered as EM volunteers at the time.

5. SKYWARN Activation

With regard to the National Weather Service, Spokane County ARES/RACES members serve as NOAA Skywarn Weather Spotters. Spotters are encouraged to report severe local storms and unusual weather phenomena to the Weather Service; however, this activity rarely requires spotters to engage in any activity outside of discussing the situation on the air (a special spotter report collection net may be called for this purpose) and making spotter reports from their homes or wherever they happen to be at the moment, either via radio or telephone, depending upon the demands of the situation. This type of activity is covered in a memorandum of understanding between the ARRL and NOAA and will be considered a non-emergency activity within ARES rather than one requiring EM authorization. Only when the Weather Service specifically requests that ARES/RACES members actually respond to a particular area, in the field as observers or as operators of the ARES/RACES station at the Spokane office of the National Weather Service, must formal authorization through Spokane County Emergency Management be obtained.

B. ARES/RACES Member Mobilization

Spokane County ARES/RACES possesses three means of mobilization that may be set into action by the RACES Officer:

1. On-Air Mobilization: Members are trained to be aware of the world in which they live. It is common for members to congregate on the Spokane County ARES/RACES Repeater when they suspect activation is possible or imminent. A call to activation on the Spokane County ARES/RACES Net frequency will always be attempted before any other means of contact is implemented, for it is the quickest and most efficient means for finding those willing, prepared and able to respond to the first request for operators. Mobilization attempts can also be made by making announcements on other repeaters so that members monitoring them may tune to the Spokane County ARES/RACES Net for further information. On-air mobilization is a vital part of the practice of Proactive Response.

2. Telephone/Text/email Mobilization: Mobilizing the group via telephone, text or email will follow the procedures that apply to the Telephone Mobilization protocol. Providing that telephone systems and the internet are operable, Cell and land line telephone mobilization including email will immediately follow on-air mobilization.

3. Mobilization by Alternate Means: If general communication is impaired to the degree that telephone service is non-existent, alternate means such as use of the Emergency Alert System may be may be requested to broadcast the need for ARES/RACES operators. Such an announcement would be totally at the discretion of the Director.

VII. Operations

A. Tactical Traffic Operations

Tactical traffic will be considered any traffic pertaining to the general coordination of the ARES/RACES operation itself, or any traffic generated by or on behalf of served agencies for coordination purposes, but not requiring a signature or any other such trail of accountability.

B. Formal Traffic Operations

All administrative traffic requiring the signature of the sender will be formatted as formal, written traffic. Originators of such traffic, especially those originating traffic for the purpose of communicating official command decisions, disseminating public information or ordering resources, should be encouraged to prepare messages in writing. When sent, these messages will follow one of two accepted forms:

1. ARRL standard message form (see Attachment 6);

2. State of Washington DEM message form (see Attachment 7).


ARES/RACES Operators should be prepared to send messages using whichever form is best suited for the particular incident. Messages addressed to the State DEM should certainly be sent using the State’s message form. Messages can be translated from the ARRL form to the state form with little difficulty.

C. Equipment

The majority of equipment used in Spokane County ARES/RACES is the personal property of members. With registration, members are required to fill out an equipment resource form. This information is collected and stored in a database so that, if necessary, members may be called for service or assigned tasks on the basis of equipment resources needed for the incident. Members who respond when activation occurs are expected to have equipment that is in good working order (see Attachment 8).


D. VHF/UHF Network Operations

Guided by the personal resources and abilities that ARES/RACES members have declared during registration and proven during operational activities, members will be called upon to fill the following station assignments (as suppliers of equipment and/or operators), according to the needs of the situation at hand:

1. Net Control Station (NCS): This station, at the direction of the RACES Officer, is the traffic controller of the Spokane County ARES/RACES Net (the primary net), maintaining net discipline, logging check-ins and traffic listings and ensuring that all traffic flows smoothly and swiftly to its destination. It is the policy of Spokane County ARES/RACES to locate NCS off-site from any incident scene or command center.

2. Secondary Net Control Station: This station, if needed, will control the frequency of any secondary network established to relieve the primary net or concentrate on the needs of a particular served agency.

3. Liaison Station: This station acts as a messenger, carrying traffic between nets, often monitoring two or more frequencies (or bands) simultaneously. Liaison Stations may operate from their residences or from the field.

4. Relay Station: At the request of NCS or the RACES Officer, this station monitors an operating frequency (either on a repeater or on simplex) and relays traffic between stations that are not otherwise able to pass traffic between each other.

5. Fixed/Portable Station: Any station, not in motion, assigned to a particular location to guard an assigned frequency and pass traffic to and from that location. Fixed/Portable stations may include Emergency Operation Center Stations, Hospital Network Stations, stations assigned to agency command or logistics centers and Emergency Mass Care Shelter Stations.

6. Mobile Station: Any station operating from a motion-capable vehicle on behalf of a served agency requiring versatile movement of that station from one place to another. Mobile stations for various purposes may include personal vehicles, emergency response vehicles, emergency delivery vehicles, transit vehicles, water vessels or aircraft.

7. Handheld Mobile/Portable Station: Stations most often assigned to “shadow” specific individuals such as agency field commanders, EMS officers, or other agency personnel constantly on the move. Handheld stations are also often used as a backup by operators of several other types of stations.

8. Field Packet Station: Stations dispatched to any location in the field to provide a connection for that location to the Spokane County ARES/RACES packet cluster. Packet cluster communications are most often used to pass complex data traffic such as resource communications, automatic communications between locations, communications between stations not suited to voice operations, and messages requiring a higher degree of security than offered by voice modes. The packet mode is also used at locations needing to access the Spokane County ARES/RACES Packet/Pactor Gateway system.

9. Winlink 2000: Spokane County Winlink Gateway station located at the Combined Communications Building, Spokane County Department of Emergency Management. W7GBU-10, 145.090 simplex; Winlink Gateway station, K7BFL-10, 145.010 FM simplex; Winlink Gateway Station, K7BFL-11, 145.050 FM simplex. This system provides an email communications link to outside areas via the Internet through both VHF and HF transmissions

10. Voice Repeater Station (W7GBU): Automatic mountaintop repeater system, dedicated to Spokane County ARES/RACES, with several receiver sites used to vastly extend the range of VHF network station coverage to nearly anywhere in Spokane County. Fixed input/output is 147.90 MHz / 147.30 MHz, respectively, requiring a 100 Hz sub audible tone for access.

E. HF Network Operations

Guided by the personal resources and abilities that ARES/RACES members have declared during registration and proven during operational activities, members will be called upon to fill the following station assignments (as suppliers of equipment and/or operators), according to the needs of the situation at hand:

1. HF Net Control Station: This station, at the direction of the RACES Officer, through coordination with the State DEM, is the traffic controller of the Washington State Emergency Net (or a network established as an auxiliary operation of that net), maintaining net discipline, logging check-ins and traffic listings and ensuring that all traffic flows smoothly and swiftly to its destination. It is the policy of Spokane County ARES/RACES to utilize ARES Official Emergency Station (OES) appointees as much as possible as HF NCS, due to the extremely high level of effectiveness displayed by their stations and operating styles. It is also established policy to locate NCS off-site from any incident scene or command center.

2. Local HF Liaison Station: This station is the Spokane County ARES/RACES Net’s liaison to the Washington State Emergency Net. The requirements of this station and policies governing it are identical to that of the HF Net Control Station, with the additional requirement of maintaining continuous contact with the local incident via voice and/or packet cluster frequencies.

3. National Traffic System Liaison Station: This station is available to deal with formal traffic listed on either the Spokane County ARES/RACES Net or the Washington State Emergency Net (or any associated auxiliary nets) that is designated for delivery via the ARRL’s National Traffic System (NTS) nets. This traffic would include (but would not be limited to) health and welfare traffic.

4. Fixed/Portable HF Station: Any station, not in motion, assigned to a particular location to guard an assigned frequency and pass traffic to and from that location. Fixed/Portable HF Stations are likely to be command and logistics centers in the field, needing direct contact with the Washington State Emergency Net, or locations unable to maintain contact with the net(s) on VHF/UHF frequencies.

5. HF Mobile Station: Any station operating from a motion-capable vehicle on behalf of a served agency requiring versatile movement of that station from one place to another. Mobile stations for various purposes would, due to the nature of HF mobile communications, likely be limited to personal vehicles of ARES/RACES members. HF Mobile Stations, due to their inefficiency, would be used only in cases of absolute necessity.

6. Field Pactor Station: This station is a Fixed/Portable HF Station capable of accessing the Washington State Gateway System via pactor for purposes of maintaining contact with the State DEM station or any one or more of the other gateway stations in the state.

7. Digital Relay Station: This is a specialty station for the purpose of passing large volumes of traffic using advanced digital communications techniques. This station would not be likely to be located in the field and would be assisted in its operation by Liaison Stations.

8. Gateway Station (W7GBU): This is a single automatic fixed pactor/packet gateway station dedicated to the Washington State ARES/RACES Gateway System on 3624 KHz. It has mail drop capabilities for time-delayed communication, and gateway capabilities to 144.95 MHz for real time connection to VHF packet stations. The mail drop is common to both the HF and VHF sides. However, at this time, 10-4-06 this system is not in operation. Changes to this plan will be made at the time this system is placed back in service.

9. Winlink 2000 Airmail: Spokane County Winlink Gateway station located at the Combined Communications Building, Spokane County Department of Emergency Management. W7GBU-10, 145.090 simplex; Winlink Gateway station, K7BFL-10, 145.01 FM simplex; Winlink Gateway Station, K7BFL-11, 145.05 FM simplex. This system provides an email communications link to outside areas via the Internet through both VHF and HF transmissions


Service Responsibilities of Spokane County ARES/RACES

Spokane County ARES/RACES is responsible to serve the agencies featured in this section. A few basic principles apply to all service provided by ARES/RACES. FCC Rules and Regulations, Part 97: FCC Rules and Regulations apply to the operation of a radio in the Amateur Service and, therefore, apply at all times to the operations of Spokane County ARES/RACES and its member volunteers. Responsibilities to Home and Family: During an emergency situation, Spokane County ARES/RACES members are advised to attend to their own personal emergencies first before agreeing to respond to an activation. Limitations of Volunteers in Service: All ARES/RACES members are volunteers. While ARES/RACES maintains a professional approach to service, it must be noted that the responsibilities of volunteers must not be confused with those of professionals with respect to resources, time and total commitment.

Primary Government Agencies Served

Spokane County Emergency Management
Spokane County EM is the primary served agency of Spokane County ARES/RACES and is also is also the clearing house and authorizing agency for all ARES/RACES service to government agencies (see Attachment 9);

Spokane County Emergency Medical Service
(see Attachment 10);

Spokane County Fire Agencies
(see Attachment 11);

Washington Department of Natural Resources, Northeast Region
(see Attachment 12);

National Weather Service, Spokane Office
(see Attachment 13);

Other Government Agencies:
Other agencies associated with a disaster response may require ARES/RACES assistance to link them with the disaster communications network. Service to other agencies would be secondary in priority to those agencies previously mentioned, offered only if ARES/RACES resources are available and authorized at the discretion of the Deputy Director.

Non-Governmental Agencies Served

Inland Northwest Chapter, American Red Cross
(see Attachment 14);

Salvation Army
(see Attachment 15);

Other Non-government Entities:
Associations that Spokane County EM, Red Cross and Salvation Army maintain through the Eastern Washington Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster group (EWAVOAD) may provide for circumstances that call for additional services from ARES/RACES. These requests will be filled at the discretion of the RACES Officer and the Deputy Director.

Jurisdictions Outside Spokane County: Mutual Aid

It is possible that an ARES/RACES organization from an adjoining county in Eastern Washington or Northern Idaho, or from any other area, may request aid from Spokane County ARES/RACES when its own membership is stressed beyond its capacity to provide uninterrupted services during a protracted incident. Providing that a request is being made as per authorization of the respective county EM involved, Spokane County ARES/RACES will do its best to respond and will depend upon the assistance, guidance and authorization of Spokane County DEM in determining what response, if any, is possible.


A. Training through Spokane County Emergency Management

Certification Classes: Through Spokane County EM, classes are available to those who provide emergency services. Spokane County EM will advise the RACES Officer of educational opportunities available to ARES/RACES members.

State DEM Emergency Exercises: During state-wide emergency exercises, at the direction of the state EM, Spokane County EM will activate Spokane County ARES/RACES to provide communications in conjunction with other RACES units around the state. The scope of ARES/RACES involvement depends on the state’s scenario and depth of the county’s involvement.

Spokane County Emergency Management Exercises: As an emergency support resource to Spokane County, Spokane County ARES/RACES will participate in emergency exercises at the direction of EM. Most often, these exercises deal with a variety of mass casualty scenarios, involving communications directly and indirectly supporting patient rescue, transport and treatment.

EOC to EOC Exercises: On any month where there is a fifth Saturday Spokane County ARES/RACES joins the ARES/RACES team located at Camp Murray in Western Washington to test the Amateur Radio resources at our local CCB with each ECC operations center throughout the state. The Communication modes tested are HF Voice, VHF voice, UHF voice, Packet, Winlink 2000 Airmail and testing the HF Pactor gateway utilizing also utilizing Airmail.

B. Training through American Red Cross

Certification Classes: All of the Red Cross classes for volunteers are available to ARES/RACES members.

Emergency Exercises: Red Cross occasionally holds exercises in which it requests the participation of ARES/RACES. Red Cross is always included in the county’s mass casualty drills, with ARES/RACES participating as a resource both to the Red Cross and to government agencies wishing to link with Red Cross.

C. Training through NOAA for Weather Spotters:
The Spokane Office of the National Weather Service offers a special weather spotter training session for ARES/RACES volunteers, usually given annually. This training makes it possible for members to obtain a spotter identification number from the Weather Service.

D. Training from within Spokane County ARES/RACES

Net Sessions: Weekly sessions of the Spokane County ARES/RACES Net will be considered training sessions for all checking in, particularly with respect to members wishing to become Net Control Stations. Net discipline will be strictly enforced and proper procedure will be emphasized. Speed, clarity and efficiency are also emphasized. Each month, members, especially new members, will be called upon by the net manager to volunteer for net control duty, and, by doing so, these volunteers will gain valuable experience that may be applied to emergency net situations.

Training Meetings: Meetings will be held as close to monthly as possible in order to support the activities of ARES/RACES and provide information to help train members in proper practices and procedures. Meetings will present special training opportunities, especially with respect to guest speaker programs and equipment demonstrations. They will also provide opportunities for the group to critique past operations and plan future ones.

Public Service Operating Events: Providing communications services for events sponsored by civic organizations will be considered a primary training opportunity by Spokane County ARES/RACES. With official county exercises and drills being few in number, events such as the Bloomsday fun run and the Lilac Torchlight Parade are excellent opportunities for ARES/RACES members to test practices, procedures and equipment in the field and learn to interface with fire and law enforcement agencies. Small events allow newer members to ease into ARES/RACES operations gracefully. Large events often include multi-frequency, multi-mode operations with many operators, as well as the heightened command and field response elements of fire and law enforcement agencies that members will find during a large-scale emergency.

ARRL Field Day: Members will be encouraged to take part in Field Day, held annually during a weekend at the end of June. Though this is an amateur radio contest sponsored by the ARRL, Spokane County ARES/RACES will treat the event as an exercise of the capability of members to deal with field setup situations, shelter, emergency power generation, equipment pooling, operator endurance, management of stress from difficult operating conditions.

Simulated Emergency Test (SET): Spokane County ARES/RACES will participate in SET annually on the first weekend of October, the day selected for SET nationally by the ARRL, or in Mid February should there be more stations available at that time to participate. SET is the largest event sponsored by Spokane County ARES/RACES itself, and every attempt is made to involve as many served agencies and other ARES/RACES organizations throughout the region as possible. Design of the exercise will be the responsibility of the ARES EC and/or the RACES Officer in accordance with the goals.

Attachment 1:
Washington State Emergency Net Preamble


QST, QST, QST, This is __<Call Sign>__ in __<state your city>__ calling the Washington State Emergency Net.


This net meets on Mondays at 6:30 PM local and on Saturdays at 9:00 AM local time on 3985 KHz, with a secondary frequency of 7245 KHz.


This is a directed net. Please use your call sign using the International Phonetic Alphabet for recognition by net control.

The purpose of this net is to support and maintain the communication capabilities of ARES/RACES in the State of Washington.

All amateurs interested in emergency communications are invited to check in.

Visitors are encouraged to register with their local ARES or RACES groups to become members of this net, and are welcome to check in when their county is called.

Out of state check-ins will be handled at the end of roll call. When checking in, please identify your appointment.

Do we have any emergency or priority traffic? (Handle now)

Any net reports or announcements? Give your call sign only, please. (Handle now)

Are there any mobile or emergency powered stations that wish to check in?


Now calling section and state staff: (Call each position separately)

Section Manager – West
Section Manager -- East
Section Emergency Coordinator – West
Section Emergency Coordinator -- East

Assistant State Emergency Coordinator

State RACES Officer

State Government Liaison

Section Traffic Manager West

Section Traffic Manager East

State NM

State Communications Coordinator Camp Murray

American Red Cross

District Emergency Coordinators

(Start roll call)

Call the County, Then next County (After roll call

Western Washington

District 1
City of Stanwood and Camano Island
Island County
San Juan County
Skagit County
Snohomish County
Whatcom County

District 2
Clallam County
Jefferson County

Kitsap County

District 3
Grays County

Lewis County

Mason County
Pacific County

Thurston County


District 4
Clark/Skamania Counties
Cowlitz County/

Wahkiakum County

District 5
Pierce County

District 6
King County

District Medical Services Team

Eastern Washington

District 7
Chelan/Douglas Counties

Grant County
Okanogan County

Kittitas County

District 8
Benton County

Franklin County

Klickitat County

Walla Walla

County Yakima County

District 9
Adams County

Asotin County

Columbia County

Ferry County

Garfield County

Lincoln County

Pend Orielle County

Spokane County

Stevens County

Whitman County

Are there any out-of-State visitors wishing to check in?

Are there any late or missed stations? Come now with your District, County and call sign please.

Are there any visitors who wish to check into the net?

This is __<Callsign>__ closing the Washington State Emergency Net.

Thank you for checking in.

Attachment 2:

Spokane County ARES/RACES Net, Weekly Preamble

QST, QST, QST. This is Net Control Station [ call ] calling the Spokane County Amateur Radio Emergency Service Net. This is a directed net, meeting every Tuesday at 2000 hours local time on the Spokane County ARES/RACES Repeater at a frequency of 147.30 MHz. All stations are invited to check in. Be advised that this repeater requires a 100 Hz sub-audible tone for access.

The purpose of this net is to provide information and coordination concerning the joint activities of Spokane County’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. It is also intended to serve as a weekly emergency net operations training session.

All stations standby for check-in. Be advised that STATIONS WITH EMERGENCY TRAFFIC MAY BREAK IN AT ANY TIME. (pause) All other stations, please observe proper procedure for any transmission. Visiting stations will be invited to check-in after the call for ARES/RACES members.

This is Net Control Station [ call ] now calling for ARES/RACES officials:

Spokane County Emergency Coordinator and RACES officer:

Spokane County Assistant Emergency Coordinators:

ARRL District and Section Officials:

ARES/RACES officials from surrounding counties:

This is Net Control Station [ call ]. Standby for ARES/RACES member check-in. Check-in will be ordered alphabetically in groups by call sign suffix. When checking in, list any traffic, contacts, reports, bulletins and announcements, then hold for direction from Net Control. Any station needing to leave the net immediately after checking in, please advise Net Control and wait to be excused. Now calling for ARES/RACES members:

ALPHA through GOLF

HOTEL through MIKE


TANGO through ZULU

Now calling for any visitors: please respond with your call, name and location.

Now calling for stations without sub-audible tone capability. Please check in on the output of the repeater, 147.30 MHz. First wait for the repeater to tail out before checking in. All other stations, please standby and copy for possible relay. {pause until repeater tail drops out} Are there any relays?

This is Net Control Station [ call ] Stations that have listed traffic, standby:

Stations with Bulletins and Announcements:

Stations with formal written traffic:

Stations with contacts:

Is there any additional traffic of any kind?

This is Net Control Station [ call ], now calling for late or missed check-ins:

ALPHA through MIKE


Any station wishing to update your data base information including: email address, call sign change, phone number and mailing address please send changes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last call for traffic of any kind:

Good evening and thank you all for checking in. This net meets every Tuesday at 2000 hours local time. This is Net Control Station [ call ] closing the Spokane County Amateur Radio Emergency Service Net at [ time ] hours 3-2009


Attachment 3:

Spokane County Paging System and ARES/RACES Duty Officer


Through Spokane County Emergency Management, Spokane County ARES/RACES is provided with two digital alphanumeric pagers, accessible 24 hours daily through the Spokane County Paging System, that may be used in both emergency and general administrative situations. The paging system has wide area coverage over all of Spokane County and reaches into significant portions of surrounding counties. Multiple transmitter sites are located in Spokane and Southern Stevens County and are maintained by the Spokane County Radio Shop.


The telephone access number for this pager is available from the EC:

The Combined Communications Center, DEM Officials and designated ARES/RACES leadership officials with the paging software can send alphanumeric messages to these pagers utilizing their computer systems and a modem. Separate instructions are provided with the software package.

Persons with out the paging software can access the paging system with their touch-tone telephone by dialing the pager number. The voice prompt on the automated system will advise the caller to enter (at the tone) the four-digit PIN number of the pager the caller wishes to signal. Pager PIN numbers for Spokane County ARES/RACES are:

Emergency Coordinator and RACES Officer

Duty Assistant Emergency Coordinator

Group Call

After entering the desired pager number, the caller will then be prompted to enter a numeric message after the tone.

Under a separate plan, with the Combined Communications Center, these pagers are signaled when the Major Incident Support Team is activated (see attachment 11).

Spokane City/County EM utilizes these pagers to activate ARES/RACES during emergency situations and as such both the EC/RO or the Duty AEC should respond as instructed and following activation procedures as outlined under Part VI. ARES/RACES Emergency Activation.

The pagers are tested daily by the DEM to insure the system is in proper working order.

A.    Duty Assistant Emergency Coordinator

The EC/RO shall establish a scheduled rotation of the AEC pager (2498). All ARES/RACES AEC’s shall be responsible to be part of this schedule. If the Duty AEC is going to be out of Spokane County for a time period greater than 24 hours, then the EC/RO shall be notified. If the Duty AEC is going to be unavailable for a significant time period than that person shall deliver the pager to an alternate AEC or other ARES/RACES member as directed by the EC/RO. During the time period that an AEC is the Duty Officer that person should insure their timely access to a telephone and a 2-meter VHF-FM transmitter capable of reaching the major repeaters.



Attachment 4:

Mobilization Tree

At present, the ARES/RACES Mobilization informatoin will be held by the ARES/RACES Leadership staff and each staff member will be responsible to use land line, cell including text messaging and email if available. During an emergency the Leadership Group will call his or her list and all stations able to meet on the air for mobilization will do so.


Telephone Calling List

This list contains the telephone numbers of all Spokane County ARES/RACES members, as well as a special list of ARES/RACES officers and other primary contact members. In order to maintain an effective level of privacy and security for ARES/RACES members, the list of members and their telephone numbers will be placed only with DEM and EOC copies of the Spokane County ARES/RACES Plan. This list will be updated monthly by the system operator of the ARES/RACES database.

At present all Assistant Emergency Coordinators and the EC as well as the database administrator has the bulk of the numbers to call. However, there is also a list of members and numbers that is periodically handed out to all members and Leadership may instruct other members to use their resources to call members with instructions. It is vital that all be flexible and stand ready to assist Leadership in this effort.

Attachment 5:
Proactive Response

The term “proactive response” was coined by Spokane County ARES/RACES leaders to describe the time of preparation preceding a highly probable activation. ARES/RACES is not a primary resource, therefore its activation is likely to be accomplished long after the primary responders are already in the field. This puts ARES/RACES at a time disadvantage when responding to emergencies. ARES/RACES participation works much better and provides a much better service when preparation and activation comes early in an incident. Officials are also much more likely to assign ARES/RACES resources when it is known early on that they are ready and available. Proactive Response helps to make early activation possible and can be broken down to two basic types of activity.

Spokane County ARES/RACES trains its members to be alert to the emergence of incidents in the area and share this information with each other, comparing information on the air or otherwise. Members have long been known to monitor emergency service providers, and while direct on-air discussions of subject matter concerning monitored traffic are discouraged (as per the Secrecy in Communications Act), discussions of a preparedness nature are encouraged. Recognizing that an activation may be imminent and making preparatory arrangements on the air, including notifying the membership, is the first part of a proactive response.

The second part of a proactive response is either calling or visiting the agency involved to inquire as to the possible need for ARES/RACES operators. To outsiders this activity might seem meddlesome, though to the agencies served by ARES/RACES it is recognized and accepted as quite helpful. The atmosphere of an emerging incident is of such a hectic and confused nature that an agency can sometimes forget about dispatching helpful resources, especially volunteer resources that can be quite effective during an initial response period. Too many times agency officials realize after the fact that it would have been helpful and advisable to call in ARES/RACES operators earlier --- or at all --- on an incident.

The policy of employing a proactive response has gotten Spokane County ARES/RACES involved in the early hours of almost every recent incident of any size. This has been helpful in earning ARES/RACES a reputation as a reliable and flexible resource. It has also brought acceptance of the proactive response policy itself, especially with officials of Spokane County Emergency Management and the CCB. This has encouraged ARES/RACES leaders to continue its active use.

Obviously, a proactive response is to be used only with great care and must be implemented only by experienced ARES/RACES leaders with the authority to act. This includes the RO/EC and the AECs. A proactive response may be followed by an actual response ONLY after 1) the requesting agency notifies EM of its desire to activate ARES/RACES, and 2) the Spokane County EM formally requests a mission number from the state DEM. Until that time, all operators must remain available in a standby status

Attachment 6:
ARRL Message Form

A sample of the ARRL Message Form accompanies this page.


ARRL Message Form

Number________ Precedence _______Handling______ Station of Origin___________________ Check___________

Place of Origin___________________________________ Time Filed_________________ Date__________________

Address: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


___________________ _________________ _________________ _______________ ______________ 5

___________________ _________________ _________________ _______________ ______________ 10

___________________ _________________ _________________ _______________ ______________1 5

___________________ _________________ _________________ _______________ ______________ 20

___________________ _________________ _________________ _______________ ______________ 25

___________________ _________________ _________________ _______________ ______________ 30

___________________ _________________ _________________ _______________ ______________ 35

___________________ _________________ _________________ _______________ ______________ 40

Signature _________________________________________________________________________________________________


Received From Station____________ Time___________ Date____________ By Operator____________________

Sent/Delivered To Station __________ Time___________ Date____________ By Operator_____________________

By K7BFL 11/5/2002



Attachment 7:
State of Washington DEM ICS-213 Message Form

A sample of the Washington State DEM Message Form accompanies this document.



















Attachment 8:
Equipment List

Spokane County ARES/RACES members are encouraged to maintain station equipment that may be quickly and reliably put to use in emergency situations. Ready VHF and UHF handheld transceivers, versatile UHF, VHF and HF mobile stations and stations for fixed operations on UHF, VHF and HF that may be quickly disassembled, transported and assembled again for use in the field are all necessities for a timely response. Many members dedicate equipment specifically for use in emergency operations. Whatever kind of station equipment members take to an incident response, it must be in good condition and capable of supplying at least 72 hours of continuous service.


Equipment to be Used


Shadow or

Light mobile, UHF and VHF

UHF/VHF Handheld Transceiver, mono or dual band capability

Change of batteries and battery charger

Automobile cigar lighter adapter, fuses

Replacement fuses


Extendable gain antenna

Magnetic mount antenna, mono or dual band

BNC to UHF antenna adapter

10 foot length of RG-58 coaxial cable with UHF connectors

One UHF barrel connector

Small paper pad and pencil; message forms


Tools for minor repairs



UHF/VHF Transceiver,

Mobile Configuration

Automobile cigar lighter adapter, fused

Replacement fuses for radio and DC line

Alligator battery post clip leads

Headphones and/or Outboard speaker

Magnetic mount antenna, mono or dual band

10 foot length of RG-58 coaxial cable with UHF connectors

UHF barrel connectors

BNC to UHF for emergency adaptation of Handheld radio

Clipboard with paper and pencil; message forms


Portable AM broadcast receiver

Tools for minor repairs,



UHF/VHF Transceiver,

Fixed Station Configuration

Adequate AC power supply or heavy battery with charger

25’ and 50’ 14 gauge AC extension cables with fused power strip (possibly with surge suppression).

Replacement fuses for radio, supply and power strip

Headphones and/or outboard speaker

Magnetic mount antenna, mono or dual band

Gain fixed station antenna, single and/or multi-element

Mast material for mounting and elevation of antenna

Guy line materials

Extension coaxial cable, minimum two 50’ lengths

One short and flexible RG-58U coaxial cable

UHF barrel adapters

BNC to UHF adapter for emergency adaptation of handheld radio to fixed antenna

Duct tape and electrical tape

VHF/UHF watt meter or SWR indicator

Clipboard with paper and pencil; message forms

Small desk lamp and/or flashlight

Portable AM broadcast receiver

Tools for minor repairs


VHF Packet


VHF Transceiver, computer and

Terminal Node Controller

Adequate AC power supply or heavy battery with charger

25’ and 50’ 14 gauge AC extension cables with fused power strip (possibly with surge suppression).

Replacement fuses for radio, supply and power strip

Patch cables from TNC to radio

Patch cables from computer to TNC


Equipment to be Used



VHF Packet


ortable printer with paper, if available

Headphones and/or outboard speaker

Magnetic mount antenna, mono or dual band

Gain fixed station antenna, single and/or multi-element

Mast material for mounting and elevation of antenna

Guy line materials

Extension coaxial cable, minimum two 50’ lengths

One short and flexible RG-58U coaxial cable

UHF barrel adapters

Dual band handheld radio of backup

BNC to UHF adapter for emergency adaptation of handheld radio to fixed antenna

Duct tape and electrical tape

VHF/UHF watt meter or SWR indicator

Clipboard with paper and pencil; message forms

Map and compass

Desk lamp and/or flashlight

Portable AM broadcast receiver

Tools for minor repairs

Mobile HF

HF Transceiver,

Mobile Configuration

Replacement fuses for radio and DC line

Alligator battery post clip leads

Headphones and/or outboard speaker

Permanent or magnetic mount antenna, capable of 80 meter and/or 40 meter operation

10 foot extension of RG-58 coaxial cable with UHF connectors

UHF barrel connectors

Clipboard with paper and pencil; message forms

HF Watt meter and/or SWR indicator


Portable AM broadcast receiver

Tools for minor repairs

Fixed HF

HF Transceiver,

Fixed Configuration

Adequate AC power supply or heavy battery with charger

25’ and 50’ 14 gauge AC extension cables with fused power strip (possibly with surge suppression).

Replacement fuses for radio, supply and power strip

Headphones and/or outboard speaker

80 meter dipole (preferable) with balun or G5RV antenna

Sling shot or other line-launching device

Safety flags for improved visibility of aerial lines

Dummy load

Antenna tuner

Grounding wire and short ground rod; sledge hammer

Minimum 25’ mast material for mounting and elevating antenna

Medium duty guy line materials

Extension RG-8 cable, minimum two 50’ lengths

One short and flexible RG-58U coaxial cable

UHF barrel adapters

Duct tape and electrical tape

HF watt meter or SWR indicator

Clipboard with paper and pencil; message forms

For any type of HF data transmission such as pactor, add computer, TNC and special cables connecting the computer to the TNC and the TNC to the radio

Morse key

Small desk lamp

Portable AM broadcast receiver

Tools for minor repairs including VOM and heavy soldering tools with solder

Besides equipment needs, operators must consider survival issues of clothing, shelter, food and safety. Consultation of several ARRL/ARES manuals on this subject is recommended

Attachment 9:
Spokane County Emergency Management

Spokane County Emergency Management is the primary served agency of Spokane County ARES/RACES and the clearinghouse of all ARES/RACES service to government agencies. During emergencies and official exercises, ARES/RACES applies top priority to supplying stations and operators at the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC), with the Mobile Emergency Operations Center (MEOC), with EM leaders as shadows in the field and with any other facilities, vehicles or personnel deemed necessary by DEM.

Particular attention must be paid at any time to the needs that the county may have with regard to communicating via RACES frequencies with the state ECC or other county ECCs.

The Spokane County ECC is located at the DEM building at 1618 N Rebecca in Spokane. At this time there is no operating position nor antenna systems at the DEM building proper however, an operating position is dedicated to ARES/RACES with access to VHF voice and packet, and UHF voice communications, located at 1620 N Rebecca at the Combined Communications Building - CCB. Antennas for these modes are located on a tower south of the building. Another ARES/RACES asset is a VHF Winlink 2000 Airmail system. This system is active 24 hours a day using the call W7GBU-10 and accessed on the simplex frequency of 145.090. VHF packet is also available at this location. It should be noted that during recent exercises there was success accessing the 147.300 ARES/RACES repeater from within the EOC building using simple magmount antennas set on tables.

The ECC is a command location for emergency officials and planners. It also is situated at a low-elevation and is an electrically noisy location.. For these reasons, it is not the best location for Net Control operations on VHF and especially on HF. It is the standing policy that, during a large scale ARES/RACES operation, all NCS activities will be handled off site if possible, leaving operators at the ECC/CCB to both monitor the incident and concentrate on the command communications needs of agency officials only, using the radio modes best suited to this task. Off site NCS stations allow stations with better resources to handle the immediate burden of controlling the net(s), insulated from the distractions presented by EOC concerns and activity. It may also be better for the Spokane County ECC to access the state EOC via an of site HF station and have traffic relayed via VHF. Also, the CCB can utilize 147.200 maintained by Karl Shoemaker. This repeater system can be linked to the state EOC at Camp Murray. VHF message traffic needing to be sent to the State EOC can also be sent via the Airmail system at the CCB as well.

ARES/RACES operators will be supplied for Mobile Emergency Operations Centers at the request of DEM and/or the lead agency on the incident. These vehicles may or may not have antennas mounted on them for ARES/RACES frequencies, so operators assigned to them should be prepared to provide their own station components.

Due to their familiarity with ECC operations, ARES/RACES operators may be requested to provide additional communications-related services in the building.

Attachment 10:
Spokane County Emergency Medical Service



Spokane County ARES/RACES will be activated to provide auxiliary communications during “mass casualty” incidents. Although a mass casualty or multi-casualty incident is defined as one that occurs when the number of casualties is beyond the capabilities of the initial responding resources, it can be assumed that ARES/RACES will be called only if an incident is of such a magnitude that the mass casualty incident plan is put into effect to its fullest. At that point, it is expected that large numbers of victims will require not only possible rescue and/or medical treatment at the scene, but transportation to hospitals as well. It can also be assumed that all agencies providing medical aid, transportation, communications, emergency worker rehab and public information will be taxed to their fullest.

The request for ARES/RACES operators will be made to the county RACES Officer through the Department of Emergency Services.

During a mass casualty incident, ARES/RACES will send 7 operators immediately to the scene of the incident for the purpose of “shadowing” the following Spokane County EMS leaders:

Medical Group Supervisor: Supervises the units who triage, treat and transport victims. Establishes and maintains liaison with other agencies participating at the incident.
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Triage Team Leader: Directs and coordinates primary triage and tagging of victims. Expedites movement of priority victims to treatment and transport areas.
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Treatment Team Leader: Directs and coordinates on-site medical care and secondary triage of victims in the treatment area.
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Transportation Team Leader: Directs and coordinates victim loading and assists the Hospital Assignment Officer with dispatch to medical facilities.
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Staging Area Manager: Coordinates with law enforcement. Maintains a log of emergency vehicles, establishes a staging area. Reviews with Command needed resources for the Staging Area and coordinates with Transportation Team Leader for resources required.
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Supply Team Leader: Determines medical supply needs. Establishes a suitable location for supply operations and coordinates with Transportation Team Leader in the procurement of medical supplies form area hospitals.
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Morgue Team Leader: Directs the protection and identification of bodies in cooperation with the Coroner.

Spokane County ARES/RACES operators will also be utilized, as needed, when groups of victims require transportation from the incident scene to medical facilities by vehicles other than ambulances or helicopters (such as STA buses or school buses), or when such vehicles are used for any related purpose (such as sheltering or rehab) during such an incident.

Spokane County ARES/RACES operators will be utilized at area hospital emergency rooms to “back-up” and/or augment the HEAR radio system, allowing auxiliary paths of communication to exist between the incident scene and the hospitals. ARES/RACES operators must be prepared to be the primary source of communications at hospitals if the HEAR system breaks down or if the situation otherwise requires it. Hospitals to which operators will likely be sent are listed below. Hospitals with antennas installed for ARES/RACES use are designated with the following symbol: (A).

Deaconess Medical Center (Regional Disaster Control Hospital) (A)
800 W. Fifth

Sacred Heart Medical Center (A)
101 W. Eighth Avenue

Holy Family Hospital (A)
5633 N Lidgerwood

Valley Hospital and Medical Center (A)
12606 E. Mission

Veterans Administration Hospital (A)
4815 N. Assembly

6. St Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute (A)

711 S. Cowley St

When helicopter ambulances are likely to be used, one ARES/RACES operator will be assigned to the MedStar Communications Center on top of Sacred Heart Hospital. This operator will work independently of the ARES/RACES operator assigned to the Sacred Heart Emergency Room. No permanent antenna is installed for ARES/RACES use in the MedStar Communications Center. An antenna inside the Comm. Center is likely to be sufficient for repeater access and local simplex coverage.

ARES/RACES operators will be assigned to Red Cross officials at the incident scene, serving in either mobile or fixed positions. Two to four operators may be required, depending on the needs at the time. An operator at the Red Cross Chapter Building may also be required. ARES/RACES Net Control may operate from the Red Cross Chapter station.

One ARES/RACES operator will be stationed in the vicinity of the Incident Commander. This operator will attempt to be as close as possible to the command center and its officials, although housing in the actual command center may be impractical or impossible.


IN ALL CASES operators should be prepared for any assignment, with hand-held or mobile-type transceivers for the 2 meter band (sub-audible tone capability included), appropriate magnetic mount mobile antennas, feed line extensions and adapters, sufficient batteries and/or power supplies, DC cables for operation in other vehicles and any necessary tools. Operators should also be dressed properly for the situation and the elements, possessing their Spokane County identification badges without fail. Your Spokane County Volunteer Identification Badge has a symbol on the back that should be shown to law enforcement officers working the road blocks. Be prepared to quickly explain the purpose and location of your response. Remember that vehicle access to (or parking at) an incident may be difficult or impossible. Be prepared to be courteous and flexible.


Attachment 11:
Spokane County Fire Agencies


Spokane County ARES/RACES is presently working with county fire agencies through the Combined Communications Biulding to formalize and make official an unofficial operating plan that has evolved since 1994. Since that time, ARES/RACES, through the leadership of Spokane County Fire District 9 and the DEM, has been involved in major fire and rescue incidents by linking dispatch centers to each other (including the communications center for DNR Northeast in Colville) and providing auxiliary communications (including packet communications) between dispatch centers, command posts, staging areas, the Spokane Area Fire Resource Center and the Emergency Operations Center. ARES/RACES has also linked dispatch centers to local utilities during communications emergencies.

ARES/RACES will serve the county’s fire departments and districts by providing auxiliary communications networks during emergencies related to fire and rescue. Operators will work at the Combined Communications Building, at command posts, staging areas, the ECC and in any other locations in need of additional communications that emergency officials deem necessary.

Currently, and in the future, a proactive response by ARES/RACES is encouraged when major incidents are unfolding.

Attachment 12:
State of Washington Department of Natural Resources


During project fires, Spokane and Stevens County ARES/RACES groups will work cooperatively to provide communications from the DNR NE headquarters in Colville to any other location deemed necessary by DNR. Possible locations are county EOCs, dispatch centers, field command posts, staging areas, fire base camps and other field locations. DNR Northeast may also require communications with other DNR region offices in the state and/or with offices in Olympia, including the State DEM. Spokane County ARES/RACES is also prepared to link DNR Northeast and DNR sites to the Spokane County CCB and ECC.

Attachment 13:
NOAA – National Weather Service, Spokane Office

ARES/RACES members are requested to supply SKYWARN weather spotter reports to the weather service whenever conditions merit, usually during severe local storms, occurrences of extraordinary weather phenomena or to verify Doppler radar reports. Interested members take a weather spotter class and acquire identification numbers from the Weather Service. They may phone reports directly to the Spokane office, or in cases when reports become numerous, they are asked to report to a special weather spotter session of the Spokane County ARES/RACES Net. When severe conditions are suspected to be widespread, weather spotters may also be asked to solicit weather reports from operators in areas, served by other repeaters. During some severe weather warnings, ARES/RACES operators may be requested to respond to the Weather Service office to staff a fixed VHF station there for direct access to the net. An ARES/RACES Assistant Emergency Coordinator will be appointed by the EC and/or RO to act as the NWS liaison and spotter program manager.

All spotters are advised to regularly consult broadcasts of the local NOAA Weather Radio station to keep informed of weather forecasts and advisories. Any time SKYWARN spotters observe any of the weather conditions listed in the table below or observe any other significant or unusual weather event that they feel may be important, they are urged to call the Spokane office of the National Weather Service. If conditions warrant, especially during official watches or warnings of severe weather or associated conditions, ARES/RACES will be notified and the Spokane County ARES/RACES Net will be activated to collect spotter reports and/or seek additional report verification. When the Weather Service requests that ARES/RACES SKYWARN spotters be stationed in the field for special observation duty, or to staff the station at the Spokane office, DEM authorization and a mission number will be required.


Watch for rotation in cloud and damage


Pea-sized or larger


One half (0.50) inch in one hour

One inch in 12 hours

One and one half inches in 24 hours


4 inches in 12 hours

6 inches in 24 hours


Of any kind ... including possible dam or levee failure. Is water still rising or is it falling?


One half mile or less in blowing dust or snow, etc.


Any conditions in which poor or hazardous travel conditions are observed or reported.


Any winds estimated to be over about 40 miles per hour; or winds that produce any damage.


Be sure to include location, time and specific cause.

Though technological developments such as Doppler radar have added a new dimension to the forecasting and warning capabilities of the National Weather Service in Spokane, SKYWARN spotters still provide invaluable “ground truth” information through instantaneously relayed spotter reports. These reports enable NWS meteorologists to correlate radar signatures with severe weather occurrences to improve warning specificity and lead time. They also help meteorologists to learn more about storm structure and evolution in order to improve future warnings.

Attachment 14:
American Red Cross, Inland Northwest Chapter

ARES has a traditional bond of service to Red Cross, providing operators to link the Red Cross Chapter office (in Spokane at 315 W. Nora) with personnel in the field, either in shelters, mass care centers, warehouses or emergency response vehicles. Depending on the incident, Red Cross may request most communications duties be turned over to ARES/RACES for the duration of the emergency. Red Cross also has a policy of requesting an ARES/RACES operator to accompany an ERV (emergency response vehicle) or the ECRV (emergency response communications vehicle) on non-disaster emergency responses out of the reliable service range of the Red Cross radio system. The ARES/RACES operator will provide communications between the ERV and Red Cross duty officers in Spokane via ARES/RACES operators (either at the Chapter Office or at their homes and in touch with Red Cross duty officers via telephone) who will guard a particular frequency for traffic.

ARES/RACES can also provide a link between Red Cross and the network of disaster response agencies in the field. Because Red Cross is designated a supplier of emergency support resources in the Spokane County Comprehensive Emergency Plan, it is in the interest of Spokane County Emergency Management during any emergency operation to remain closely linked to Red Cross facilities and vehicles. ARES/RACES provides a means to maintain this link with all stations in the Red Cross response network over the long term.

Attachment 15:
Salvation Army, Spokane

As with the Red Cross, ARES/RACES has traditional bonds of service to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army (with administrative offices located in Spokane at 222 E. Indiana) is also designated as supplier of emergency support resources in the Spokane County Comprehensive Emergency Plan. ARES/RACES is prepared to provide disaster communications support to the Salvation Army (not unlike support given to Red Cross) with regard to mass care efforts and its needs to communicate with government response agencies during a disaster.

Attachment 16:

Spokane County ARES/RACES Chain of Command

Attachment 16 serves to outline the chain of command and the procedures used when the EC/RO or other ARES/RACES officials are unavailable to manage an emergency activation. All members are bound to follow this chain of command as a condition of their membership to the organization. The chain of command should be revised every time a new EC/RO is appointed in Spokane County. The following list is the Chain of Command and furthermore this group will comprise the Command Staff for Spokane County ARES/RACES.”

WA7LNC, Gordon Grove, SEC Eastern Washington, ARO Washington State

WA7RF, Rob Fisher DEC, Lincoln County

W7UWC, Robert L Wiese, EC/RO Spokane County

WB6JFH, David Harper, AEC Spokane County

KD7DQC, Richard Tuftelund, AEC Spokane County

KF7FKW, Matt Arter, AEC Spokane County

NQ7M, Pat Dockrey, ASEC, Eastern Washington

K7BFL, Don Felgenhauer, OES, STM, Eastern Washington

K7VOT, Jim Jenkins, OES Eastern Washington

If none of the above mentioned people are available then the Section Manager of Eastern Washington can appoint a current Spokane County ARES/RACES Member to act as the EC until the official EC/RO returns to duty. However, that person cannot act as a RACES Officer unless approved by the Director of Spokane County Emergency Management.

If the EC/RO is not available for the activation then the SEC and the ASEC must be notified of the situation so that they can assist with overall management of the activation.

If a person in the chain of command feels they cannot manage the emergency adequately than that person can “hand off” control to the next person down the list.

The EC/RO retains the right to change or modify the chain of command at anytime without making an official update to this plan.

Created by PA4RM