There has been much discussion on the ARES EC reflector regarding the training and participation which should be required of ARES members. At this time, the only requirements to belong to ARES are an Amateur Radio License and a desire to serve.
However, our served agencies expect, and rightfully so, that we have more qualifications than that in order to provide the service which they need from us.
There is currently no consensus as to what should be required. However, certain training courses are mentioned by nearly everyone in the discussion. These courses are all available online, are free, are not difficult, do not take a lot of time to complete, and contain information that you need to know in order to be an effective communicator for the served agencies.
The courses involved are IS-100, Introduction to Incident Command System, which is available at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWEB/IS/is100.asp ; IS-200, Incident Command System, available at
http://training.fema.gov/EMIWEB/IS/is200.asp ; IS-700, National Incident Management System (NIMS), available at
http://www.training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS700.asp ; and IS-800.B, National Response Framework, An Introduction (NRF), available at http://www.training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/IS800b.asp .
Many of you have already completed some of these courses, and some have completed all. In order to help make sure that we are ready to assist our served agencies in whatever disaster may arise, I strongly urge each of you to complete whichever of these you haven’t completed already, and advise Dutch and myself that you have done so, so that we can maintain current training records.
This is of course not a complete list of all training that is desirable, and I am not even touching on the amount of active participation that should be required. However, it will provide a good foundation for the additional training and regular use of proper communications skills which is necessary in order to be an effective communicator for our served agencies in time of need.
Note also that some D6 members have not yet provided the necessary information to Dutch in order to receive Credentialing from Park County. At the discretion of the served agency, lack of Credentialing from Park County and/or lack of certification of completion of the above courses may prevent you from being allowed to serve in an emergency.