Many hams are involved with providing communication services in support of agencies, local, state, and/or federal governments.  In the past, much of this was under the auspices of RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service), or through the ARRL’s ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) but in the post-9/11 world things have become highly interconnected with Homeland Security and FEMA.

Lots of training is available to those interested.  FEMA has established a Emergency Management Institute which is responsible for developing training courses that are useful at all levels of incident response by local/state/federal and NGO Agencies, as well as the private sector and members of the public.

There are many excellent on-line courses available as part of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  Most states and localities require that anyone participating in response exercises MUST be certified in Incident Command System (IS-100.b) and NIMS (IS-700.a).


On a personal level, I have completed the following:

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NCECT Certificate

MEDS-POD Tactical Communication Unit Leader Certificate Small



Incident Command System

ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incident

National Incident Management System

NIMS Communications and Information Management

National Response Framework Certification


IS-802 Emergency Support Function #2 Communications

IS-802 Emergency Support Function #2 Communications