Washington County Amateur Radio Emergency Services(ARES) exists for the purpose of providing backup emergency communications to many served agencies in Washington County, Oregon. Those served agencies include incorporated cities, special service districts (fire districts, utilities, schools, etc.), and hospitals. Other non governmental agencies may also be served upon request, as allowed by available staffing and training.
Washington County ARES has been very busy over the last several years. We have increased our training opportunities, demonstrated the use of alternative modes and technologies to support our served agencies, and increased our emergency services participation. As a result, our served agencies have developed high expectations of our members and the services we provide. We have also developed high expectation of ourselves. This has also prompted us to formalize the requirements for our ID card program.
The standards are designed to build relationships among our ARES members, familiarize ARES members with our served agencies, and maintain proficiency with ARES response procedures. They support the concept that the best time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens.