Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Emergency Management

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) & Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)

Why HAM Radio?

Ham radio operators have experimented with and advanced the radio art since the beginning of radio.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established Part 97 of their rules “to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

  •  (a) 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. ...
  •  (d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians and electronics experts. Ham radio operators have their own equipment and frequencies that can supplement those of public service agencies in time of need.

What are ARES and RACES?

ARES: The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) was created in 1935 by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) to provide any type of radio communications support to public service agencies such as the Red Cross and the National Weather Service (NWS). Charity events, such as runs and bike rides, serve to hone skills that are needed for emergency communications.

RACES: Established by the FCC in 1952, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) provides communications to government agencies in times of need. RACES is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). RACES operators meet and train regularly with government officials so that they can be an effective part of an emergency response.

ARES and RACES in Wisconsin are the same organization and is NIMS and ICS compliant.

How to Participate

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: Any FCC licensed amateur radio operator, consistent with the privileges of your license may participate.

Contact the Dane County ARES/RACES emergency coordinator at:

Luke Ziobro
Dane County ARES Emergency Coordinator

All members must be registered. Forms can be downloaded from: Members are expected to demonstrate that they are capable of effective response by:

  • Taking the Introduction to Incident Command System, FEMA IS-100 course
  • Taking the National Incident Management System, FEMA IS-700 course
  • Participating in at least 12 training nets annually
  • Participate in at least one activation a year, such as SKYWARN, public service or drill
  • Attend at least one in-person meeting annually
  • Contribute to the team
  • Attend SKYWARN training biannually
  • Sending at least one (simulated) National Traffic System radiogram
    (A background check may be required to serve in some facilities.)

WEEKLY NET: 8 PM Wednesdays on the Madison Area Repeater Association 147.15 repeater, +.6 MHz transmit offset, PL=123.0, except for meeting nights.

MONTHLY MEETINGS: Meetings are usually held at 7 PM on the third Wednesday of each month at various locations. Please reference the meeting schedule at for the latest information.

Public Service Events

Participation in public service events provides an opportunity to practice communications skills that would be used during an emergency and to test equipment and techniques. Dane County ARES/RACES sponsors communications for several events and members participate in other events in and around Dane County.

Dane County ARES/RACES events and ham radio coordinators:

Other events that we participate in and ham radio coordinators:


For the latest up to date information please visit