Amateur Radio

Camden County, MO Amateur Radio Emergency Service

The Camden County, MO Amateur Radio Emergency Service (CC ARES) is an organization of volunteer amateur radio operators dedicated to serving Camden County and the east-central Missouri area, also known as District F, with emergency and public service communications. CC ARES is affiliated with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

The Camden County, MO ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) is responsible for directing the efforts of the organization and maintaining relationships with our served agencies.

Ernest Venis (W0LTC)  

About ARES

What Is Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES)?

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.

Who We Work With

Here in Camden County, we work in conjunction with the Camden County, MO Emergency Management Agency.  In doing so, we operate the county’s radio equipment in the Emergency Operations Center Radio Room during emergencies, training, exercises, etc. Assistant Director Samantha Henley is a general class amateur radio operator, call sign KE0LMY. 

ARES Membership Requirements

Every licensed amateur regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES.  Training is required to participate fully in ARES, including free FEMA Independent Study Courses 100, 700, and 800.  You can find instructions and direct links to these classes here.  Camden County, MO ARES can help you complete these courses.  The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable but is not a requirement for membership.

ARES Strategic Plan

Here you will find the PDF of the overall ARES Strategic Plan.  This will offer guidance in the design of the local SOP and EAP. Click here for the plan.

ARRL Radiogram

Instructions for Verbal Transmission of ARRL Radiogram:

“Please copy my number: 1, Routine, HX Golf, (your call sign), Check number (does not include your signature or callsign), (your location), (time), (Date). Going to (your addressee) and (amateur call sign if any), figures (address), phone figures (phone number), break for text.”
*Now wait for the receiving station to say “go with text”, plus this allows them any fills they might need of the preamble information or any needed fills of information of the addressee.
When they say, “go with text,” read your message word for word at writing speed, any tough words use phonetics. The number of words should match the (check) in the preamble. ARL Message codes are always phonetically spelled out. One number character per box. Ex. ARL Fifty Six would be 3 words. When done delivering your text to receiving station say, “Break for Signature”.
*Wait for receiving station to ask for fills, or say, “go with signature”.
Give signature of message sender, amateur call sign if applicable and say “end message number one, how copy?”
The receiving station will acknowledge your message number one and say “thanks for the traffic” ending with their call sign. You can reply by saying “thank you for taking it” and end with your call sign so net control knows the message has been passed and you both are finished.

Additional resource:  ARRL Message Handling instructions

ICS 213 General Message Form

Pro Words for Message Handling


Word list adopted by the International Telecommunication Union

The RST system

Additional Resources

Winlink website (includes downloadable program, walk through videos, and trouble-shooting)

RMS Express Winlink in EMCOMM PowerPoint Instructional Guide

ARRL Exam Review for Ham Radio

ARRL Quickstart for Ham Radio Operators

ARES Field Resource Manual

K9ATK and KD0AOE’s Operating on a Repeater Guide




The Emergency Manager has the statutory power, and statutory responsibility, to coordinate these operations. The essential activity in this job is management of resources during emergencies. An ARES unit is a volunteer emergency communication resource.

Some ARES units have attached themselves, by mutual consent, to Emergency Management departments. The county Emergency Manager allocates the ARES unit’s communication resources during emergencies just like any other important resource. The EM tells the EC where communications links are most needed. The EC then does all the usual tasks of an EC – assigning operators and equipment, making relief schedules, and so on.

This arrangement has several benefits.

First, the EC does not have to develop and maintain multiple served agency relationships. The ARES unit is simply a volunteer arm of Emergency Management and serves any other agencies as the Emergency Manager assigns them.

Second, the person who knows best what is needed and where, and who has the statutory job to meet those needs – the Emergency Manager – decides which communication task(s) are assigned to the ARES unit. The EC does not have to decide, for example, that it is more important to serve the American Red Cross than The Salvation Army during a particular incident.

Third, the ARES unit may be afforded a meeting place in the Emergency Operations Center, maintained under the Department of Emergency Management. Some ARES units have even been given a separate “emergency communications center” – a room where Amateur Radio and public service radio equipment is stored and operated. Some Emergency Managers have allocated funds in their budgets to purchase Amateur Radios and antennas to support the mission of their attached ARES groups. As trust and mutual respect develops, Amateurs are sometimes given even greater responsibility. At least one EC has been made Deputy Director of Emergency Management, a volunteer position with even greater opportunity to serve the public in time of need. Again, plenty of advance planning is a must. The most successful EC will be the one who develops a solid working relationship with the County EM so that a predetermined set of guidelines and expectations can be met.

Finally, there is training. Attachment to Emergency Management opens doors to a huge opportunity for emergency training at the local, state, and federal levels. The Emergency Manager can authorize enrollment in a number of web-based and classroom courses offered at the state or national level. Such training also assures both the EC and the County EM that our amateur operators are trained in all of the procedures that they will need should an actual emergency present itself.

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