About Us

About Us
When disaster strikes, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is there. Western Washington Section, District 5 ARES serves the communities of Pierce County Washington. District 5, Pierce County 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 needed.

What does ARES do?
- Pierce County, District 5 ARES, volunteers make themselves and their radio equipment available in times of disaster, earthquakes, flooding, storms and more
- Participate in exercises and drills on a regular basis to maintain proficiency
- Participate in local events such as marathons, parades, major event coordination
- Pierce County, District 5 ARES, consists of five local area teams trained to work as a cohesive unit
- Prepared to support FEMA on a national level, if so directed
Who Are ARES members?
- Federally licensed amateur radio operators
- Community Volunteers, Your Friends and Neighbors
- Register our qualifications and equipment
- Perform emergency radio communications for the Pierce County public when disaster strikes
- We’re called “amateurs” because we are not paid. Our services are provided at no charge.
- We may be called “amateurs” but our communications services are professional.
- Our equipment can be made operational quickly from almost any location.
- ARES is part of a National Organization, the American Radio Relay League (membership is not required).
- ARES is organized in every State and Territory.
Who do we support?
- Washington State Emergency Management Department (EMD)
- Pierce County Emergency Management (PCEM)
- Pierce County Emergency Operations Center (PCEOC)
- Peninsula Multi Agency Communications Center (PMACC)
- Puyallup Emergency Operations Center
- Lakewood Emergency Operations Center
- Sumner Emergency Operations Center
- Orting Emergency Operations Center
- Dupont Emergency Operations Center
- Pacific Lutheran University Emergency Operations Center
- Camp Arnold Shelter
- Frontier Park Shelter
- Ruston Senior Center
- Western Washington Medical Services Team
- Western State Hospital (*limited)
- Washington State Soldiers Home (*limited)
- American Red Cross
- Citizens Corps
- Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
Legal Basis:
While not a requirement for membership, ARES members are highly encouraged to complete the WA State Emergency Workers application.
- The Emergency Worker Program is a volunteer-oriented program established by RCW 38.52.  Emergency workers are provided liability, medical, and personal property coverage as well as reimbursement for some incidental expenses while deployed on State-approved incidents and training events, WAC chapter 118-04.
- Under certain circumstances ARES Operators (registered Emergency Workers) may be needed to operate under RACES rules In Accordance With (Title 47 CFR § 97.407 Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service)

ARES provides communication services and outreach during Community Special Events.

ARES preparedness outreach events (examples):
- Pierce County Fair
- Buckley 4x4 show
- Orting Fair
- Gig Harbor preparedness exposition
- Shift Happens (PCEM outreach event)
Non ARES communications support volunteer opportunities:
- Tacoma Marathon
- Sound to Narrows Run
- Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day (RAMROD)
- MS Walk
- Daffodil Parade

You do not have to be an ARES member to attend our meetings or training sessions. We highly encourage anyone interested in ARES to fill out our online application and attend a District General Meeting.

District General meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7PM at the Pierce County Emergency Operations Center (PCEOC).