ATS and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service
The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered/portable equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

ARES is a field services organization of the ARRL. There is a chain of command put in place by the ARRL, and all officers in ARES must be ARRL members, and are appointed by the ARRL. The main objective of ARES is to organize emergency training, emergency communications operations, and to organize emergency communications volunteers. Volunteers do not have to be members of the ARRL, or ARES appointees. The primary goal of ARES is an administrative one! The ARRL provides a nationally recognized organization in ARES, thus giving some more credibility to amateur radio emergency communications. The ARRL also provides memorandums of understanding with most of the national served agencies, i.e. Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc. Remember, ARES belongs to the ARRL. More detail on ARES may be found at the ARRL website, www.arrl.org, then under the heading of field services.