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Indiana Amateur Radio Emergency Service District 1 (ARES D1) is an Incident Support Team comprised of organized, trained, qualified, certified, trusted, licensed, and credentialed volunteer emergency communicators, severe weather spotters, and incident support personnel who augment others during severe weather events, emergency, disaster and search and rescue incidents, training and exercises, and special events (public service events, including Bike, Running and Walk-a-Thons, and similar large or complex events).

ARES D1 volunteers supply, augment, and support:

  • Modern, reliable, interoperable, accurate, resilient and timely contingency, emergency, and supplemental (auxiliary) communications.

  • Real-time severe weather observation data gathering and reporting.

  • Resource position tracking and telemetry.

  • Ground-truth information and intelligence (“eyes and ears”).

  • Incident Planning (Search Areas; Emergency/Disaster Task Assignments; Communications; Incident Documentation – Resource Accountability and Incident/Communications Logs, Imagery, etc.).

  • Logistics Coordination (Supplies, Equipment, Personnel, Facility, Medical, Communications, Transportation, and Food Services).

  • Liaison (Between ARES D1 and cooperating organizations).

  • Leadership:

    • ARES D1 Unit Leader; Auxiliary Communications (AUXCOM), or Incident Support Group Supervisor, Unit Leader or other appropriate Incident Command System title and function as requested or approved by the Incident or Unified Commander.                   

    • Leading a group/team of other ARES D1 and/or supporting personnel, or emergent volunteers (Good Samaritans) in conducting the ARES D1 mission and/or low-risk incident task assignments to allow more highly trained and better equipped emergency, disaster and search and rescue personnel to attend to other priority tasks.

ARES D1 personnel serve as “force multipliers” on behalf of the public for governmental and non-governmental public safety, critical infrastructure (including Hospitals and Public Utilities), and emergency management related organizations and partners at all levels (served agencies) throughout the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) District 1 geographical area (Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper Counties), and beyond, when requested by an appropriate authority, through cooperation with partner agencies and organizations during emergencies, disasters, severe weather and special (public service) events.

ARES D1 serves the Northwest Indiana geographic area, bordering Chicago and the nearby Illinois counties. Following an absence of nearly ten years, it was resurrected in late September 2020. Its volunteer personnel now include engineers, doctors, firefighters, medics, emergency managers, students, businesspeople, government employees, retired individuals and more.


ARES D1 is the only officially recognized contingency, emergency and supplemental (auxiliary) volunteer communications organization within Indiana’s Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper Counties operated in accordance with the boundaries and under the auspices of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and its Memorandums of Understanding with:

  • Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO-International) (9-1-1 Center personnel)

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

  • National Weather Service (SKYWARN)

  • Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) (TV, Radio, Internet Service and Cellular Providers, etc.)

  • Department of Homeland Security Citizen Corps

  • American Red Cross

  • Salvation Army

  • Civil Air Patrol (CAP)

  • National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD)

  • Boy Scouts of America

  • REACT (Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams) International Inc.

ARES D1 complies with the most current ARRL ARES standards, including the minimally required and recommended training and certification requirements for ARES members, to align with FEMA’s National Incident Management System (NIMS), and with the changes and upgrades in national, regional, and local emergency and disaster response organizations.


ARES D1 strives to be an effective and reliable partner with served agencies, other emergency and public service organizations.  


ARES D1 members are a mix of Ham (“Amateur”) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) Radio Operators skilled and experienced in the use of a wide range of emergency and disaster communications techniques needed in emergency and disaster response, as well as during periods when supplemental (auxiliary) communications are needed. They provide served agencies with the interoperable and resilient communications expertise, capability, and capacity needed. They also provide additional Incident Support skills and assistance that go beyond communications, when needed.


They are called “Amateur,” only because they are unpaid volunteers. For many of these dedicated volunteers, the preferred nickname is “Ham,” the origins of which dates back decades.  These volunteers proudly answer the call for “amateurs,” or “Hams,” but amateurs they are not. The term “amateur” was established by the FCC many decades ago to distinguish the volunteers as the unpaid professionals they are from paid radio operators. The distinction continues in regulatory language and federal legislation.

Using a blend of technologies from yesteryear to today, from analog to digital, from voice to imagery, telemetry and data, ARES D1 personnel can establish communications between a 9-1-1 center, Police, Fire Rescue, EMS, Public Works, Utility Providers, Hospitals, Vaccination Points of Distribution, Emergency Operations Centers, Incident Command Post, Mobile Command Center, Search and Rescue field personnel and other critical infrastructure locations, or vehicles.   

They can provide interoperability with local, regional, State and federal governmental agencies, the military, including all of the Defense Department forces, Coast Guard, and the National Guard. Additionally, with the Civil Air Patrol, the Indiana Guard Reserve, and similar State sponsored military militia organizations, as well as emergency management and humanitarian relief organizations including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and others throughout the State, region, across the nation, and if needed, worldwide.

Many are also trained by the National Weather Service (NWS) as “weather spotters” to provide vital real-time weather observation data and ground-truth weather intelligence during periods of severe weather to the Weather Service Forecast Offices in Northern Illinois (Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper Counties) and Northern Indiana (LaPorte County), year-round as part of the NWS’ SKYWARN program. Where SKYWARN organizations exist, ARES D1 members support those organizations, not supplant them.   

ARES D1 supports and conducts public education about Emergency Communications and Amateur Radio, actively passes on our experience and knowledge to others, including the younger generations.

ARES D1 also supports and conducts Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs, demonstrations, and activities. 

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