Member Requirements

We have several levels of membership requirements which directly correspond to the different roles and activities which members may participate in. For example, certain requirements are needed to work in the County’s Emergency Operations Center or government-sponsored events. In addition to these membership levels, certain activities may require additional credentials training. The requirements are roughly modeled after the ARES Individual Task Book v2.1.1 but we have additional items and/or made some of the optional components required in order to meet the needs of the group and/or our served agencies.

Level 1 – Trainee

These are the minimum requirements to join Fairfax County ARES. Members qualified at this level should have the base set of knowledge, skills, and attitude to build their Emergency Communications (EMCOMM) experience through participation of general group activities (such as meetings, workshops, administrative assistance, etc) and mentorship from other members. Trainees are NOT deploy-able, but this level of membership allows participants to explore the world of EMCOMM while they prepare for higher levels of membership if they decide this is something they want to commit to.

  • Have an active FCC Amateur Radio License, Technician class or higher.
  • Reside or work in Fairfax County, VA.
  • Have a Google Account.
    • This is used to give you access to controlled/member-only resources.
    • You do NOT need to sign up for a GMail in order to have a Google Account. Simply select “Use my current email address instead” when creating your Google Account.
    • Create Google Account (if needed)
  • Complete FEMA Courses.
  • Have an ARES Connect account.
    • See How To Join for instructions on how to create an account.
  • Submit an ARES Registration Form (see How To Join) and be approved by the Leadership Team to join.
  • Participate in the weekly Fairfax County ARES Nets at least once per quarter.
  • Complete the required ARES Individual Task Book Level 1 training requirements.
  • Abide by the Fairfax County Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct in the performance of duties for Fairfax County ARES.

Level 2 – Active

Members at this level have the required knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to independently perform their assigned duties. They have also been vetted by the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and are issued a County credential for access County facilities. This level is the minimum required to be deploy-able for government sponsored exercises/drills as well as real events.

  • Complete all Level 1 requirements.
  • Complete FEMA Courses.
  • Complete ARRL Courses.
  • Complete the required ARES Individual Task Book Level 2 training requirements.
  • Participate in Simulated Emergency Test or Exercise at least once per year.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in operating a VHF/UHF station, both analog and digital messaging.
  • Complete an interview with the Fairfax County OEM Program Manager for ARES and pass the Fairfax County VA criminal background check for employees & volunteers, including a submission of fingerprints. A photograph will also be taken for identification purposes.
    • NOTE: This is currently on hold due to staffing for the County’s COVID-19 response at the Office of Emergency Management
  • Complete the Fairfax County WebEOC in-person training and maintain an active Fairfax County WebEOC account.
    • This training is only available once per quarter at 10:00AM (1000L) US East on the first Friday of each quarter, i.e. the first Friday of January, April, July, and October. Typically, we will try to set up the interview at 8:30AM (0830L) on the same day to save you a trip
    • NOTE: This is currently on hold due to staffing for the County’s COVID-19 response at the Office of Emergency Management

Level 3 – Advanced

Level 3 members have substantial knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to both independently perform their assigned duties and provide leadership to others on the team. This level is required for any member wishing to hold a leadership position.

  • Complete all Level 2 requirements.
  • Have an active FCC Amateur Radio License, General class or higher.
  • Complete the required ARES Individual Task Book Level 3 training requirements.
  • Complete all courses in the FEMA Professional Development Series.
  • Complete ARRL Courses.
  • Serve as Net Control for the Fairfax County ARES Net at least once per quarter.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in operating the County Emergency Operations Center VHF/UHF and HF stations, both analog and digital messaging.
  • Have the ability & resources to independently deploy to various locations in the County. This may be in the form of a go-kit with antennas, a mobile station in your personal use vehicle, or ability to self-transport county go-kit equipment.

AUXCOMM Endorsement

This endorsement is required for members who wish to participate in events and activities under AUXCOMM.

  • Complete all Level 2 OR Level 3 requirements.
  • Complete the Department of Homeland Security AUXCOMM course.
    • At this time, completion of the AUXCOMM Position Task Book (PTB) is not a requirement, but you should receive one upon successful completion of the AUXCOMM course. Please retain it as minimum PTB completion requirements are planned.