Registration Now Open for ARRL’s New EC-001 Course

ARRL’s Lifelong Learning Department is excited to announce the launch of the recently revised Introduction to Emergency Communications (EC-001) course. As part of this new initiative, the course has been updated, beta-tested by a group of course mentors, and transferred into a new online learning platform.

With the closing of the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) in mid-2018, EC-001 lost its virtual home and was taken offline. At that point ARRL’s Emergency Preparedness staff started working with the new Lifelong Learning team to explore short and long-term alternatives for offering the course. After a period of careful evaluation and review, the decision was made to move the course from the previous Moodle platform to a more modern Learning Management System called Canvas, which will be used while the new Lifelong Learning Initiative program is being developed. The EC-001 course will eventually become part of this new, comprehensive online learning environment.

EC-001 is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. We hope this course will be the starting point for you in your service to your community as radio amateurs and inspire you to think outside the box and look at new and useful ways the radio amateur can lend a hand to the public that has given us the trust of our spectrum of skills. With the online format, students can access the course at any time from anywhere during a 9-week period, so you may work according to your own schedule.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer Introduction to Emergency Communications EC-001 once again” states Kris Bickell, ARRL Lifelong Learning Manager. “The Emergency Preparedness staff at ARRL has been incredibly helpful while we’ve worked together to get the course back up and running. And the input from previous EC-001 mentors has been an invaluable part of the testing phase. The timing is right to put the course back online.”

As in the past, students will be able to register and take the course entirely online. The Canvas platform is also mobile-responsive, meaning that students can view the course materials, interact with fellow students, and complete assignments from any mobile device.

Each course will run for nine (9) weeks, with a group of up to 30 students who will be supported by an experienced mentor. There will be no cost for the course, although students must meet certain pre-requisites to be eligible to participate, which are listed on the registration page.

To view the 2019 course schedule and to register:

Ellis Rud N1MWJ, SK

It is with sad regret to announce Ellis Rud N1MWJ has become a silent key on Nov 27.

Ellis was currently the EC for North Berkshire county, prior to that he was the past president of NoBARC in Adams. His career was for the state as a park ranger for Mt Greylock until his retirement.

Details can be found here:



Amateur Radio Emergency Service

Within each ARRL section, the main outlet for emergency communications needs within the field organization is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES).  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.

ARES Membership

Click here to apply for Western Massachusetts ARES membership.

Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible to apply for membership in ARES.  Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES.  Please inquire at the local level for specific information.  Because ARES is an Amateur Radio program, only licensed radio amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

Areas / Maps

Click here to view a table showing how the Western Massachusetts ARES assignment areas are divided out.


Section Emergency Coordinator

The section’s Section Emergency Coordinator is the main coordinator of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service within the Western Massachusetts section.

The Western Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator is Charles Chandler WS1L.

Assistant Section Emergency Coordinators

The SEC is assisted by several Assistant Section Emergency Coordinators.  The ASECs take on special tasks and assignments, and generally assist in various local areas throughout the section.

District Emergency Coordinators

The section is further divided into districts, and each district is divided into local areas.  Each district has a District Emergency Coordinator to coordinate ARES within the region, specifically leading up regional nets and training opportunities.

Emergency Coordinators

Each local area has an Emergency Coordinator to coordinate ARES on the local level, and is the primary point person interacting with local served agencies within the local area.

Official Emergency Stations

At any level within the ARES organization, Official Emergency Stations may be appointed. The OES appointee must be an ARRL member and set high standards of emergency preparedness and operating. The OES appointee makes a deeper commitment to the ARES program in terms of functionality than does the rank-and-file ARES registrant. The OES appointee is appointed to carry out specific functions and assignments designated by the appropriate EC or DEC. The OES appointee and the presiding EC or DEC, at the time of the OES appointment, will mutually develop a detailed, operational function/assignment and commitment for the new appointee. Together, they will develop a responsibility plan for the individual OES appointee that makes the best use of the individual’s skills and abilities.

Section Emergency Coordinator Charles Chandler WS1L

Contact Info:
22 A Street
North Adams, MA 01247

I’ve been a ham since 1983. I started with 2 meter FM, then the DX’ing bug bit and I got hooked, hard. That led me to CW as a preferred mode, then to DXCC and finally to Honor Roll. I also contest a bit. The photo above is me at the K1TTT Superstation in Peru, MA during a recent multi-multi contest effort. I’m on the air most every day. You can find me on the low end of 80 meters rag chewing on CW between 5 and 7 AM. In the evenings I tend to be on 20, 30 or 40 depending on where I can find other stations.

My public service began in 1980, as a part-time summer officer with the Plymouth Police Department. That turned into a full-time position in 1985 and I retired in 2005 at the rank of Captain. My wife Stacie and I moved south and by 2006 I was a lieutenant with the University of Southern Mississippi Police Department, where I served until I retired in 2020 at the rank of Assistant Chief of Police.

My career has involved me in a large number of critical incidents and events, and I have served in a number of ICS roles including Operations and Planning Section Chiefs and Incident Commander. I’ve been a part of responses to things like NCAA Division I FBS football games, NCAA Baseball Regional Championships, Category 4 hurricanes, EF4 tornadoes, and incidents of civil unrest and major criminal incidents. For most of those we used an ICS command format integrating multiple agencies across all disciplines.

Since retiring and moving back home to W1-land I have been volunteering in the radio gang aboard the museum ship USS Slater in Albany, NY. Our last big effort was operating Museum Ship Weekend using all WWII-era gear from the key to the ships wire antennas. I’ve also been working part-time as a crime analyst with the Williamstown Police Department.

73 de Chuck, WS1L

Section Emergency Coordinator Appointment Description

The SEC is the assistant to the SM for emergency preparedness. The SEC is appointed by the SM to take care of all matters pertaining to emergency communications and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) on a sectionwide basis. The SEC post is one of top importance in the section and the individual appointed to it should devote all possible energy and effort to this one challenging organizational program for Amateur Radio. There is only one SEC appointed in each section of the ARRL Field Organization.

Requirements: Technician class license or higher; Full ARRL membership


  • Encourage all groups of community amateurs to establish a local emergency organization.
    Advise the SM on all section emergency policy and planning, including the development of a section emergency communications plan.
  • Cooperate and coordinate with the Section Traffic Manager so that emergency nets and traffic nets in the section present a united public service front, particularly in the proper routing of Welfare traffic in emergency situations.
  • Cooperation and coordination should also be maintained with other section leadership officials as appropriate, particularly with the State Government Liaison and Public Information Coordinator.
  • Recommend candidates for Emergency Coordinator and District Emergency Coordinator appointments (and cancellations) to the Section Manager and determine areas of jurisdiction of each amateur so appointed. At the SM’s discretion, the SEC may be directly in charge of making (and canceling) such appointments. In the same way, the SEC can handle the Official Emergency Station appointments.
  • Promote ARES membership drives, meetings, activities, tests, procedures, etc., at the section level.
  • Collect and consolidate Emergency Coordinator (or District Emergency Coordinator) monthly reports and submit monthly progress summaries to the SM and ARRL Headquarters. This includes the timely reporting of emergency and public safety communications rendered in the section for inclusion in QST.
  • Maintain contact with other communication services and serve as liaison at the section level with all agencies served in the public interest, particularly in connection with state and local government, civil preparedness, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross, Salvation Army, the National Weather Service, and so on. Such contact is maintained in cooperation with the State Government Liaison.
  • Section Emergency Coordinators are encouraged to complete ARRL Emergency Communications training Introduction to Emergency Communications (EC-001) and Public Service and Emergency Communications Management for Radio Amateurs.