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"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." - Earl Weaver

Because St. Louis Metro ARES/RACES is a combined organization, there are two training paths that can be accomplished based on your personal goals.

If you wish to follow a more traditional ARES only path and "work the radio", you'll want to follow the "Communicator" path.

If you're looking to build on your "working the radio" skills, support both ARES & RACES, and take on more of a team leader role, you'll want to follow the "Team Leader" path.



Follow Steps 1, 2, & 4

Follow Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5

FEMA Independent Study Courses:


NOTE: FEMA occasionally updates their courses. You will notice some courses may have a letter after the main course number. Example IS-100b, IS-700b, IS-800b. The letter indicates a revision to the initial course after it was first offered on the website. Please take the most recent revision of the courses available on FEMA's website. Virtually all Emergency Management agencies are now requiring everyone, including volunteers, to take the FEMA courses.

Prior to beginning any formal FEMA training, you will need to determine if you have a FEMA Student Identification Number (SID). The FEMA Student Identification Number is a unique number generated and assigned to anyone who needs or is required to take training provided by a FEMA organization.

Your FEMA SID uniquely identifies you throughout the FEMA organization and all of its agencies. The goal is for your FEMA SID to serve as your personal identification number instead of your Social Security Number (SSN) in support of FEMA.s effort to decrease/cease the use of SSN for identifying and tracking individuals.

Before completing the FEMA Independent Study courses below, if you DO NOT already have a FEMA Student Identification Number (SID), you'll need to visit the following website to apply for the FEMA SID before enrolling for any online classes. Visit this site for more information:

For those that HAVE PREVIOUSLY COMPLETED any FEMA Independent Study courses and HAVE NOT registered for a new FEMA Student Identification (SID) number, you will need to complete the following:

The ARRL Introduction to Emergency Communication course (EC-001):

St. Louis Metro ARES offers the ARRL EC-001 course and a test session twice a year (typically spring & fall) in a classroom setting.
The EC-001 course requires successful completion of the IS-100 & IS-700 courses listed in Step 1.

You may also take the EC-001 course online directly from the ARRL.


If you have taken the old ARECC Level 1 (EC-001) class, it will be accepted with proper documentation, but it is highly recommended that you update your knowledge and take the current ARRL Introduction to Emergency Communication (new EC-001) offering.

Additional FEMA courses:

Many emergency management groups are now requiring the additional FEMA courses listed below in order to deploy to & support their locations. Therefore, it is highly recommended that ARES volunteers also complete the following FEMA Independent Study courses:


For ARES/RACES operators who wish to be authorized to work in Saint Louis City and County Emergency Operations Centers, these courses are required.

Send FEMA transcripts to the Emergency Coordinator:

After you have completed FEMA courses, the St. Louis Metro ARES Emergency Coordinator MUST have documentation to show the served agencies. Once you have taken the courses, request an official FEMA transcript by writing to this email address:
[email protected]

Send this information:
Student Name (required)
Address (required)
City, State & Zip Code (required)
Phone Number
Email Address (required)
Social Security Number OR FEMA Student ID (SID) (1 required)

Background check:

Complete a Saint Louis City and Saint Louis County background check.>

The St. Louis County Police Bureau of Central Police Records is located in room B-013, on the street level (accessible from either Central, Meramec Avenue or the Memorial Park entrance) of the Police Headquarters Building at 7900 Forsyth in Clayton, Missouri.

The Bureau of Central Police Records is open to the public from 7:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.*, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays)

Criminal History Record Checks

Criminal History Record Checks are requested by served agencies for a number of reasons. The St. Louis County Police Department can provide Criminal History Record Checks for both St. Louis County and St. Louis City.

Identification Required

Criminal History Record Checks may be obtained by applying in person with any of the following identification:

If using more than one type of identification, i.e. Driver's License and Social Security Card, both forms of identification must be in the same name. A Marriage Certificate/Divorce Decree/Court Documents are required for any legal name change.

Eligibility and Cost

The St. Louis County Police Department will provide arrest/conviction information directly to an individual, or to a second party - in person or by mail - if that second party can present a notarized statement signed by the subject named in the record check. A record check cost, for a criminal history record check for incidents that occurred within St. Louis County is $4.50 and a criminal history record check for incidents that occurred within the City of St. Louis is $4.50. The total cost for a City and County Record Check is $9.00.


ARRL Training


The ARRL EC-015 course explains at a basic level the functions of a Public Information Officer during a deployment. Because radio communicators are often seen as "having the information" and approached by the media during events, it is suggested that all ARES/RACES communicators familiarize themselves with a basic Public Information Officer/Public Relations course. This will give you the basic skills needed in order to handle those situations successfully.

Red Cross Training


Having some basic skills to address issues in the field make you that much more valuable!

Supplemental FEMA Independent Study Courses


The "Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness" has been designed to help the citizens of this nation learn how to protect themselves and their families against all types of hazards.

© 2019 St. Louis Metro ARES®