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Durham ARES DFMA Durham County North Carolina Amateur Radio Emergency Service
Welcome to Durham ARES


The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES - pronounced “air-ease”) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) are non-profit associations of trained and licensed Amateur Radio operators who volunteer their time and equipment to assist served agencies when critical communications system failures put the public at risk. In North Carolina, ARES is organized into three branches of five districts for a total of fifteen districts. Durham County ARES is a combined ARES/RACES group located within the tenth district under the central branch.

NC ARES District Map

Durham ARES serves the residents of Durham County through the coordination and direction of the North Carolina ARES/RACES Organization and the county’s Department of Emergency Management. ARES helps support the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and National Weather Service with communications related tasks and operations. During RACES activation, the FCC can impose restrictions on Amateur Radio operations. In these instances, only the Department of Emergency Management can request ARES/RACES activation.

Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARES/RACES. 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 equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

Durham ARES is a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Durham FM Association (DFMA). All Durham ARES/RACES members are encouraged to join the DFMA. Your DMFA membership helps fund the Mobile Communications Unit (MCU), repeaters, and other equipment used during emergency operations.

For more information about our organization please feel free to contact our leadership, or join our weekly net held each Sunday evening at 8:00PM on the 145.450 MHz repeater (negative offset, no CTCSS tone).

Sat Oct 29th BIKE EVENT Planning Meeting Announcement

BIKE EVENT: Planning Meeting Announcement

When: Monday Oct 24th, 2011

Time: 1830-2030 hrs (630p-830p)

Where: Red Cross/Durham - Room A 4737 University Dr, Durham NC 27707

Topic: Planning for Oct 29th Halloween Hoot Bike Event.

Who: ALL Amateur Radio Operators including non-ARES members interested in participating with the event.

Randy McCray K4XRM

EC/Durham Co ARES

Bike Event UPDATE 10/18/2011

For those who have expressed an interest in helping with the Bike Event on Sat Oct 29th -Thank You, Look forward to seeing you.
Below are the locations available for staffing so email me at your 1st, 2nd amd 3rd choices and I'll do my best to assign you where you'd like to be located:

Equip Prefered - Dual Band Mobiles for Rest Stops, SAG - Portable Mobiles w/MagMount Ant , HT's for DBAP Shadow staff on simplex,

Rest Stop 1 Lebanon VFD, 7900 Russell Rd, Durham NC 27712./ Bike Routes 31/62/100 / Equip Needed -Mobile

Rest Stop 2 Orange Co Speedway, 9740 NC Hwy 57, Rougemont NC 27571 / Bike Routes 62/100 / Equip Needed -Mobile

Rest Stop 3 Bethany Church, 245 Bethany Church Rd, Rougemont NC 27572 / Bike Routes 62/100 / Equip Needed - Mobile

Rest Stop 4 Police Dept. Firing Range, 7615 Cassam Rd, Bahama NC 27513 / Bike Routes 62/100 / Equip Needed - Mobile

SAG Radio Operator Route 31 ( This position may be optional one as some of the route is not on hwy)

SAG Radio Operator Route 62

SAG Radio Operator Route 100

Event Coordiantor Shadow at DBAP (HT on Simplex Freq)

Medical Doctor Shadow at DBAP (HT on Simplex Freq)

For those who are still on the fence about helping out with the event, there is still time to sign-up and enjoy the fun! The more we have the more we can be flexible in our staffing assignments and rotations

Finally, We have another planning meeting scheduled for Monday Oct 24th. Location TBA still waiting on a room availability confirmation.

Randy K4XRM

ARES ALERT: Special Meeting Announcement

ARES ALERT: Special Meeting Announcement

When: Thursday Oct 13th, 2011

Time: 1830-2030 hrs (630p-830p)

Where: Red Cross/Durham - Room A 4737 University Dr, Durham NC 27707

Topic: Planning for Oct 29th Halloween Hoot Bike Event.

Who: ALL Amateur Radio Operators including non-ARES members interested in participating with the event.

Randy McCray K4XRM

EC/Durham Co ARES

EVENT HELP NEEDED- Sat Oct 29th , 2011 8am-430pm

Hello; We as local amateurs have an opportunity to shine once again this year and help a local group Habitat for Humanity with one of their annual fundraisers. On Sat Oct 29th Habitat for Humanity is having their Halloween Bike Ride Event with routes of 31, 62 and 100 miles through Durham, Person and Orange Counties. The event begins registering cyclists at 7am, ride begins at 9am and ride support ends at 4pm.

We have been asked to help staff the rest stops and the command center at Durham Athletic Ballpark with operators to assist the Durham Co Sheriffs Dept with overall Safety Support for this event.

I'll be getting further details in this week, but I need to get this info out to everyone and get some feedback from those who may be able to help with this event. I would like to at least get a minimum of 2 people per assignment to sign-up because of the number of hours, but will take as many as there maybe additional needs for this event. Below is some pre-planning based upon last years events of 3 routes, 5-rest stops, 3 SAG vehicles, 1-Sheriff's Command Unit,1-MCU, and 1-Shadow operator for the Event Coordinator. Would ideally like a minimum of 10 operators for the event either for the the full day or if you can only help part of the day. Those of us who participated last year had a full day of fun and put our operating skills to use, even tried some new things we don't use very often. Participation is open to any operators in the area who want to help out, just let me know.

Operators Interested in helping with this event email me at

Randy McCray K4XRM
EC/Durham Co ARES

Notice- No Monthly Meeting for September 2011

Notice; There will be NO Monthly Meeting on Thurs Sept 22.

Thanks and 73's

Randy K4XRM


Please Note Latest ALERTS, News and Information concerning Hurricane IRENE acitivites will be posted on the website.

Randy K4XRM
EC Durham Co ARES

MONTHLY Meeting-Thurs Aug 18th 7pm

Reminder our Monthly Meeting will be Thurs Aug 18th 2011, 7pm - 9pm at Durham Red Cross HQ on University Dr.

Agenda: KB4NQH Ben, will present a short training session on the Red Cross Satelite Telephone systems in the NC4RC Radio Room at Red Cross HQ , as Red Cross would appreciate our group's assistance is checking the system twice/month during hurricane season and once/month in the off season.

Also, we need to begin planning for Oct 29th- Halloween Hoot and the Boy Scout Merit Badge University Day.

Come and share your ideas

Randy K4XRM


Saturday October 29th is turning into a very important date for us as we have two (2) events with high potential for our services that day.

First is the Annual Halloween Hoot Bike Ride which we did for the first time last year, which supports Habitat for Humanity here in Durham, and is great event for us to get out a work our emcomm skills when its not too hot or too cold (hopefully) and we can work the repeaters, APRS and such. This is an all day event from 0730a-430p and we partner with the Durham Co Sheriff Dept.

Second is that the Red Cross is hosting a Boy Scout Merit Badge University this year at the Durham HQ from 9am-3pm and they would like to offer a RADIO merit badge.

Both of these events were mentioned on last evenings ARES net and the response I got was it may be do-able so we'll see.

So, in the meantime keep this date open if you will be a Ham Date for ALL


ARES Resource /Update


For those who are not yet members of the Durham ARES / RACES Yahoo Group Reflector, go to and join.

It's a great resource to keep you updated on the latest Durham ARES activities and will also be used for alert messages as needed.

Stay Safe and Informed

Randy K4XRM
EC/Durham Co ARES

HOT Weather Precautions

(Information Courtesy of the Tarrant County RACES/ARES website, Tarrant Co/Fort Worth Texas)

Hot weather often brings problems for people that are unprepared or inexperienced in dealing with heat and outside activities. Persons with a history of high blood pressure, heart problems need to be especially vigilant. Certain prescription medications may also decrease your heat tolerance. Check with your doctor who prescribed the medications.

Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can ruin your day and yes kill you if you are unprepared.
We are all used to reading the thermometer but there is another number we need to be aware of when working events or call-outs in warm weather.

The Heat Index is a measure of the apparent temperature of the air by factoring in the effects of relative humidity.
For instance: an air temperature of 95 degrees with a relative humidity of 50% has a heat index of 107. That means it feels like and has the effect on your body of a 107 degree day. Heat indexes above 110 degrees are considered highly dangerous. The best way to deal with summer heat is to be prepared.
Carry at least two quarts of water with you. Do not rely on water at the event. Make sure you drink some water every 15-20 minutes. Do not drink soda or highly sugared drinks.
Eat a small snack midway through the event, but avoid protein rich foods -- they increase metabolism and overall body temp.
Wear light colored loose fitting cotton clothes. Polyester clothing is great, jeans are too hot. Wear a hat ( the traditional straw western Stetson is ideal.) Use sun block and sunglasses.
Slow down, plan your work, try to stay in the shade. Avoid standing on concrete or asphalt surfaces that hold in heat.
There are three types of heat emergencies that you need to be familiar with. Watch out for theses symptoms in yourself, and fellow members and the public during warm weather.

Heat Cramps:
Cramps or muscle spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs. Have the person stop activity and drink plain water at room temperature or a Gatorade type drink mixed half and half with water. Avoid ice cubes in the drink.

Heat Exhaustion:
Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or fainting. Cool the person down and get them drinking. They are done for the day. Seek medical attention if the person has a history of high Blood Pressure or cardiac problems.

Heat Stroke:
Extremely high body temperature. Red, hot, dry skin. The victim will no longer be sweating, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness. Remove unnecessary clothing. Call 911 and cool the victim down with water or a hose. If ice is available put icepacks under the armpits, around the neck and in the groin area.

In conclusion experience has shown that being aware of the dangers of working in hot weather conditions reduces the risk of heat problems and provides a more enjoyable experience.

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