Mr. Robert Dittman, KB5UJM, has accepted the position of Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Bexar County in District 12 of the South Texas Section. Robert is recommended by the current District 12 Emergency Coordinator (DEC) Ms. L. Ruth Lewis, KE5MHJ. District 12 is composed of Atascosa, Bexar, Comal, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Kendall and Wilson counties.

Robert earned his license as a novice in 1992 at the age of 14. He quickly upgraded to Technician with code, in order to use the local repeaters. Being blind, amateur radio provided a network of making friends, and new opportunities. Radio was a way of staying in touch as he traveled to Texas and the U.S. competing in the sport of wrestling. He became very active in the amateur radio emergency service, international traffic system, as well as SkyWarn.

Sidebar - Robert was able to convince a high school girlfriend who lived in Dallas to achieve her license she became KC5GNI and they must have the record of passing messages between each other from 1993 to 1996. Over the years, amateur radio has enjoyed the center stage and a place of honor in his life. Amateur Radio allowed him to become a communications officer in the Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force military auxiliary radio system member, telecommunications specialist in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary to name a few. These experiences will serve him well in his new EC position.

Robert is a life member of the ARRL and a member of the ARRL volunteer council program. Robert has again brought his love to amateur radio as his fiancé achieved her license on June 21, 2019. Her callsign is KI5FHC.

This appointment is effective on July 23, 2019.

Mr. Thomas Andrew Downing, WB5TAD has accepted the position of Emergency Coordinator (EC) for the Harris County Southeast Unit in District 14 of the South Texas Section. Andrew is recommended by the current long-time EC Mr. George Fletcher, AD5CQ.

An audiologist with the Houston Methodist hospital system he has been a part of the ham radio arena for about six years. He is active in several public service events in and around Houston. Additionally, Andrew is currently a member of the Pasadena EmComm group. He is working closely with George to have a smooth transition. George has served as EC for Harris County for 10 years.

District 14 is composed of Harris County. Mr. David Underwood, WB5HJV, is the District 14 Emergency Coordinator (DEC) and approves this appointment.

This appointment is effective on August 9, 2019.

Red Cross LogoFrom our Red Cross Liaison, distribute as you see fit.ARES Logo

Usual jobs with Red Cross and ARES are assisting with Communications at Red Cross HQ, EOC Contact, Shelters, and Disaster Assessment.


Starting up:

  1. Get a briefing from the Red Cross Manager/COML
  2. Establish ARES and Red Cross Liaisons to manage traffic
  3. Agree on the fastest way to exchange messages – paper, thumb drive, keep messages short, etc.
  4. Find out where you should set up
  5. Inform the Liaison of your capabilities, voice, data, who you can contact
  6. Confirm with Red Cross Your Tactical Call Sign & Cell number
  7.  Make sure you are in contact with the correct county EOC
  8. Check in with Red Cross HQ
  9. Conduct all actions safely and protect confidential information
  10. Start your logs

ARES Connect Help Q & A (Word)

ARES Connect Help Q & A (Acrobat)


These articles will be updated from time to time as we learn the new system

12/27/2018 - 1 new question posted today

Jeff - KE5FGA

STX Emergency Coordinators:

If you already have the form, no need to fill it out again. Please submit a completed Excel version of this form for your county to the STX Section Emergency Coordinator. 

ICS-217A Excel Form

ICS-217A Instructions Only


Thanks to our (South Texas Section Communications Manager) Lee Cooper, W5LHC, an initiative to introduce a standardized ARES training program has been accepted by the entire West Gulf Division (that's South Texas, North Texas, West Texas, and Oklahoma).

Up until now, every individual ARES group has pretty much decided what and how they wish to train.  The result was that our served agencies did not know what background any of us had, particularly if we were moving to another jurisdiction.  We found that those agencies were spurred on largely by the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and were looking for some form of standardization.

By adopting this standard, we can begin a process where ARES members can be identified as obtaining a minimum level of training.  The training itself is similar to that utilized by the COML (Communications Unit Leader) and COMT (Communications Unit Technician) that have been standardized at the Federal level.

Utilization of the training plan is optional, and participation by ARES members is also optional.  However, we are urging all county ARES groups to adopt the terminology and recognition by the title of their members.  The South Texas ARES database will be updated to reflect these standards, record progress, and recognize those who attain various levels in the training.

There are two aspects to the training:  one is a set of training items, and the other is a workbook to record progress towards recognition at each level.  This material makes a good training outline for ARES meetings.  There is sometimes a lack of direction or structure to local training.  I would certainly supplement the core training materials with other topics, and more depth than is covered in the outline, but over some period all ARES groups should cover each of the items in the training matrix.  Even those who may not yet aspire to one of the higher levels can find useful information in each of the topics.  I recommend setting up a schedule to cover all of the topics over some specific time period.

Training Workbook

Training Matrix

The benefit to ARES and our members is that we have a standard that we can incorporate so wherever we go within the WGD we know the minimum standard based on the level achieved.  Each ARES group can feel free to add additional requirements at the local level.  In some specific cases, it may be necessary to modify or substitute requirements based on a local situation or need.  Requests for this should be routed to the Section Emergency Coordinator through the local Emergency Coordinator and District Emergency Coordinator.