How to participate in WECG

How to participate in WECG

1. Show Up

We invite you to join us for our monthly meetings, the second Thursday of every month at 7PM at the Search and Rescue building on the corner of the Smith Road and the Northwest Road (look for the building with the antennas and garage doors). At the meetings we discuss upcoming drills, there are educational opportunities, and we will hear about the work being done by different branches of the group.

Our Membership Coordinator is Ash Eastham, KJ7BXI who can be reached at

2. Sign Up

Fill out the ARES membership form and the Whatcom County Emergency Worker form. Turn them in to the Membership coordinator at the monthly meeting, or if that Coordinator is not there, to one of the board members (there’s usually one of us there).

Our mobile radio room

3. Get in contact

To get on our email list for meeting announcements, upcoming events, etc., or for questions or feedback, email

4. Get trained & stay current

While various training opportunities arise throughout the year, there are five basic membership requirements at this time.  The basic requirements for Full membership of both are:

  1. Take ICS 100, ICS 200, NIMS 700, and ICS 800 online from FEMA.
  2. Obtain an FCC amateur radio license, preferably at the level of General (so that you can transmit VARA-HF WinLink, but Technician is a decent start, so don’t feel like you have to jump to General right away, although to be honest it’s not that much harder than the Tech exam).
  3. Familiarize yourself with your radios, the local repeaters and their tones and offsets, and our weekly nets.
  4. Pass a background check with the Sheriff’s office.
  5. Receive a DEM volunteer number, and obtain a county volunteer ID card. (That happens through the Emergency Worker form and a trip to the Whatcom County Unified Emergency Command center.)

Note that Associate members do not need the second of those, but we highly recommend it and we can help you to obtain your license.  You can still listen in to the nets if you don’t have a license yet, and you can still take part in WinLink over telnet.  If you are interested in SAR callouts with WECG, we have additional requirements:

  1. Obtain First Aid/CPR and Blood-borne pathogen certifications
  2. Attend one of the quarterly SAR Basecamp meetings offered by our sister organization Summit to Sound (STS). The last  class was April 3, 2023, and was offered online through Microsoft Teams.

Give copies of your training certificates and license to the Membership Coordinator.  Additionally, once you’re a member*, we ask that you do the following to keep your membership current:

  • Attend at least one general group meeting a year.  We take attendance through the usual ICS form so we keep careful track of your help and won’t lose track.  Our general meetings are often very wide-ranging and interesting!
  • Participate in one broader group training (usually one Saturday event) a year.
  • Check in to one of our radio nets once a month if you are a licensed member. We call out our roster call-signs for the primary Sunday net at 1900, but you’re always welcome to call into it as a visitor.  Some nets like the 1.25m net are not by invitation at all; anyone can call in at any time.
  • Volunteer to run one radio net a year as net control.
  • Log into your WCSAR Teams/Sharepoint login every so often.  This is a valuable resource that is provided for us, which we can lose if we don’t use it.

*How do you know when you’re a member? When you’ve submitted the paperwork for those first five things (barring the FCC license, if you are applying for Associate status) to our Membership Coordinator and received confirmation.  This can take a little while; remember that we’re all volunteers here.

Other steps to take, depending upon your level of interest:

Tom KE7JOE and Jim AE7UQ

5. Check In

Sunday nights at 19:00 (7pm) check in on-the-air on the Church Road repeater 442.8250 MHz with a tone of 156.7 Hz.  Consider being net control for this net, and for the others that WECG runs; we always need more volunteers.  Once you’re a member of the group you’ll receive a sharepoint account that will allow you to sign up for any net control position that you wish to run.  If you’re an associate member and cannot legally transmit on the radio frequencies we use, you can still use Winlink to send an internet message to us.

6. Participate

Throughout the year your help is needed in conducting drills and events, and putting down your name as willing to be called out to respond to emergencies along with more experienced operators. Our service to the community is the volunteer work that we do. We are excited to provide emergency communication support with you!

We can help you get licensed.
Join us to find out more.