Herkimer County




Don Rankins N2ZWO - Emergency Coordinator/Radio Officer
315-894-5501 (h), 527-5831 cell phone

Hams have been providing services to the public since 1913. Emergency communications is a founding principle of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service consists of FCC licensed amateur radio operators who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for emergency communications duty in public service when disaster strikes. ARES is organized on local, section, and national levels. The program of public service is organized by the American Radio Relay League to provide a reserve of emergency communicators. RACES is administered by local, county and state emergency management agencies. It is supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). RACES provides radio communications during times of civil emergencies. RACES is activated only by emergency management officials.


ARES/RACES Support Role

The primary role for both services is to support the emergency management community first responders, relief, and recovery agencies with communications during times of emergency and disaster when normal communications are unavailable or overwhelmed with use. Amateur radio works when other methods fail as it does not rely on wires and communication facilities of common carriers. Amateurs have a wide range of frequencies and modes available to deliver routine, welfare, emergency and tactical messages. Amateur operators are licensed and pre-authorized to communicate internationally into and out of places where disaster has struck. The radio services provide Herkimer County with a reserve of operators and technicians that are trained and equipped in the art of radio communications. For more detailed information about ARES and RACES see the ARRL Public Service Communications Manual.


VHF Repeaters

Herkimer County ARES/RACES is blessed with the use of five VHF (Very High Frequency) repeaters. These repeaters are located on county communication towers and provide ARES/RACES with superb communication capabilities in and out of the majority of localities in the county. The repeaters are:

145.110- pl 167.9 (Spohn Hill) This repeater is interfaced with a remote weather receiver that automatically broadcasts NWS watches and warnings from National Weather Service Albany Office.

147.090+ pl 167.9 (EOC/911 ctr.)

146.805- pl 71.9 (Aney Hill)

147.045+ pl 167.9 ( Dairy Hill)

147.315+ pl 71.9 (McCauley Mtn.)


ARES/RACES Station at the Herkimer County Communications Center

Installed at the Herkimer County Communications Center in the Office of Emergency Services is an all mode ARES/RACES communications station. This station includes VHF, UHF, and HF voice radios. Statewide, nationwide, and worldwide communications can be attained with the equipment.


Members of Herkimer County ARES/RACES actively train throughout the year. Training nets are held every Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. on the 145.110 MHz repeater. (Alternate frequencies are 147.090/ 147.045/ and 146.580 simplex.) The New York State RACES training net is held each Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. on 3.993.5 mhz. The annual ARRL "Field Day" is held on the fourth weekend of June. During that weekend extensive training in setting up remote temporary communications stations is provided through a nationwide competition.
ARES/RACES members provide communications for various parades, bike and foot races, and at Halloween for the NY State Police "Pumpkin Patrol". During the patrol NY State Thruway Bridges are watched for any signs of mischief that might endanger travelers on the interstate highway. Each event provides further skill training for ARES/RACES personnel.

Mandatory training in the “Incident Command” structure used by first responders is required of ARES/RACES members. This training is readily available through online courses provided by FEMA.


"SKYWARN" is a network of community weather spotters serving the National Weather Service. An important part of weather forecasting is the inclusion and use of data supplied by trained weather observers. Herkimer County ARES/RACES participates in the National Weather Service Skywarn program through the direction of the Albany Office of the NWS. Skywarn spotter training is provided annually by instructors from the Albany Office of the NWS. An amateur radio station is installed at the Albany forecast office. During severe weather events local Skywarn spotters are activated. Information concerning rainfall/snowfall amounts, wind speeds, hail size, storm damages, etc. are forwarded to the Albany meteorologists. Skywarn activities have become a very important part of ARES activities in the county.


Fort Herkimer Amateur Radio Association
 and ARES/RACES Meetings

Herkimer County ARES/RACES is a vital part of the Fort Herkimer Amateur Radio Association.

Meetings of the organization are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings are held at the Herkimer County 911 center or the Town of German Flatts Community Center in Fort Herkimer.



Herkimer County ARES/RACES Officials

Don Rankins N2ZWO - Emergency Coordinator/Radio Officer
(315) 894-5501 (h) (315) 527-5831 (c) (315) 894-3621 fax

Chris Bouck KB4CMF - AEC for Operations
(315) 429-3927 (h) (315) 868-0132 (c)

Larry Martinson KD2RCU- AEC for Administration
(315) 219-5174 (h) 315-219-7362 (cell)

AEC for Logistics open position

Duane Patocka N6RVA- AEC Digital Communications

315-737-8974 (h) 301-904-6168 (cell)

Marjorie Struckle KD2TDB - Liaison AEC
(315) 866-7621

Hank Crofoot KB2VLP - AEC for Skywarn
(315) 823-2993 (h)

Chris Bouck KB4CMF - Assistant Co-ordinator for Skywarn
(315) 429-3927 (h) (315) 868-0132 (c)


Western New York ARRL Officials

Section Manager - Laura Mueller N2LJM --- 2011 East Main St, Falconer, NY 14733 (716) 338-3122
Section Emergency Coordinator - Joseph Tedesco KC2DKP--- 12 Greenfield St, Orchard Park, NY 14127-4215
Section Traffic Manager - Matthew D. Brown K2EAG

District Emergency Coordinator - Brian Webster N2KGC --- 214 Eggleston Hill Rd, Cooperstown, NY 13326
Assistant Section Manager - Don Rankins N2ZWO-- 1435 Elizabethtown Rd, Ilion, NY 13357

Atlantic Division Officials

Director - Bob Famigilo K3RF --- PO Box 9, Media, PA 19063 (610) 359-7300

Vice Director Martin J. Pittinger KB3MXM

New York State RACES

State RACES Radio Officer -
State RACES Deputy Radio Officer - Ken Goetz N2SQW --- PO Box 426, Cairo, NY 12413 (518) 925-6051
RACES Region IV Coordinator - Joseph Tedesco KC2DKP --- 12 Greenfield St, Orchard Park, NY 14127-4215
RACES Region IV OEMRegion4dl@dhses.ny.gov  (315) 438-8907  Fax (315) 438-3350
Links of Importance

Direct all questions, corrections, or additions regarding this webpage to: Chris KB4CMF

Updated 17 March 2024