Amateur Radio Communications Resource Typing


CRF Users Guide CRF Ordering Guide Resource Teams NIMS Resource System

- Why Resource Typing for Amateur Radio EmCom and Public Service

Amateur Radio Resource Typing provides amateur radio communicators, emergency managers, EmCom Leaders, staging managers and event coordinators a means to identify, request and receive consistant, standardized and coordinated amateur radio resources needed during an emergency, disaster or event. It identifies, categorizes and labels communications functions amateur radio operators typically perform at events and incidents for easy reference. By using these Communications Resource Functions presented here, mutual aid resources are easier to request and supply and event or incident assignments can be quickly made by staging managers or event coordinators. This Amateur Radio Communicator typing could easily fit into the FEMA/NIMS resource catalog.

- NIMS Resource Typing System      (FEMA Background Information)

This system was developed at the national level to create a catalog of resource typing definitions providing emergency managers with the information they need to request and receive the resources they need during an incident, emergency or disaster.

Of the eight groups representing key functional disciplines in the resource typing system, amateur radio communications most likely fits in the Emergency Management Resources group. It is unlikely that Amateur Radio will become a "Tier 1" resource, but with our encouragement it can become a viable, typed local or "Tier 2" deployable resource meeting NIMS resource requirements.

The NIMS Resourse Management course IS-703 is excellent for those in leadership positions.


- The Communications Resource Functions (CRF) concept

The Communications Resource Function concept defines functions that Amateur Radio Operators normally perform at public service events or emergency communications incidents and catagorize these with a functional naming convention and a standard equipment list for each typical function. This effort would maximize the mutual aid function for EmCom amateur radio and for public service events amateur radio support. Over the course of many years and with several names the following documents present the current view for the CRF concept. There are many unique functions that amateur radio operators perform, but the CRF concept catagorizes the most common functions performed.
NOTE - All CRF's are considered portable since most operations are away from home base or personal vehicle.

Today we find that a large number of our "supported" agencies are installing their own amateur radio equipment in unique radio rooms and in emergency vehicles. Some teams of amateur radio operators have pre built "Go-Kits" as well. In these cases we need a qualified amateur radio operator rather than than a fully equipped amateur. In these cases I would like to suggest that we use Communications Resource Operator (CRO) followed by the function designator. If we needed an operator for a CRF-B function we would order a CRO-B.

Public Service Event amateur radio coordinators and Ecom group leaders will also find this works for event, incident and mutual aid staffing and provides training in resource ordering and assignments.

- The Public Service, RACES, & ARES© and EmCom Communications Resource Functions Equipment Guide

A simple, easy to use guide for creating a resource standard for all Amateur Radio mutual aid and EmCom groups. 24/72 hour kits are not included in the CRF's since these may be unit specific and vary by regions.

Current CRF Version (7/10) - PDF            (Previous CRF Version - PDF)

This latest version has functions grouped as "Basic" and "Specialty" rather than Voice and Digital. One CRF's tag was changed. The CRF-DV has been changed to CRF-AV for Amateur Video. The intro paragraph and several miscelaneous wording changes have also been changed. A technical equipment discription change for the CRF-DH to clarify equipment for the various radio Email capabilities was added.

Between 2008 and 2009 a change from "Communications Resource Types" to "Communication Resource Functions" or CRF was initiated to better align with NIMS. This was due to the fact that NIMS calssifications use Type to describe a measure of minimum capability to perform that function (with a Type I implying a higher capability than a Type II). This change is in the naming and does not affect the communicator function descriptions and equipment lists for each. This aids in putting together Typed Response Individuals and Teams.

- Documentation

  • The CRF Guide is a great resource tool for any Public Service event or Ecom mutual aid incident in staffing and assignments of amateur radio communicators. Download Functions Guide - PDF

If your group uses the CRF function guide or a variant let us know We'll list your group so we can create a list for mutual aid support. Send your information to Public Service Group

- Examples

  • A shelter operator or net control would be a CRF-B resource.
  • A unit needed for a high clerance vehicle or a SAG would be a CRF-M resource.
  • A request for an VHF digital station would be a CRF-DM resource.
  • A request for for a digital store and forward (VHF-HF)radio Email station would be a CRF-DH resource.

- Presentations

Here are two power point presentations on Resource Typing for Amateur Radio. The first goes into detail about the Functions and the second discusses resource ordering. Both are pdf's.

- EmCom/RACES/ARES© Resource Teams - NIMS Format

  • Urban Tactical - (Download PDF) This proposal is in the NIMS format and defines an amateur radio communications VHF/UHF Tactical Team as Type I, II, III or IV. The team types defined in this document represent the most common amateur radio communications solutions needed in an urban tactical communications situation. The NIMS Resource Typing document allows for teams as well as personnel types. There are other documents defining amateur radio communications in a Teams format.
  • Strategic - (Download PDF) A version in NIMS format for HF and Digital HF Typed Teams. These teams are in the Type I to IV format and is in the very early stages of being defined. (Input Welcome)

Credentialling the Radio Amateur Communicator is probably the next most important task. This will prove to be a daunting task. Comments and suggestions on this effort is welcomed and appreciated.


** Naming convention...Some background.**

The development of Public Service Communicator Resource Types began as a way to associate radio amateurs volunteering for public service events to communications functions based on equipment the amateur possessed. In the early days (1996) we used the term "Modes" rather than "Types." The guide has currently been enhanced with details for digital equipment and their types (thanks to N5OOM). The basic equipment types used here matches up with the Dallas RACES/ARES groups use of the Staging Area intake card affectionally referred to as the "BLMRS" card (developed by AA5QX). For Collin County ARES it's the "T" card. There are reports of other amateur radio groups around the United States using this guide.

  • A 1996 version of the Resource Concept can be downloaded here.


We hope you find this information useful with your public service events, RACES/ARES© and EmCom operations. Comments and questions may be sent to N5TIM.

Amature Radio Public Service Informaton - 8/15/2006

Last updated 01.21.2013