Getting Involved

We seek interested amateur radio operators to join us and be placed on our emergency and/or disaster communications roster. All that is required is your willingness to assist the community and your amateur radio license. You will be using your ham license, your equipment, and donating some of your free time to assist when your community needs it most.

Before applying for membership with us, please consider the scope of your involvement.  We have two levels of membership: full and associate.

Full members are FCC licensed amateur radio operators.  These are the bulk of our volunteers.  Most of our activities and assistance comes from the use of amateur radio, so it is important for our members to maintain their amateur radio license.

Associate members do not have an amateur radio license.  Generally, this level of membership is intended for members of served agencies, VOADs or other such organizations to join our ranks as liaisons to their particular agency.

The basic flow of the membership application process is:

  1. You complete and submit the online membership application form
  2. Within a few days your email address is added to the membership email list.  You will be informed of this action.
  3. Within a couple months, the Executive Board will vote on your membership application to make your membership official.
  4. When it is provided by Worcester Emergency Management, you complete and submit the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check form to the City of Worcester.  Results from the CORI is not shared with our organization beyond a simple pass/fail notification.

Getting Your Amateur Radio License

Getting your first amateur radio license is fairly straight forward. In order to get your first license, you need to study for a 35 multiple choice question exam. The exam fee is $15. That's all that's required. There are actually 3 classes of license, each with progressive / cumulative privileges, each requiring additional exams. Most people start off with the entry level license class (Technician) and then later upgrade once they are involved in the hobby and have gathered more knowledge through use of the service.

The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) is the national association for amateur radio and is a very good resource for study materials and the like.  The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, 3rd Edition is a highly recommended license textbook which goes into details regarding not just what is on the exam, but it also functions as a good grounding into the hobby itself.

There's a number of free online practice exams that perfectly simulate the exam, which can be used to determine how ready you are for the exam.  AA9PW FCC Practice Ham Exams and are the most popular.  Once you feel you are ready for the exam, you can find a nearby exam session on ARRL's License Exam Session database.  You will generally need to bring a pen or pencil, two forms of state acceptable ID (at least one being a photo ID), a basic calculator and the $15 exam fee.

Most people get their license by self-study and the like, but certainly if you need any assistance with getting your license, please feel to contact us for help.

The Worcester Area Volunteer Examiner Team hosts their own exam sessions in Worcester every third Thursday of January, April, July and October. Announcements to these go into the ARRL exam database, on the news feed on our website and on our Facebook page. There are many other teams in the area that offer them on other schedules.