News / Blog

Emergency Radio Communications & Radio Training Available

City-Wide Radio Operations Plan

The Lake Oswego Fire Department has been working with a group of individuals representing Lake Oswego Amateur Radio Emergency Services (LO ARES –, Prep-LO and citizens from a variety of neighborhoods to develop a draft city-wide radio communications plan. During the ice storm in February 2021, portions of our response area lost all typical communication methods (both landline and cellular phones along with VOIP/internet) due to utility infrastructure impacts. This left some residents without any means to communicate with family, friends or neighbors except in person or via two way radios. A city wide radio communications plan would have allowed residents to interact more readily using Family Radio Service (FRS) radios during this weather event to share important information. FRS radios don’t require a license to operate, are fairly inexpensive and readily available.

When this draft radio plan is completed, it will allow citizens to use FRS radios to establish radio contact with neighbors within their neighborhood association or immediate area to share information. This will permit citizens to reach out to Neighborhood Radio Communicators, or members of their neighborhood who have additional training on message traffic relaying who can contact other licensed radio operators in the city with more advanced radio equipment. Eventually, emergency radio messages would hopefully be relayed to an Emergency Operations Center in the event of a disaster. Even if a disaster declaration is not issued, citizens will be able to utilize this preferred radio plan for routine communications and training at any time. Training opportunities will be developed to help citizens in radio operations and radio traffic handling.

Online Radio Training Video – Now Available

The first of what will be a series of online radio training videos is now available for viewing. The first radio related video, “Basic Radio Operations” has been posted to our online training/eLearning system. To view this online video, you must log into our online CERT/Volunteer training portal.

  1. Visit:
    1. Enter in your username
    2. Enter in your password
    3. Click on the button “Login”
  2. Once logged in, hover the cursor over the menu on the far-right side titled “MY PROFILE”
  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, select “Training”
  4. In the list of training classes, click on the icon “Take” next to the desired video you want to watch
  5. After watching the video, select option a. Yes, watched entire video and choose “Submit” at the bottom

We hope to provide additional training videos throughout the remainder of the year on a variety of radio related topics such as understanding privacy codes, differences between FRS and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios and more radio traffic handling information. The vide link is not available unless someone is logged into the online system.

This video link is only available to registered users. Please register for an account to view the training video if you don’t already have one.

Upcoming in Person Radio Training

You’re invited to a FREE (live and in person) 1-hour training session starting at 2:00 pm on June 26th at Westlake Park!

Members of LO ARES will be setting up HAM radio equipment at Westlake Park on June 26, 2021 as part of a nationwide, on air, radio Field Day from 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Residents are welcome to stop by and learn more about a variety of different radios, including FRS and GMRS Radios at any time. Did you know that during the ice storm, local LO ARES members were sharing information via radio every 3 hours? Members were also conversing with other radio users across the west coast and relaying information to family members all over the country via radio while they lost phone and internet service. Swing by the park and you’ll also have an opportunity to talk on the radio far beyond the immediate region.

From 2:00 pm until 3:00 pm, a special in person training session will be offered (socially distanced of course) by LO ARES members on FRS/GMRS radios and radio basic communications. Participants can bring their own radios to the training class to learn how to operate their features or utilize some of the radios that will be available on site.

To sign up:

  1. Visit:
    1. Enter in your username
    2. Enter in your password
    3. Click on the button “Login”
  2. Once logged in, hover the cursor over the menu item titled “OPPORTUNITIES”
    1. You can pick either view: ‘Opportunity Calendar’
    2. Be sure there are no filters set in the “Category” (by default it doesn’t filter)
  3. Locate the training class listed on the calendar for June 26th and click on it.
  4. In the dialog box that appears, you’ll see the details for this class. Click on the button at the bottom right that says “+ Sign Up”

If you decide at the last moment to come to Westlake Park and aren’t signed up, don’t worry, just show up!

You can learn more about LO ARES along with links to their website and Facebook page at:

Neighborhood Radio Communicator & Licensed Radio Operators

Do you want to learn more about radios?

Would you like to be involved and receive additional radio training to become a Neighborhood Radio Communicator?

Are you a licensed radio operator (Amateur or GMRS)?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please log into the online portal, go to “MY PROFILE” in the upper right-hand corner and choose “Additional Info.”

Please update the questions in your profile of the group ‘Radio Service/License Information’ to reflect your interest in becoming a Neighborhood Radio Communicator or include any other pertinent licensing information. We will send out more specific information to those who update their user profile when it’s available.


Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

CityofLO_Seal_OptSiz#E2D662 (3)David Smith | Deputy Fire Marshal

P 503.635.0378 | F 503.635.0376

300 B Avenue | PO BOX 369 Lake Oswego OR 97034