Popular amateur radio event June 24-25 at Memorial Park

Justin Greene
June 24, 2017

Members of the Stones River Amateur Radio Club will set-up at 8:00 o'clock this Saturday (6/24/2017) morning and then at 1:00PM in the afternoon they begin their 24-hour window of seeing how many worldwide contacts can be made. Amateur radio users are the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications.

Local hams operating out of the Flagler Beach fire station are mindful of recent flooding and tornadoes in the middle of the country, forest fires in Alberta, Canada and even the natural disaster in Nepal, all of them finding Ham Radio operators ready to provide emergency communications with unprecedented and extraordinary capabilities.

Kyle Zylstra with the Pella Amateur Radio Club says the group is taking part in an annual field day exercise in simulated emergency situations.

"You have to have an alternate way to make sure everyone is safe", Cristiano said.

"In their off-time they have a radio station set up as they go around the world", he said.

"One of the reasons for ham radio, as spelled out in the Federal Communication Commission's regulations, is to provide a volunteer core of trained radio operators who can assist in times of emergency", he said, adding that the objective of Field Day is to challenge hams to set up fully operational radio stations under non-optimal conditions - and then use those stations on the air for effective communication. Power could be out, cell phone service disrupted, the internet cut off. He uses hospital stations as an example: During extreme weather or power outages that cut other forms of communications, such radios can be used to coordinate medical supplies, food, cots and more. "It is a honor to be here and to have the recognition for the amateur radio club members", said Ostrove.

Paul Bryan, the president of the Coquitlam Amateur Radio and Emergency Services Society (CARESS) said the event is a chance for amateur radio hobbyists to dry run their own emergency procedures and equipment, before they're needed. More than 35,000 radio amateur gather with their clubs, groups or friends to operate from remote locations.

Anyone can become a licensed ham operator. There are more than 735,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100.

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