Amateur Radio Field Day: Emergency Communications Drill

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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:47 pm
First Name: Alan
Last Name: Sieg
City: Madison
State: AL
Mail Zip Code: 35758
License Class: Extra
Location: Sullivan @ Browns Ferry in Madison, AL

Amateur Radio Field Day: Emergency Communications Drill

Post by wb5rmg » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:33 pm

... taken from

Huntsville “hams” will be conducting a 24 hour emergency communications drill this weekend, along with thousands of Amateur Radio operators across the US and Canada. You may recall recent reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications support during unexpected emergencies in communities across America including the California wildfires, earthquakes, blizzards, tornadoes and similar events world-wide. During Hurricane Katrina, Amateur Radio – often called “Ham radio” – was sometimes the only way relief workers could communicate, and hundreds of volunteer “hams” traveled to the coast to help save lives and property. When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications infrastructure. On the weekend of June 27-28, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with local ham radio operators and see for themselves what Amateur Radio Public Service is all about. Exercising current shortwave technology, digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code, hams from the Huntsville area will be demonstrating their abilities to build a nationwide emergency communications network.

This annual event, called “Field Day” is the climax of the week long “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by the ARRL, The national association for AMATEUR RADIO. Running on emergency power, ham operators will construct temporary radio stations in city parks, shopping malls, schools and back yards across the country. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails – Amateur Radio Works” – is more than just words to the hams as they demonstrate how they can send and receive messages in many forms without the use of telephone systems, internet or other infrastructure that is often lost or compromised in a crisis. More than 30,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.

“We hope that people will come and see for themselves, this is not your grandfather’s radio anymore,” said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. “The communications that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives when other systems failed or were overloaded. And besides that – it’s fun!” In Madison County Alabama, the Huntsville Amateur Radio Club (HARC) will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at the US Space & Rocket Center (in front of the Marriott) on June 27-28. Look for the big Saturn5 rocket on I-565. They invite the public to come and see ham radio’s capabilities and learn how to get your own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes. The setup starts Friday afternoon, but the action runs from 1:00pm Saturday thru the night until 1pm Sunday.

There are over 650,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL’s “Amateur Radio Emergency Service” program, ham volunteers provide emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies, at no cost to the public. To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to The public is most cordially invited to come out, meet and talk with the hams. See what modern Amateur Radio can do.
###### WB5RMG is Alan Sieg ## ######
ARRL/ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator, Madison County Alabama