“Who ya’ gonna call? Montrose Radio Hams!”
Public Demo of Emergency Communications June 28-29
Montrose, CO, June 19, 2014 Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate.
In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio.
These radio operators, often called “hams” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station. Montrose “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities Saturday June 28.
Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events world-wide. When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications.
On Saturday June 28, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with hams from the Montrose Amateur Radio Club (MARC) and learn for themselves about the Amateur Radio Service is as hams across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.
This annual event, called “Field Day” is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.
More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event. “Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. We need nothing between us but air” said Mary Barclay MARC President. “We will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at the north end Sunset Mesa. Just drive out West Main to Chipeta Drive. Turn south on Chipeta and the turn left as though driving to the athletic fields on Sunset Mesa. We will be to the north of the fields. Look for our signs and antennas. Come and see ham radio’s capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license. We can even get you on the air. “she said.
Amateur Radio is growing in the US. There are now over 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through programs such as the Radio Amateur Radio Service and the Amateur Radio Emergency Services ham volunteers provide communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free.
To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org. Visit the Montrose Amateur Radio Club on Facebook and at www.montrosehamradio.org.