Ham Radio Operators from Loveland CO Join In National Deployment Public Demo of Emergency Communications June 26 – 27
Loveland, CO, 18 June 2010 – On May 22 2008, a tornado carved out a path of destruction almost 35 miles long and ripped through Windsor CO. As police, fire and medical teams assisted residents along the tornadoes path, amateur radio operators or “hams” from all over Northern CO were on the move as well, providing radio communications support. Cell phone and internet services were down due to damage from the storm. In some cases amateur radio was the only means of communications in and out of storm damaged areas. During the event, ham operators provided voice communications as part of a network of amateur radio stations located at the Loveland and Windsor Emergency Operations Centers, and various shelters around the local area. They also transmitted Amateur Television or ATV from the Loveland Mobile Command vehicle to the Windsor EOC, allowing EOC officials to see the damage caused by the storm.
On the weekend of June 26 – 27, hams from across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities. A group of local ham radio operators who provide support to the City of Loveland Emergency Operations Center will be operating in the Loveland Mobile Command vehicle at the Fire Training Center, 100 E. Fire Engine Red St., Loveland from noon Saturday to noon Sunday. They will use the weekend event as a training opportunity to make sure they are prepared for the next local emergency. The public may attend.
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. Ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and back yards around the country. Their slogan, “When all else fails… Amateur 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. “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 networks that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives in the past months when other systems failed or were overloaded.” 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 Services or ARES program, ham volunteers provide emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies, all for free.
To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org. See what modern Amateur Radio can do. They can even help you get on the air!
For more information on the event, contact Rick Kile, 970-962-9179
For more information on Amateur Radio, visit www.arrl.org
For more information about local amateur radio clubs:
In Loveland: www.lovelandrepeater.org
In Ft Collins: www.ncarc.net