AVON – The public will have a chance to meet and talk with Livingston and Wyoming County ham radio operators this weekend at their annual ‘Field Day,’ the culmination of Amateur Radio Week sponsored by the national association for Amateur Radio, the ARRL.
According to a press release from the Genesee Valley Amateur Radio Association, (GVARA), they will be demonstrating amateur radio on June 25 at the Skate House located in Perry Village Park on Lake Street in Perry, where thousands of residents can see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is all about, and learn the basics of what it takes to set up a ham system.
“The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications,” said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. “From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Missouri, ham radio provided the most reliable communication networks in the first critical hours of the events. 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.”
The GVARA says that 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, provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station.
Nationally, ham radio operators have provided critical communications during unexpected emergencies including California wildfires, winter storms and tornadoes. When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications.
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.
Amateur Radio is growing in the U.S. There are now over 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in America, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency 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, visit the ARRL’s homepage here or contact Billy Boyd, President of the Genesee Valley Amateur Radio Association, at (585) 438-4062.