Amateur radio operators ready to help in an emergency

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Connecting with more than 700 amateur radio operators across the country during their annual field day on Saturday and Sunday, attendees of the Tallahassee Amateur Radio Society’s annual field day say ready for anything.

“When the power goes out, when mass or conventional communications such as landlines or cell towers go down or are congested, we can continue to communicate with our radios,” said Steve Welsh of the Tallahassee Amateur Radio Society. .

In an emergency, everyday people like Welsh can help emergency operators identify areas that need help when regular communications, like cell phones, are out of service.

The way they communicate: generator power, a radio and high frequency antennas.

“We have a wire antenna hanging between the trees, and that’s what you would see in a real emergency,” said Bill Post, who is also a member of the society.

The Amateur Radio Society has partnerships across Florida, including the Red Cross, State Emergency Operations and the Leon County Office of Emergency Management, their radio operators are willing to volunteer in severe weather, power outages or other emergencies.

“They can staff an emergency operations center radio on the amateur circuit and maintain communications with volunteers throughout the community and our neighboring counties to give us the latest updates from the field,” Kevin Peters said. , director of emergency management for Leon County.

Peters adds that he appreciates the dedication of amateur radio operators to helping their community.

“It’s a huge help for us at the emergency operations center to understand the impacts of the situation following a hurricane or other natural disaster,” Peters said.

For Post, showing his communication skills to the public is not only important, but also a good time.

“You have a lot of people who are just passionate about technology and are willing to spend time learning, getting licensed with the Federal Communications Commission, and then putting their learning and their desire into action,” Post said. .


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