(Posted June 15, 2017)
The Madison County Amateur Radio Club will participate in a national emergency communications preparedness exercise June 24-25. The exercise, known as Field Day, involves setting up and operating emergency radio communications using amateur (ham) radio to communicate with similar operations throughout the country. The club will conduct its 2017 Field Day operations at Deercreek Township Hall, 75 Middle St., Lafayette, from 2 p.m. June 24 to 2 p.m. June 25.
Operations will include digital messaging as well as voice communications. The public is invited to come and see modern amateur radio technology in action and learn about the hobby. Club members will be available to answer questions, provide literature and even help visitors get on the air. Best visiting times are from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Field Day is the climax of a week-long “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by ARRL, the national association for amateur radio. Often using only emergency power supplies, ham operators construct and operate emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works,” is demonstrated by hams who can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.
The Field Day event combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach and technical skills and includes over 40,000 ham operators across North America. In recognition of this valuable service to Ohio, Gov. John Kasich proclaimed the 2017 Field Day operations as “Amateur Radio Operators’ Appreciation Days.”
Modern amateur radio is a fast-growing hobby, and there are now over 736,000 licensed amateurs in the United States and more than 2.5 million worldwide. Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, volunteers provide emergency communication for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency communications to a wide variety of community organizations, all without cost to the public.