Health Care

Ham Radio users practice their skills on Radio Field Day

Ham Radio users practice their skills on Radio Field Day”

It's all part of the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise organized by the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio. There are tens of thousands of operators all over the US that are able to communicate in case the worst should ever happen.

"One of the great things about it, with amateur radio is that if all else fails with satellites and telephones, ham radio can get the message through", Caldwell said.

Club members set up make-shift antennas and brushed up on their Morse code to show that cell phones and computers only go so far in emergencies.

The club held its field day Saturday to prove its ability to operate when no other technology is working. To most, it sounds like a foreign language, but it's communication on a basic level.

Amateur Radio is growing in the US. "I talk to people all over the world while I'm driving". He became officially licensed to be a ham radio operator several months ago.

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"There are more licenses being issued every year", he said.

The Key City Amateur Radio Club is able to access city and state governments and the National Weather Service during emergency situations. Even though cell phones are basically a form of radio communication, they also require landline links between service.

Despite the ever-changing digital world individuals have grown accustomed to, the local radio club has blossomed in the last two years; going from just over 20 members to a current crop of 43 total members.

Josuweit says the operators serve at the call of local, state, and federal officials and routinely are called out in times of storms, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

MVARA in La Crosse uses the event to compete against other clubs to see who can communicate with the most users, as well as to practice their emergency response capabilities.

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