Saturday, June 24, 2017
Ham Radio Participates In Annual Exercise
LABELLE, FL. -- Amateur radio in LaBelle showed off emergency operation skills Saturday at Hendry County's Emergency Operations Center. Setting up mobile antennas and portable transcievers next the center's helipad on State Road 80 west of LaBelle, ham radio operators made and received contacts from other radio operators around the nation in an annual day to practice communication skills that are needed in emergency situations.
Should local communications be cut off for any area, FCC licensed radio operators volunteer their equipment and skills to send and receive messages and information to and from areas where damaged phone lines, and cell towers are inoperative, often happening after hurricanes, floods and other emergency situations.
Ham radio operators in the U.S. and Canada take one weekend a year to practice and prepare for such emergencies on "Field Day." Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 2059 UTC Sunday.
The Amateur Radio Relay League says, "40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio."