Amateur "Ham" Radio Operators Show How Important They Are During Emergencies

In addition to amateur radio as a means of emergency communication, Field Day is also an opportunity for enthusiasts to reach out to others across the country.

Great Southern DX Association is taking part in the annual amateur radio Field Day operations.

Tim Ramsey, another ham and club member, said he likes Morse because "it's crisp and there's never any static".

From left to right, Steve Ioerger, Tom Turner and Mike van Norman attempt to make contact with individuals through ham radio during the W6JW Santa Clarita Radio Club Field Day at the Castaic Lake Water Agency on Saturday.

Even in the wake of technological advances, residents find that ham radio still plays an important role in keeping the community safe.

"A lot of these hospitals have amateur radio systems", said Cuevas, "They're working on getting these systems where they can send emails to each other and through the EOC".

He says they provide a back-up network of communications in times of emergencies.

"Hurricane Katrina was a big showcase for hams, many of whom traveled to the South in a volunteer effort to save lives and property", Christovich said. To be able to receive their license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ham radio members need to pass a test and know the rules to operate legally.

"It's also a way of showcasing our hobby", he said.

This is a 24-hour event that started at 1 p.m. Saturday and will go until 1 p.m. Sunday.

Bob Josuweit, whose ham radio call sign is WA3PZO, is president of the Holmesburg group.

One member recalls a disaster when demonstrations like this one became reality.

  • Zachary Reyes