Mayor James Brainard has declared now through June 23 Amateur Radio Week as federally licensed “hams” prepare to join thousands of others during a 24-hour field exercise to test their disaster wireless capabilities June 22 and 23.
“In Hamilton County there are more than 700 licensed radio operators – many working with Emergency Management, Homeland Security, the National Weather Service, FEMA and other agencies,” said Joe March, public information officer for the Hamilton County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency.
For 24-hours these “hams” will operate “off the grid” at Central Park, 1235 Central Park Dr. E., demonstrating emergency communications abilities by talking to other radio communicators all across the continent, and beyond, with their radios.
The public is encouraged to stop by, talk with them, and even get on the air themselves and talk with other hams across the country from 2 to 6 p.m. on June 22. Everyone is invited during the entire 24-hour period to observe the operations, ask questions, and find out how to obtain an amateur radio license and become involved in emergency operations.
One highlight of this year’s event is a Morse Code station where young people of all ages can receive a certificate of achievement for sending their initials in Morse Code (after a brief class) to two licensed amateur radio operators June 22 from 2 to 6 p.m.
Using their digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications, radio and even Web hybrid systems along with historic Morse Code, “hams” prove that ham radio is at the forefront of technology – in fact, ham radio developed the original “texting” technologies so popular today.
RACES members are volunteers that operate under the auspices of the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency. They are trained in emergency first aid and CPR, as well as being trained storm spotters by the National Weather Service.
“The City of Carmel recognizes and appreciates the diligence of these “hams” who also serve as weather spotters in the SKYWARN program of the U.S. Government Weather Bureau,” Brainard stated in a news release. “I ask all citizens to join me in the observation of Amateur Radio Week.”
The exercise runs from 2 p.m. June 22 to 2 p.m. June 23.