Over the last few months our local club members, both in Starkville and Columbus, have been discussing ways to be more active as a group outside of the monthly meetings and get togethers where we eat. We all have a great time when we eat together, whether you attend Hams Eating Breakfast in Columbus or a similar gathering in Starkville. They’re a great opportunity to socialize and share recent projects, tips, and even new things in HAM radio, but they don’t afford us the opportunity to exercise our skills as amateur radio operators in the event of an emergency.
I believe that most, if not all, of the local amateurs would like for our communities to recognize the benefit of having a HAM operator presence in the event of an emergency or even for large events. Our skills, as they relate to amateur radio, are in communication of various forms. Whether you enjoy a good QSO on the local 2M repeater, get your kicks on the HF bands catching that special event station, rocking out code to another operator across the world, or digital operations like FT8 or DMR, you’re an asset to the community in many ways.
Ideas have been tossed around as to how to exercise our communication skills for the public and, although I’m not certain of its date at this time, I understand that an event is coming up at the Adaton Fire Dept in September that may give us a perfect opportunity.
The MARC club president, Doug Camp (K5BAK), had brought up the idea of stationing an operator at the various fire stations and establishing communication between each station, possibly on simplex 146.52, to show how we can assist communication and coordination in the event of a total power failure that knocks out other forms of communication, such as analog telephone, Internet, and cell phone service.
Keep your ears open for the date of the event in Adaton and for your opportunity to man a station at a fire department near you. Get your batteries charged up and your portable communication setup ready to roll. It doesn’t matter if you just use a handie talkie or if you’re planning to wheel out a suitcase full of equipment, you’ll have a great time.
Be sure to check in on the weekly nets for W5YD (Starkville) on Monday nights at 8 PM on 146.805 and the LoCoARC(Columbus) on Tuesday nights at 7:30 on 147.000 for updated information.
Caleb Rich, K5RFL