Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Keeping in touch
This weekend, beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 27 and continuing for 24 hours, the Goochland Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) group will participate in a worldwide field day.
Radio equipment and generators will be set up at Goochland Fire-Rescue Company 5 on Fairground Road near the Food Lion in Courthouse Village. Operators will compete to see who can make the most contacts during the event.
Not so long ago, the hyper-connectedness we take for granted, was the stuff of science fiction.
We never wonder what will happen if the cell towers are out of commission or overloaded. This occurred after the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, a 2008 tornado in Atlanta, and the Boston Marathon bombing.
Not to worry. Goochland ARES has you covered. Amateur radio operators--sometimes referred to as “hams”--use relatively simple equipment and their ingenuity to contact the outside world.
ARES radios run on battery power and can use antennae crafted from what is at hand. ARES volunteers establish contact with other operators and relay information and messages from an emergency scene to those who can send help, when nothing else is working.
Locally, ARES volunteers have pitched in to keep communications open between Goochland dispatch and fire-rescue stations when the normal channels failed.
Stop by and meet the ARES folk and listen to them chat with fellow radio operators all over the globe. The event is free the public is invited.
For additional information, call Madison Long at 804-784-5791, or visit
http://www.arrl.org/emergency-radio-org or http://www.vcapares.org