Arlington-Mansfield Area Ham Operators to Participate in Amateur Radio Week
By Office of Communication
Posted on June 20, 2018, June 20, 2018

Ham-Radio-Operators-Field-Day

Even in the age of internet, cell phones and email, incidents such as tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables can leave communities without the means to communicate.

In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio. These radio operators, often called "hams" provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station. Later this month, "hams" from the Arlington-Mansfield area will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators across the country to showcase their emergency capabilities during the annual Amateur Radio Week.

Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events world-wide.

When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio's people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications. On the weekend of June 23-24, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with local ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.

This annual event, called "Field Day" is the climax of the week long Amateur Radio Week sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country.

Arlington ham operators will hold demonstrations at 501 W. Sanford Street starting at 1 p.m.

In the Johnson and Tarrant County areas, the Mansfield Johnson County Amateur Radio Service will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at Mansfield Fire Station #3, located at 3100 East Broad beginning at 1 p.m. on June 23 and running a full 24-hours until 1 p.m. on June 24. They invite the public to come and see ham radio's new capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes. For information about Field Day or the Mansfield Johnson Amateur Radio Service, visit https://www.mjars.org/.

"The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications," said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. "From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Missouri, ham radio provided the most reliable communication networks in the first critical hours of the events. Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. We need nothing between us but air."

Amateur Radio is growing in the US. There are now more than 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free.

To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to What is Ham Radio.

emergency preparedness
News, Public Safety