Westford, MA – Ham Radio operators across the US and Canada will be showing off their emergency capabilities this weekend. Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications in emergencies world-wide. During Hurricane Katrina, Amateur Radio (often called Ham radio) – was often the ONLY way people could communicate, and hundreds of volunteer hams pitched in to save lives and property along the Gulf Coast. Hams are often the first to provide critical information and communications in emergencies.
On the weekend of June 24-25, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with these ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about. Showing the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code, hams from 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 set up emergency stations in public places across the country. Their slogan, “Ham radio works when other systems don’t! ” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 30,000 amateur radio operators in the US participated in last year’s event.
In the Westford area, the Police Amateur Radio Team will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at the field adjacent to the Abbott Middle School on June 24 and 25, 2006. They invite the public to come and see ham radio’s capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes.
There are 660,000 Amateur Radio operators in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Ham volunteers provide emergency communications for the Red Cross, Salvation Army, FEMA and other Federal, state and local agencies, all for free.
To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to www.hello-radio.org. The public is most cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams. See what modern Amateur Radio can do. They can even help you get on the air!