Ham Radio Training

By: Brooke Thacker
By: Brooke Thacker

Telephones, e-mails, pagers and cell phones are many ways we communicate in today's world. Emergency responders also depend on that communication.

Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst disasters of this century. When help was needed the most, emergency crews could not use cell phones or computers to communicate their needs.

Cabell county EMS Director Gordon Merry is talking about a ham radio.

“If something happens and your other communication systems go down,” said Merry. “You can pull out one of these radios, hook it up, and get it back on the air.”

On Saturday, across the country, was ham radio field day. It was the day when hams talk to one another, and flex their communication muscles.

In an emergency, communication is vital. That's what makes this hobby so important. You can call these ham radio operators an unrecognized resource.

Recently, a report came out saying West Virginia is not prepared for a disaster. However, Cabell EMS Director Gordon Merry disagrees. He says having these ham operators in Cabell county makes them more prepared.

Locally, there is the TARA club. Tara stands for Tri-State Amateur Radio Association. Members of the club are being asked to take FEMA classes, which are the same classes emergency service workers take, so they will know what to do in case of an emergency.

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