County emergency communications exercise June 24-25

Public invited to Warren Peak to participate in Field Day

The public is invited to visit Field Day, the national emergency communications exercise taking place on top of Warren Peak starting at noon June 24 and ending noon June 25. In Crook County, a team of two dozen Amateur Radio operators from around Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota and California will be active from the top of Warren Peak at an elevation of 6900 feet to test their abilities to set up and operate a communications station in less than ideal circumstances using only emergency power supplies to construct emergency radio stations.

Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year entire regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people 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. Crook County’s “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities this weekend.

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 Colorado wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events worldwide.

When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s volunteers 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 Crook County’s 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.

There are now over 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 www.emergency-radio.org or contact the County’s Public Information Officer Katie Allen at [email protected] or 283-1441.

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 at a radio station designated just for people interested in saying hello to others around the County who most likely are not hams either! Don’t just watch – get radio active!