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Public Demo of Emergency Communications June 22-23 Fayette’s Guthrie Smith Park

Date/Time
Date(s) - 06/22/2013-06/23/2013
All Day

Location
Guthrie Smith Park

Category(ies)


Fayette, AL – Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole
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. Your Town’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 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 22-23, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Fayette and Lamar
County 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. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” 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 35,000 amateur radio operators
across the country participated in last year’s event.

“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.

Amateur Radio is growing in the US. 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. 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!

We need nothing between us but air.” In the West Alabama area, the Fayette County Amateur Radio
Emergency Services (ARES) Group and West Alabama Amateur Radio Club will be demonstrating
Amateur Radio at Fayette’s Guthrie Smith Park on June 22 & 23, 2013 and will be located next to the
Old Runway at

This year the Fayette County ARES Group and West Alabama Amateur Radio Club has teamed up with
James Sanders with the Fayette County EMA and Field Day will be a part of the Fayette County Public
Safety Be Ready Day.

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.