Ham Radio Field Day at Fire Station #1 – June 25

“It’s a world wide network of communication and knowledge,” according to Bob Pine, who got started in “ham” radio as a boy scout. Looking for a badge to help him move up to Eagle Scout status, he discovered radio. The supervisor that he worked with was so impressed with his efforts he offered, “If you can do all this, we’ll sign you up and get you a real license.”

Many years later, when Bob and his spouse Patricia Duncan were enrolling in the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) course in 2002, his affections for radio, and his ham license, were renewed.

Field Day will be held in the parking lot on Fire Station 1, located at 9600 Culver Blvd., on June 25, 2010, beginning at 11:00 a.m. and continuing until June 26, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. The public is invited to come see ham radio’s new capabilities, take a “test drive” (get on the air), learn about CCARES, and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes.

Every Sunday night, in a small room at Culver City’s main Fire Station, ham radio operators operate two “Nets.” Nets are on-air meetings that give ham radio operators the chance to improve their skills and their ability to serve Culver City in the event of an emergency. Over 70 trained and licensed  volunteers are ready to help provide emergency communication assistance to the Culver City Fire Department whenever needed: during severe storms, earthquakes, or even during local civic events.

Today’s amateur radio operators can send messages in many forms around the world, without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. You might be surprised at the size of the network – there are over 650,000 FCC licensed Amateur Radio operators in the USA. (The youngest person to qualify for a license was five years old.)

The Missouri floods, Hurricane Katrina, the California wildfires, earthquakes, and other emergencies clearly illustrate how quickly emergency responders and communication networks are overwhelmed. Ham radio operators provide the critical and often only means of communication. Regular telephone and cell phone systems either become hopelessly overloaded, or the service is disrupted due to electrical failures. Their slogan is “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works.”

Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools, and back yards in the United States and Canada to simulate an actual emergency.

Culver City’s “hams,” will join with thousands of Amateur Radio operators nationwide who will be showing off their emergency capabilities on the weekend of June 25-26. 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.

Stop by and see us in action! Bring your children and try your hand at making an on-air contact. You might even be able to make a contact outside of the U.S.

To learn more about CCARES, please visit /www.ccares.net/. To learn more about Culver City Community Emergency Response Team (CC-CERT), please visit culvercitycert.org/. Amateur Radio, go to culvercitycert.org/

The Culver City Amateur Radio Emergency Service (CCARES) was started 17 years ago in May, 1995. Since that summer, CCARES has been providing disaster communications to the City of Culver City pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding with the City.

Both CCARES and the Culver City Community Emergency Response Team (CC-CERT) are essential components of the written disaster plan for Culver City and operate under the supervision of the Culver City Fire Department. CCARES is a part of that plan both in its own right and as communications support for CC-CERT.

Culver City Fire Department (CCFD) is accredited by the Fire Commission on Accreditation International. It is also rated Class 1 by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). There are only 62 fire departments in the country that are rated Class 1.

CCARES and CC-CERT members are trained at the CCFD facility to be deployed during an emergency, so they can start saving lives immediately. There are three designated Incident Command posts where they will set up operations.

CCFD operates an annual city-wide emergency drill in conjunction with the Great Shakeout. CCARES and CC-CERT members deploy to their designated posts and start a practice drill where they check every house, apartment and condo in Culver City. Culver City residents are asked to place an “OK” sign in their window. In addition, CCARES ham radio operators are deployed to Brotman Hospital and several local nursing homes as part of the drill to ensure no one is forgotten.

Need more info? Contact Bob Pine at [email protected]

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