Set up time. At least the weather cooperated and it didn’t rain at all on us Friday as we put together another yearly effort in emergency management communications. The two local amateur radio clubs here in Howard County pair up. A first class public service and emergency support club, and an elite group of “contesters”, i.e. radio operators who try to make the most contacts in a fixed amount of time.
The two skill sets can be important when we encounter real life emergencies that require additional communication support.
These are our real unsung “heroes”. They come out in all sorts of weather to erect portable communications towers and antennas, unroll miles (two to be exact) of coaxial cables, install computers, three generators, sleeping, eating and operating tents, and so much more.
I think this sums it up quite well. If we didn’t have awesome volunteers to do this work on their own time, we couldn’t operate a successful “Field Day”.
We always know we are ready to go when the flags go up. Which they did Saturday morning just before the deluge.
I will be writing a second part about how this talented, quick thinking group of “hams” managed to continue operating in what could be considered emergency conditions. Like three inches of rain in a few hours.
Until then, after I go help make the grilled burgers and dogs, and we tear down our support tents while the volunteers take down the towers, here’s my interim “Thank You” again from all of us who appreciate the help.
Thirty four people from Columbia Amateur Radio Club and Potomac Valley Radio Club worked on Friday to make this weekend happen.
The operation ends at 2 PM today. We hope the weather stays nice while we disassemble all this stuff and put it away again until next year, or until we need some of it, and the skilled operators, to support the county Office of Emergency Management, the fire department, and various bike races, foot races and other community activities.