Amateur radio operator Field Day

By: Stephen Salas Email
By: Stephen Salas Email

FANNIN COUNTY, TX - When disasters strike and communication fails agencies from around the world rely on "Ham Radio." This weekend radio operators from one local county were celebrating their 100 year sentinel and communicating with others from around the country.

Some of the most important men and women gathered in Fannin County Saturday afternoon.

"We're amateur radio operators," said Mike Durbin, a radio operator.

Amateur radio operators are people our law enforcement, relief organizations and government agencies heavily rely on when disasters strike.

But don't let the name fool you, their skills are far from amateur.

The amateur radio operators have been called into action again and again to provide communication when it really matters.

During earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires and even terroristic attacks, becoming the center of emergency communication when all other systems fail.

"In a real emergency, lets say the emergency communications went out for the police department for the county. We would actually have an amateur radio operator ride with the police in their cars so they could still have communications. Its that valuable of a service," said Durbin.

"When cell service is out and everything is done, amateur radio will be the last man standing so to speak, for communication," said David Reeder, a radio operator.

"And there's people like us all over the state, Texas for one, they're everywhere. In fact, they're all over the world," said Durbin.

Members of Fannin County met up Saturday afternoon to tune up on their skills.

"In Field Day it demonstrates our capabilities in a disaster when power in out, all communication are out completely gone and its happened a lot. We are the last resort because our equipment is portable and we know how it set it up in any situation," said Durbin.

All amateur radio operators receive training in message handling, communication technology, administrative procedures and disaster preparedness.

Making them and their systems very important for our survival.

"Still at the end of the day, amateur radio will be the only form of communication at the end of the day to communicate nationwide and worldwide," said Reeder.

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