Three central Ohio amateur radio operators (hams) comprise the Middle Bass Island Ohio Expedition which will participate in a national emergency communications preparedness exercise on June 24 and 25. The exercise, known as Field Day, has been recognized by Governor Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Taylor through a proclamation of those days as “Amateur Radio Operators’ Appreciation Days.” The proclamation recognizes the vital role played by amateur radio operators in emergency radio communications on a local, state, national, and international basis. Local hams provide communications resources for everything from local bicycle events to assisting the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and even the International Space Station.
The expedition’s 2017 Field Day operations will be at Middle Bass Island, Ohio State Park Marina, beginning at 2:00 p. m. on Saturday, June 24 and continuing for up to twenty-four hours. The public is invited to come and see modern amateur radio technology in action. Expedition members will be available to answer questions, provide resources, and even help you get on the air.
Field Day is the climax of a week-long “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the National Association for amateur radio. Often using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. The Middle Bass Island, Ohio Expedition will operate completely from batteries charged by solar panels. The hams’ slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is demonstrated by hams sending and receiving messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet, or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.More than fifty thousand amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.Modern amateur radio is a fast-growing hobby, and there are now over 743,000 licensed amateurs in the United States and more than 2.5 million worldwide. Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service® program, volunteers provide both emergency communication for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency communications services to a wide variety of community organizations, all without cost to the public.
Middle Bass Island Ohio Expedition is comprised of one ham from Canton, Robert Maurer, Jr., and two Marion area hams, Kenneth Snare and Grant Powell. Their Federal Communications Commission assigned station call signs are KC8PVB, KC8BPE, and K8BCI respectively. They will be using a special station identification, K8M, issued specifically for this event.
To learn more about amateur radio, go to http://www.arrl.org/emergency-radio-org .