Hams to participate in national Field Day exercises from Brookside Greenway Park.
JUNE 27 and 28, 2015. Despite the proliferation of Internet access, cell phones and other modern communications, each year whole regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods 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 is Amateur Radio. Amateur Radio operators, often called “hams,” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station. Birmingham “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities on the last weekend of June. 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. This weekend, June 27-28, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Birmingham hams and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about.
This annual event, called “Field Day” is the climax of “Amateur Radio Week”. 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, Amateur 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, the Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis .
“The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications. ”said Allen Pitts of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for Amateur Radio and the sponsor of Field Day in the United States. “From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Alabama, ham radio provided the most reliable communications networks in the first critical hours of the events. Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers and other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. There are now more than 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the United States, 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.
The Birmingham Amateur Radio Club (BARC) will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at Brookside Greenway Park on Saturday, June 27 Saturday from 1:00 PM through Sunday, June 28 at 1:00 PM. BARC invites 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. The public is most cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams. They can even help you get on the air! See what modern Amateur Radio can do.
Brookside Greenway Park
325 Cardiff Street
Brookside Alabama 35036
James Pilman 205 365-8009