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Amateur radio operators practice for emergencies

Posted at 7:24 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 22:59:00-04

When you think of emergency response, firefighters, paramedics and police are probably the first people that come to mind.

But there’s another group that’s on-call and ready to assist at all times.

Ham radio operators stand as the last line of communication during a major emergency.

It’s just a hobby for some people but when disaster strikes, these radio operators could be one of the only forms of communication left available.

“We’re like a fire extinguisher,” said Tom Tengdin, San Luis Obispo County Emergency Communications Council President. “Most of the time it sits on the wall, you service it, you know where it is, it’s ready to go and most of the time you don’t think about it, and then when there’s a fire, you’re really happy to have that fire extinguisher.”

Ham operators may not be the first group you think of for help during an emergency, but in times of need, they can help.

The ham radio operators’ motto is, “when all else fails, ham radio,” and that could be something that comes into play as California prepares for earthquakes and wildfires.

The Satellite Amateur Radio Club hosts its next monthly meeting on July 13.