Amateur radio annual “field day” completed

This year, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Volunteers completed their annual Field Day on June 25 at the Toledo Waterfront Park. A total of 15 volunteers completed over 127 hours of service during the event. Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Field Day was held with a small number of volunteers and social distancing in place.

The 2020 event focused on remote communications. For over 100 years, Amateur Radio - sometimes called ham radio- has allowed people to experiment with electronics and communications techniques. Ham radio operators also provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.

Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network.

“Field Day is special to me because I can help construct new field antenna setups that allow us to make contact with amateur radio operators all over the USA and world.” ACS volunteer, Scot Perkins shared. “This is important because this may be required of us in time of disaster when our [fixed] antennas may not have survived.”

Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. Field Day demonstrates how Amateur Radio works reliably under any conditions from almost any location to create an independent communications network.

“Also, special projects are worked on during Field Day. Mine was to assist making a new antenna and modify a protective radome to be installed.” Perkins said.

Since Field Day, the antenna Perkins mentioned has been successfully installed. In addition to showcasing the hard work of ACS volunteers, Field Day also provides an opportunity for volunteers to work as a team and form relationships. “…it was a good in person “team building” exercise. The involvement with ACS has changed due to COVID and this was a good opportunity to bond as team.” said ACS volunteer, Mark Saelens.

With clubs such as the Lincoln County Amateur Radio Club, it’s easy for anyone to get involved in Lincoln County. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States with members as young as 9 and as old as 100. Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator.

County Emergency Manager, Jenny Demaris commented, “We are continuously grateful for our ACS volunteers. I want to extend a sincere “thank you” for all of their hard work and continued service.”

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office sponsors the Auxiliary Communications Service Volunteer Group. A group with more than 70 Amateur Radio Operators specifically supporting local government emergency response. For more information find the Lincoln County Auxiliary Communications Service Volunteer Group at www.co.lincoln.or.us/emergencymanagement/page/auxiliary-communications-service or call (541) 265-4199.

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