Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lakeside Amateur Radio Club conducts Field Day Operations from the Administrative Headquarters "Annex"

Lakeside Administrative Annex-

A 7.8 earthquake has occurred along the San Andres fault just outside of Palm Springs. Almost immediately internet and cable services have gone down. Your cell phone has been rendered worthless as the sites have no power. The remaining fire and police frequencies are taxed as units respond to multiple rescues throughout San Diego County. Coordinating the delivery of disaster aid is difficult as the scope of the incident is still unknown.

Members of the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club with Lakeside Fire Board Member Susan Conniry, and Division Chief Jim Kirkpatrick.
But even in these circumstances teams of trained amateur radio operators are mobilizing to provide much needed communications. Local nets have formed and information is being passed to fire and police agencies. The Salvation Army, Red Cross and RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services) have activated their teams of ham radio operators. Other hams are bouncing their signals off the earth's atmosphere helping coordinate the Federal response.

This scenario has been played out each and every year as disasters have occurred around the globe.

A LARC member making contact on a radio capable of global communications.
On Saturday, June 22nd, 2013, the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club moved their antennas and radios to the Administrative Annex located next to the new fire station on Lakeside Ave. For the next 24 hours they will communicate with amateur radio operators from all over the world. This yearly test is coordinated by the ARRL (American Radio Relay League). It tests the ability of amateur radio to provide reliable, global, communications in disaster conditions.

A LARC member making contact through a digital format known as PSK. In a real disaster the room would probably be this busy.

The Lakeside Fire Protection District has also partnered with the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club to form a Communications Volunteer Group. These highly trained hams can be activated for local events and emergencies. In situations where communications are compromised this group of local "community" volunteers are ready to fill the gap.

Operating a ham radio from a computer screen.
 If you are interested in obtaining your amateur radio license contact the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club. This is a very active club that holds monthly meetings locally.

Submitted By: Mark Grow, Fire Captain, Lakeside Fire District.

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