Hamming It Up

This June 24th is the annual American Radio Relay League Field Day, in which ham radio operators will be taking part in a competition to help demonstrate their importance in disaster and emergency preparedness, according to an article in The Carroll County Times. Preceded by a day of setup, this is a 24 hour event in which teams of operators attempt to achieve the most connections with other operators. Scoring is dependent on the number of connections, the method of communication, and overcoming abnormal situations and conditions.

On the importance of ensuring preparedness, Field Day chairman of the South Carroll Amateur Radio Group Forrest Hudspeth told The Carroll County Times, "The point is that it allows you to refine and build on an emergency checklist. You have to make sure you have connectors, microphones, batteries, everything you'd need."

As to the relevance of the event, Hudspeth notes "It's fun, it's interesting, and we even sometimes get checked up upon by emergency preparedness individuals. It's a good way for the emergency preparedness people to check in and see how well we are prepared to assist them. They want to make sure we're not just a bunch of yahoos playing around and drinking beers. We're taking this seriously."