TAMPA (WFLA) – Members of the Hillsborough County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services, and local Tampa Bay amateur radio clubs will be working together on the Field Day exercise this weekend.
More than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their ham radio clubs, groups or friends to operate their radios from remote locations – as if operating during an actual emergency situation.
Field Day is the most popular on-the-air event held annually in the U.S. and Canada and Matt Gibson with Hillsborough County ARES/RACES says this the perfect opportunity to see what amateur emergency radio communications are all about.
“It’s designed to mimic the ham radio activity that would happen if a storm or other disaster wiped-out all cellular communications. It’s the Super Bowl of drills for amateur radio operators with bragging rights attached. It’s all about keeping our citizens safe and communications open when disasters strike.” Gibson said.
Hillsborough County ARES/RACES embeds radio operators with the County Fire/Rescue department’s main battalions and to serve as a back-up to 911 in case the main infrastructure is impacted by any disaster to ensure continuity of communications service to the public. When called upon, radio operators also staff numerous shelters with the Red Cross and County.
For more information about Field Day, Amateur Radio or to volunteer, visit the Hillsborough ARES website.