Oregon officials say ham radio operators saving grace during storms
| 12.07.2007 | 07:11:28 | Views: 3574 | ID:
December 7 '07: A Fox News affiliate in Portland, Oregon reported that while the recent storms knocked out power and some basic cell and phone services for thousands of residents, local amateur ham radio operators were hailed as essential components in the response and recovery.
The news affiliate reported, "In fact, amateur radio operators were heralded by state emergency officials as heros. Ham radio is more than just a hobby to some. It can set up networks for government and emergency officials to communicate when other communications services fail." In some cases, ham radio groups work to teach basic emergency preparedness classes and hold expos for their local community. In Elmira Township, Michigan, the local Northern Michigan Amateur Radio Emergency Services Group are teaching courses using the National Incident Management System, the National Response Plan, and holding introductory classes on the Incident Command System. Volunteers who complete the courses receive certification from FEMA. Governor Ted Kulongoski said, "One of the problems in this is always communication. ... I'm going to tell you who the heroes were from the very beginning of this ... the ham radio operators. These people just came in and actually provided a tremendous communication link to us." Ham radio operators were also used during the Sept. 11 attacks, and after Hurricane Katrina, the news station reported.
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