Wisconsin Rapids HAMS are ready to prove, once again, they're prepared for a national emergency. Today, the Amateur Radio Relay League sponsored the annual U.S. and Canada Amateur Radio Field Day Contest.
"Just to test our skills in an emergency situation," said Gene Santoski, an officer of the radio club.
Every year, on the 4th weekend in June, amateur radio operators or HAMS have 24 hours to make contact with as many other HAMS as possible.
Ken Snyder, emergency coordinator for Wood County, said, "I can talk with people all over the world, and if I use the Morse code we don't really have to know their language."
In an emergency situation, HAMS can set up communications to relay information to first responders like the American Red Cross.
"During 9-11 in New York, a lot of cell phones and other communications were wiped out," said Santoski, "Armature radio was called on to provide support communications, and this is really why the hobby exists in the first place."
At the end of the competition, trophies are awarded for different categories. As of know, there are roughly 140 HAMS in the Wisconsin Rapids Area. But in order to become a HAM, there is a federal exam everyone has to pass first.
If you're interested in joining this particular Wisconsin Rapids team, contact either Santoski or Snyder.
Gene Santoski's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Snyder's phone number: 715-423-1128