Audrain Emergency Communications, Inc. (AECI) is just a few days away from it’s annual 24-hour amateur radio public event to be held at Lakeview Park in Mexico, Mo.
The event offers participants an opportunity to contact as many amateur radio operators as they can throughout North America over the day long event held June 24-25.
“The public is welcome to show up,” said AECI President Kenny Fairchild. “We can let them use the radio and have fun.”
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day, which also features other ham operators and clubs from all over the continent, gives participants an opportunity to show public safety and other emergency officials how amateur radios can help them in a time of need.
Approximately 10 club members will be participating this year as they will be camping out at the park.
“That’s our main purpose, is we’re here in case of an emergency,” Fairchild noted. “If the grid or electric goes down, we can still communicate and that’s our main goal. We always say when all else fails, ham radio.”
Fairchild noted that in times of an emergency, ham radios could be used in the place of current public safety radios to help out with communication.
Local operators also have the assistance of a repeater installed in recently years. The repeater allows operators a chance to rebroadcast a signal allowing users to talk with others in a radius of 30-60 miles, depending on who is being contacted.
While the event offers operators a chance to showcase the power of amateur radio, they are holding a contest amongst themselves and other clubs and operators throughout North America. Those participating will be seeing how many different areas in which they can get contacts. Some operators may end up with 300 or more contacts in the 24-hour period.