Local Amateur Radio club practices emergency response

Published: Jun. 22, 2019 at 9:31 PM CDT
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The Four Lakes Amateur Radio Club gathered at Badger Prairie Park in Verona on Saturday for the annual Amateur Radio Field Day, a tradition dating back to the 1930s.

Radio operators turned the park into an emergency communications hub. For 24 hours, operators will speak with other amateur radio enthusiasts all over North America.

"What we do at this event every year is it is partially to practice our craft and be able to respond to an emergency. We took a shelter in a park and turned it into a communication hub in about an hour," said Jeff Fillian with the Four Lakes Amateur Club.

These communications are done without a cell phone or an internet connection, and much of the radio equipment runs on battery power.

Fillian said these field days demonstrate amateur radio's ability to work under any condition, in any location. He said they can be called on to help in real emergencies.

"If the cellphones and those kinds of things are not working here, Amateur Radio can get the message out of the area to family, to friends to say we're okay," Fillian said.

In 2018, more than 35,000 people in thousands of locations participated.