Amateur radio operators sought
WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Sept. 17, 2019 — Capt. Doug Hunter of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and Amateur Radio Emergency Service coordinator, along with Wayne County Emergency Management Association Director Joe Villegas held an informational meeting on Tuesday in an effort to recruit amateur radio operators into Amateur Radio Emergency Services or ARES.
Hunter stressed that becoming a member of ARES takes dedication and commitment. “This isn’t just someone showing up with a radio,” he said during the presentation to a room full of interested individuals that gathered inside the Red Cross building.
Hunter explained that a volunteer must first obtain an amateur radio license, then complete a series of classes in order to qualify to become a member of ARES.
“You have to know your place in an emergency situation,” he said. “When everyone works within their role, things run much more smoothly.” That role, in most cases, consists of augmenting communications between first responders at a time when conventional communications are unavailable or out of service due to a disaster.
It isn’t always dire emergency situations, like floods or tornados, that ARES provides communication support for. Many communities often need additional communications during events such as festivals and marathons. One example that Hunter cited was the use of ARES personnel being stationed along the route of the recent Heart and Sole Race in Wooster.
Villegas echoed what Hunter said about the need for properly trained ARES members in the area.
“We need a pool of operators to pull from in the event of an emergency,” he said. “And there is training provided for anyone who is interested.”
For additional information visit www.waynecounty365.com. The site, maintained by Capt. Hunter, provides information on the licensing procedure, amateur radio groups and other relative information.