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Public demo of emergency communications set for June 28 and 29 in Hennepin

Published: Monday, June 23, 2014 3:55 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 23, 2014 5:01 p.m. CDT

HENNEPIN — Every year whole regions find themselves unable to communicate in an emergency despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been amateur radio.

The area “hams” organization is the Illinois Valley Radio Association. It will join with thousands of other amateur radio operators across the nation showing their emergency communication capabilities on June 28 and 29. The Field Day event will be at the Ernest Bassi Park in Hennepin.

The public is invited to attend the event which will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday and run continually through Sunday at 1 p.m.

This annual event, called Field Day, is the climax of the week long Amateur Radio Week sponsored by the ARRL, which is the national association for amateur radio. Using only emergency power supplies, the ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.

Utilizing the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services. This service is provided at no charge.

The IVRA Radio Club meets monthly at the Hennepin Village Hall on the first Tuesday at 7 p.m.

To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org.

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