This past weekend was the annual event held throughout the U.S. and Canada known as Field Day. CCARES, the Culver City Amateur Radio Emergency Service, held a public demonstration at Emergency Operations Center behind Fire Station 1 in Culver City to teach others about ham radio capabilities and learn how anyone can get a FCC radio license.
Volunteers spent 24 hours from Saturday morning, working through the night, until Sunday morning, scanning frequencies all day and all night to gather contacts on digital, voice, and morse code messages. Visitor could receive a tour of the emergency stations and lessons and tips in ham radio.
This year, the CCARES volunteers’ goal was to top last year’s Field Day accomplishments, during which CCARES made 555 radio contacts. Participating stations are ranked in different categories in their efforts to gathering contacts. Last year, they also finished first in their category in the SW Division and placed 7th nationwide.
United by the slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works”, ham radios operators are often vital to communication and recovery in the midst of emergency crises. Ham radios are sometimes the only way to communicate when phone system and internet are down or clogged up during emergencies.
There are over 700,000 FCC licensed Amateur Radio operators in the US and over 2.5 million in the world. Many volunteer in the times of natural of disasters including wildfires, earthquakes, storms and tornadoes. Hundreds volunteered during Hurricane Katrina to help save many people and their belongings. The Field Day event held at the emergency station served as an opportunity for people to learn more about ham radios and being prepared for emergencies so that they can help themselves and others in crisis.
Field Day serves as a reminder that readiness and poise are crucial for those times of unexpected crisis—which can and do happen at any time. And when they do, we can only overcome them by working together.