Last October was the most ferocious complex set of fires in Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties to have ever occurred in California. It caused the loss of almost 50 lives and damage that has yet to be accurately totaled.
The fires also caused catastrophic failures in major cellular, microwave, cable, internet and radio communication systems. Some of these systems had seen earlier failures due to accidental and human causes.
The early hours of Oct. 9, 2017 required another type of communication to be brought into play by the Offices of Emergency Services in all of these counties. Since amateur (ham) radio does not require wire or fiber infrastructure to operate, that means of communication was amateur radio.
Local amateur radio operators from throughout the county responded to the call-out by Mendocino County OES for assistance. Those operators were dispatched to hospitals, medical clinics, shelters at Ukiah High, Willits High, and the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers, some of which are amateur radio operators, were also activated to assist in traffic control, security, large animal transport and displaced pet recovery.
Ham radio license class
Most of us have experienced communication failures affecting our phone, cell phones and internet due to accidents, vandalism and disasters. To better prepare people for future emergencies, the Mendocino County Amateur Radio Communications Services is offering free amateur radio operator training classes.
The classes will be offered on five consecutive Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. starting on March 13. These classes will be offered simultaneously in Ukiah, Fort Bragg and Point Arena, with local amateur radio operators present to answer questions.
The classes are designed to prepare you to pass an FCC amateur radio operator’s license test. Register at http://mcoe.k12oms.org/1707-145602 and additional information will be emailed to you.
More contact information can be found at MCARCS.org and also at w6mmm.club, (Willits Amateur Radio Society.)
Read the full article at http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/article/NP/20180310/NEWS/180319979. STRAY SIGNALS does not claim ownership of the article.