65 Hams Attended ARES Training Event
SAVE THE DATE: Annual Field Day is June 26-27
5/25/2021 ~ by Karen Spradlin
On Saturday, May 22, Pickens County ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) hosted a District-wide training event for 13 Northwest Georgia Counties. This event was held at Cornerstone Church, just off Camp Road, from 8am - 4pm.
Titled a “Portable Operations Training Exercise” (POTE), this event attracted hams for training classes, comradery, and the simulation of possible emergency situations. Each participating County brought their own tents, tables, radio equipment, laptops, VoIP phones and antennas to be able to communicate via the spoken word and email messages – all through radio signals.
Sixty-five hams attended from Pickens, Gilmer, Gordon, Whitfield, Murray and Cherokee Counties, as well as many members of the MAT (Mutual Assistance Team) - highly-skilled radio operators from around the state who also conducted the training classes and provided technical support when needed. Classes included soldering, Net Operations, antenna construction, Go-Box design, multimeters, programming radios and Winlink (email) via the radio.
After lunch, each team retreated to their own tents and awaited the instructions and tasks. Each task had to be completed and returned to the Command Center via email. (Remember, no internet was used for these operations, all messaging and communication was done through radio waves!!) The final challenge was for each county to designate certain members of their team, move a portable radio station across the field into a specified tent, set up the station and immediately send radio emails to the command center, in simulation of immediate response to a downed plane scenario.
It was an exhausting, but exciting, full day of events! For anyone interested in amateur radio, and seeing it in action, our annual Field Day will be held June 26-27, 2pm-2pm. Every county/club across the United States will be setting up their own radios and antennas, for the public to view, discuss, and even talk. For Pickens County, Cornerstone Church will again be used as the base of operations, located at 145 Cornerstone Drive, near the intersection of Camp Road and Main Street. Please stop by and ask how you can become a member of this exciting hobby.
The Jasper Radio Club holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of the month, at 7pm at Cornerstone Church. Weekly nets are held every Sunday evening at 8pm, on the 146.700 -/123 repeater.