Kentucky Mountains Amateur Radio Club hosts annual field day in Whitesburg

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 6:56 PM EDT
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WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday

WHITESBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a hobby and service practiced by people across the world.

On Saturday, several ham radio buffs came together on Pine Mountain, not only to bond over a shared love, but to inform others on the significance ham radio has within our society.

“You know, the saying goes, when all else fails, amateur radio works,” said Woody Hartlove, Kentucky Mountains Amateur Radio Club member.

To ensure they’re ready in case disaster strikes, those with the Kentucky Mountains Amateur Radio Club came together to host a field day.

“This is an event where we practice coming out, setting up, running off battery power. Once we’re on battery power, we’re making those contacts, and the reason we do this is in case there’s ever a natural disaster, the ARRL wants us to interface with county governments, state governments, and local governments,” said Roland Brown, president of the Letcher County Amateur Radio Club.

Ham radio can also benefit us for severe weather, providing a sky warn net to work alongside the National Weather Service to provide real-time updates.

“It gets upgraded as warnings come in and as they go away, it’ll get downgraded, but we’re usually there on top of the weather, trying to get everybody to stay safe,” said Hartlove.

Events like this can also serve as a way to keep others informed on the club’s mission.

“We do have an aging population of ham radio operators, but I think its important for the general public to understand what role we’re playing here in the grand scheme of things,” said Brown.

Aside from promoting their main purpose, those with the club say the amateur radio club is a community like no other.

“Its like one big happy family and everyone is so nice and friendly and helpful. its a great hobby to get into,” added Hartlove.

Those with the radio club say they meet every month but periodically host events involving the community.

The club will be hosting a “Ham Fest” event in August which will be open to everyone.

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