Amateur Radio Operators Train for Emergency Communications

Updated: 06/28/2014 10:28 PM
Created: 06/28/2014 5:06 PM

Amateur radio enthusiasts are keeping their skills sharp this weekend so they can help with communications during emergency situations.

About a dozen ham radio operators set up towers at Spirit Mountain so they could do practice exercises all weekend.The towers were donated for use by county authorities.

Members of the Arrowhead Radio Amateur Club said the exercise helps them prepare for events like Grandma's Marathon where they help with emergency communications at every first aid tent along the race. Members have also helped out in emergencies like the Germann Road Fire last year.

Member Gene Ellefsen said cell phones frequencies can get jammed during an emergency, and ham radios are effective where cell phone signals drop out.

“The radios don't get plugged up. We can maintain communications. There's so many people within the Duluth and Superior area that belong to our club that we can get communications set up anywhere within a short period of time,” Ellefsen said.

The exercise started at 1 p.m. on Saturday and runs for 24 hours and members said visitors are welcome.

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