Library receives set of amateur radio operating books amid budget crisis

Published: Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM.

The league — of which NOARC is a member — in 2014 will celebrate its 100th year of American amateur radio.

In addition to connecting with fellow hams all over the world, amateur radio club members advise local Boy Scout troops during the worldwide Jamboree on the Air, Zethmayr said. They also provide communications during regional emergency operations.

NOARC also serves as a training resource for many area responders including county Emergency Operations Center employees, he said.

“We, over the last couple years, have trained employees of Okaloosa Gas, Auburn Water, the Okaloosa County Health Department, and (Community Emergency Response) teams,” Zethmayr said. “We’ve added more than 100 licensed amateurs. Okaloosa County now has more than 800 licensed hams.”

Through regional radio networks, Crestview area hams provide communications linking and guiding emergency responders using satellite positioning and related technology. Local hams helped set up the emergency center’s amateur radio communications equipment, Zethmayr said.

“If other equipment fails, amateur radio will keep working,” he said. “A lot of the guys have solar power now, and many have generators in case the power goes out.

“For example, if Crestview has a situation where you can’t get into Crestview when water comes up over the roads — and it’s happened before — we’re geared up to provide additional communications to the network.”

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