June 24, 2009
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
Ham radio operators offer public demonstration at Old Stone House
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Local ham radio operators from the Butler County Amateur Radio Public Service Group will construct emergency radio stations and demonstrate amateur radio for the public at Slippery Rock University's Old Stone House from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 27 and noon to 5 p.m. June 28.
The annual event, known as "Field Day," has been offered since the 1930s. Field Day is the culminating activity of "Amateur Radio Week," a weeklong program sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio enthusiasts.
More than 30,000 amateur radio operators across the nation participated last year.
Ham operators consistently prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of telephone systems, the Internet or other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis or national disaster.
Field Day is a training exercise that prepares local amateur radio operators in the event of a ocal or statewide emergency. "The communications networks that ham radio operators can quickly create have saved many lives in the past months throughout the world when other systems failed or were overloaded," said Allen Pitts, media and public relations manager for ARRL.
There are 650,000 amateur radio licensees in the U.S., and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide free emergency communication for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies.
The public is invited to see local amateur radio capabilities. Visitors can also learn how to obtain an FCC radio license.
To learn more about amateur radio, visit: http://www.emergency-radio.org/.
The Old Stone House, one of Butler County's most recognized landmarks, is located at the intersection of routes 8, 528 and 173, 12 miles north of Butler.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.