Volunteers from Williamson County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (WCARES) will participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on Saturday, June 22, through Sunday, June 23, at the Williamson County Public Safety Center.
The event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. During this 24-hour exercise, radio operators from across North America set up temporary transmitting stations in remote places to demonstrate their team’s emergency response capabilities and public service skills. WCARES volunteers are among over 40,000 operators that participate each year.
The WCARES team participated in the 2018 Field Day exercise, placing ninth overall out of 2,903 groups and finishing first among 186 emergency operation centers that also took part.
"We are excited to be able to test our skills under changing conditions,” said Randy Moore, WCARES emergency coordinator. “We use the information we learn from Field Day to better prepare our response to an emergency in our community. We have a strong partnership with Williamson County public safety officials who allow us to utilize the Emergency Operations Center during the exercise, which helps make the event more realistic and functional."
Amateur Radio System exercises have been organized in North America since 1933. The exercises encourage enthusiasts, teams and professionals to experiment with their electronics to transmit audio, data and photos, all without using the internet. Participants test the system under abnormal situations making the operators better prepared to deploy it during an emergency.
“We are grateful to have WCARES as an asset in our community,” Public Safety Director Bill Jorgensen said. “If our communications infrastructure were to fail, we know we have trained and capable volunteers to help restore communications during a disaster.”
WCARES has more than 150 volunteers who commit their time and efforts to providing emergency communications services to the Williamson County community.
For more information about Field Day or amateur radio, visit www.wcares.org. The Williamson County Public Safety Center is located at 304 Beasley Drive in Franklin.