MONTE VISTA — The San Luis Valley Amateur Radio Association (SARA) hosted a Field Day demonstration on amateur radio broadcasting on Saturday, June 25, at Chapman Park in Monte Vista.
President of the SLV Radio Association, Adam Lock was at the demonstration and was excited about it.
“We are excited, despite the weather we have had a good turnout,” Lock said. “We have already talked to many people about our group and what we are striving to accomplish. We are out here to demonstrate what amateur radio operators are capable of. We are operating under emergency conditions today. We are generating our own power through solar and a backup generator. For us, this is more to demonstrate to people what we are really capable of, and what we can do in emergency situations. How we can assist fire, EMS, or anybody else that needs the emergency assistance, if the need would arise. We can also use the radio for simple things too, like putting on a parade or a fair, or any other events going on. This is actually a contest as well, done by American Radio relay league, they are a representative organization. There are a lot of different groups in the country all participating in this together, the last weekend in June every year. This is the third year we have actually been able to put on this demonstration. We are really having fun demonstrating all of this for people. We want to help the community and show people what we can do for them.”
Amateur radio also known as Ham radio, derived from a nickname for an amateur radio operator, entails utilizing different kinds of radio communicative equipment, to connect with people. Amateur radio licensing began in 1912. The first licensing was contingent on the operator being able to appear in the field office and being able to operate the radio station. Ham radio and licensing have since grown in popularity so much that it has become a worldwide network that can reach all over the United States and as far out as the International Space Station.
Ham radio is used for many types of communication, but one of the radio’s biggest areas of importance is the ability to use this type of radio in case other existing forms of communication fail; in the instance of a major emergency or global catastrophe.
“You just never know when something like this will happen,” Lock said. “Just thinking about the recent fire that happened, and the emergency with the shutdown of Xcel Energy that recently happened. too. Many people do not know this but us Hams, actually had our boots on the ground, we were on the field broadcasting and working to help spread information when these events took place.”
One of the main objectives of the SLV Amateur Radio Association, also known as SARA, is to be available during emergencies for the Valley.
At a recent Monte Vista City Council meeting President Lock gave a presentation about SARA and explained the group and demonstrated what the group can do in an emergency.
City Manager GiGi Dennis recognized the group at the meeting and told the group she would like to research ways to help the group with some funding for more equipment.
June 20-26 was proclaimed Amateur Radio Week by the City of Monte Vista.