GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Florida. – Members of the Clay County Amateur Radio Emergency Service hone their skills and prepare for hurricane season.
The group gathered at Camp Chowenwaw on Sunday in Green Cove Springs.
Radio operators are one of the first lines of defense in a thunderstorm. When disaster strikes and communication breaks down, team members take action.
“Our radio communications are an infrastructure backup for the police public fire department and things like that,” said Scott Roberts, spokesman for the Clay County Amateur Radio Emergency Service.
Radio amateurs are licensed personnel.
Their gear doesn’t depend on the internet, phones or towers, which is why it can save lives in natural disasters like hurricanes.
Adrian Gray became an operator at just 18 and said it could be rewarding.
“It’s the fact that you give back to the community. It’s really that fact more than anything else,” Gray said.
They use a simple antenna to make contact in an emergency and that’s exactly what they did during Hurricane Matthew when communications were lost.
The group’s goal is to have operators across the state and help as many people as possible.
“That’s what we do and that’s why we support, and it feels good to do that,” Gray said.
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