Radio amateurs simulate an emergency test | Local



CLEAR WATER (WQOW) – Earlier this week, 911 briefly broke down in parts of western Wisconsin, which begs the question, “Who takes over when typical operators aren’t available?” “

It turns out that when there is no power, but you still need to communicate in an emergency, ham radio kicks in.

On Saturday, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service conducted a “Going Dark simulated emergency test.”

Housed in the upper floors of Sacred Heart Hospital and the Marshfield Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, operators performed several exercises such as flood evacuations, polluted water illnesses and requests for fuel for hospital generators.

You may notice that in the video several operators are not wearing masks. They said this was to ensure clear communication during emergency communications.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service communications coordinator William Kraft said when major disasters strike they always have the capacity to transmit the necessary information.

“We operate off the grid,” Kraft said. “As amateur radio operators, because we have so many frequencies that we rely on, we can provide this vital communication when the going gets tough.”

Kraft added that becoming a licensed amateur radio operator requires skills: from training on how to conduct emergency communications to understanding how antennas send information.

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