BC amateur radio club gets ready for the next big emergency
Amateur radio is personal
communication, recreation and emergency. As soon as you go over that hill there,
and on the other side of the valley, there is no cell phone. So there’s no
cell phone from 10 kilometers west of Williams Lake until you get to Bella Coola.
A good communication system is not just one… One egg in one basket. You’ve got
to have a broad cross section. It’s important that you try and keep your
membership up, because the more people that are out there the more people can help
in emergencies, and so forth. So then, what we figured we should do
with some of the money we got from the Red Cross, we said we’re putting on the free
course and we’ll give you eight lessons, eight instruction lessons by qualified
individuals. So we got a tremendous turnout, we got like 20-some odd
people. The long and short of it was 16 people passed the exam. We figured we’re
doing quite well. We’ve encouraged new membership, we’re getting our system
upgraded… Basically what a repeater does, that repeater
up there in Esler, it takes my signal from my radio and it relays it to the next repeater. So now
you’ve got a blanket coverage over a huge area, in our case the Cariboo
Chilcotin, which we can then put a code in and get into the next repeater system
in Prince George, talk to somebody else who is in Clearwater who then goes down
to Kamloops, so basically you can cover the whole province with these repeaters.
We’re at the point now where we feel we can do a much better job if an emergency happens
to come, so yeah… That’s what it’s all about.