Weather Forecast


Local station set up for amateur radio operators on Field Day, June 23-24

Despite the Internet, cell phones, e-mail, and modern communications; every year whole regions find themselves in the dark.

Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice, floods, and hurricanes can leave people without the means to communicate or can take down the power grid. One emergency service that has never failed in these dire situations is amateur radio. Amateur radio operators, often called "hams," have provided backup, emergency communication for the American Red Cross, local law enforcement, search and rescue teams, civil defense, FEMA and even for the International Space Station.

Locally, on the weekend of June 23 and 24, a group of "hams" will test their emergency preparedness at the Wally Freitag place, 17484 County Road 40, Park Rapids. The group will operate from about noon Saturday, June 23 through noon Sunday, June 24.

They will join more than 35,000 other radio amateurs across the United States in this exercise, called Field Day. These stations will operate from parks, vacant lots, campsites, and other eclectic locations and use emergency power sources such as generators, batteries, solar, or wind. The group of amateur radio operators assembling locally includes Al Dewey, Kirk Pengelly, and Ron Dohman of the Twin Cities; Ron Stordahl of Thief River Falls; Glenn Johnson of Bemidji; and Ralph Fedor of Waite Park.

They expect to make over 1,000 contacts with other amateur radio stations operating from similar, portable locations throughout the United States. They invite the public to stop by, talk with the "hams," observe the exercise, and learn more about amateur radio and the service it provides.

For more information, contact Ralph Fedor at 320-492-1531 or ralphfedor