Amateur radio communication has come a long way since the olden days of Morse Code.
But if radio operators have to resort to going old school, they can still crank out the dots, dits and dashes in a pinch.
Whatever it takes to keep the lines of communication open during times of a crisis or emergency, local radio operators say.
“When there is an emergency, the first thing that usually goes out is electricity,” said Wes Boyd, vice president of the Mahoning Valley Amateur Radio Association. “That usually takes with it your cable TV and telephones, and communication is gone. We are the backup [communication] structure for homeland security and emergency management.”
About 25 members of the MVARA are taking part in a demonstration of how quickly amateur radio operators can mobilize and respond in times of emergencies. The event will continue through 2 p.m. Sunday and includes other operators participating across the United States and Canada. It’s an annual event sponsored by the American Radio Relay League.
Locally, the demonstration is set up this year at the Mill Creek MetroParks farm, located on state Route 46 just across from the Canfield Fairgrounds.
For more on the event, read Sunday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.