Amateur Radio Field Day tests emergency communication

Radio contact played a big role in helping first responders communicate when the city of...
Radio contact played a big role in helping first responders communicate when the city of Washington was hit by a devastating tornado in 2013.(25 News / Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 8:41 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Amateur radio clubs all around the country took part in an annual ‘Radio Field Day’ over the weekend, and several clubs from around central Illinois joined in.

High-frequency radio systems are often used during emergencies when cell towers go down and communication gets difficult.

The field day is a 24-hour event that allows radio operators to tune in with each other and test out different emergency codes and exchanges.

“Basically, we’re sending email over the airwaves - we can send text messages over the airwaves,” said Justin Flick, president of the Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club. “Whenever the cell towers go down, which is pretty frequently during emergencies, we can still get on the air.”

Flick says long-distance radios can reach pretty much anywhere in the world.

He adds they played a big role in helping first responders communicate when the city of Washington was hit by a devastating tornado in 2013.

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