Local ‘hams’ provide communications support during statewide simulated emergency test

    BROWNVILLE — In an emergency, when normal systems break down, amateur radio operators (hams) make communications possible. On Saturday, Oct. 18 hams deployed throughout the state to emergency operation centers, designated shelters and strategic field positions to test their capabilities during a simulated emergency test (SET). The scenario for the test was a hurricane that disrupted phone and Internet services.

    Locally, the Piscataquis Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) centered its operations at the Brownville Town Office with portable stations on Stickney Hill and the Penquis Valley High School in Milo. Licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, amateur operators are authorized to use radio equipment capable of transmitting voice, data and images. This capability was put to good use during the SET where the ARES team sent and received test messages and exchanged information with emergency management officials and first responders throughout the state.
    The test was declared a success by Maine ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Phil Duggan citing the enthusiastic participation by amateurs from all corners of the state. George Dean, Piscataquis ARES emergency coordinator, thanked his team, all members of the Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club, for being available should the real thing happen.
    The Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club and Piscataquis Amateur Radio Emergency Service are affiliated with the American Radio Relay League and provide support to many community activities throughout the year, including the Piscataquis River race and the Brownville dog sled race.
    For more information, please contact Dean at or 441-6112 or Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club President Ben Kittredge at 943-2849.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.