Community

Los Altos Amateur Radio Emergency Service expands its reach with new repeater system


Courtesy of City of Los Altos
Members of the Los Altos Amateur Radio Emergency Service test their newly acquired communications equipment.

New equipment and the work of members of the Los Altos Amateur Radio Emergency Service (LAARES) has strengthened amateur radio emergency communications capabilities in Los Altos.

Funded by the city’s Los Altos PREPARES program, the Rotary Club of Los Altos Endowment Fund and LAARES members, LAARES acquired a repeater system with battery backup and installed the equipment at the Los Altos Police Department building Oct. 14. The repeater system improves amateur radio coverage across the city, enabling emergency volunteers to receive and broadcast information and assure citywide reliable communications capabilities during a disaster.

LAARES volunteers held “work parties” over the past several weekends to perform operational testing and tuning, and confirmed that the equipment is operating as designed. In addition, the new equipment was successfully used during an Oct. 6 emergency preparedness drill conducted by the Community Emergency Response Team, Block Action Team leaders and LAARES.

LAARES volunteers are a key part of the Los Altos PREPARES program, which links city staff, first responders and community volunteers to improve the city’s emergency preparedness and ability to respond to disasters. LAARES volunteers have established emergency communications procedures and regularly conduct drills and tests of their systems, as well as provide communication assistance for civic events.

For more information on LAARES and getting an amateur radio license, visit laares.org.

For more information on the Los Altos PREPARES program, volunteer opportunities, emergency preparedness and classes in Los Altos, visit losaltosca.gov/emergencyprep.

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