Community

Los Altos ham radio operators participate in county drill


Courtesy of Erica Ray
Dave Ricci, left, and Art Whipple review electronic messages received from the county’s Emergency Operations Center.

The Los Altos Amateur Radio Emergency Service (LAARES) participated in a Santa Clara County-wide drill using amateur radio emergency communications capabilities Feb. 23.

The amateur radio volunteers, also known as “hams,” communicated with the county Emergency Operations Center using voice radio calls and digital communications, akin to sending an email over the internet. As part of the drill, the hams visited various locations in the city of Los Altos to verify the coverage and capabilities of the recently installed radio repeaters funded by the city of Los Altos and the Los Altos Rotary Endowment Fund.

LAARES regularly conducts drills and training to maintain its emergency amateur radio communications skills and equipment, often by supporting civic events such as the New Year’s Day Fun Run, the Kiwanis Pet Parade and the Festival of Lights of Parade.

Part of Los Altos PREPARE, LAARES is a city program that coordinates volunteer efforts, raises awareness of emergency preparedness, offers training to residents and works to strengthen the community’s ability to respond and recover after an emergency or natural disaster.

To learn how to get a ham radio license, to volunteer and for more information, visit laares.org.

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