By Jess Kleean
The Winter Field Day Association (WFDA) is set to host their Winter Field Day on Jan. 28 at Linville Land Harbor in Newland, NC in hopes of highlighting the importance of emergency preparedness and the vital role that radio operators play in crisis situations. This is a 24-hour event, set in real life circumstances to make the experience immersive and authentic for everyone that has the opportunity to attend.
The Amateur Radio Club is key in maintaining open lines of communication in any situation year round. From helping family members contact loved ones deployed overseas via HAM radio to traveling wherever may be needed in emergency situations to help establish communications lines for first, second, and third responders, the members of this organization focus on serving their community any way they can. This drive to serve is what they hope to exhibit at the event.
Rick Westover, a member of The Amateur Radio Club, emphasized that the most important aspect of this event is encouraging education and awareness of exactly who members of the Amateur Radio Club are and the good works that they do on a volunteer basis in a crisis situation. He hopes that more and more people will be inspired to join these organizations as he stated: “We, as an organization, are completely nondiscriminatory, as what we focus on more than anything is promoting an active community presence within the clubs. We have members from ages 10 to 100 who found a passion for HAM radio, and that in itself is a pretty incredible thing.”
If you are wanting a fun, educational weekend, then this is certainly the place to be. If you attend, expect to learn about the fascinating world of radio communication and to be “wowed” through various demonstrations, including attempting to contact an astronaut currently in orbit. Talk about an out of this world experience! No matter what, you will leave this presentation with a new appreciation of the radio world, and the incredible volunteers who lead it.