HC AuxComm takes part in Amateur Radio Field Day

ON AIR — Hancock County AuxComm team member Duane Fluharty working the “get on the air” station. -- Julie Riedel

NEWELL — For the second year in a row the Hancock AuxComm team participated in the national Amateur Radio Field Day. They set up six radio antennae at Clarke Field in Newell during the 24-hour-event running from 2 p.m. on Friday to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Field Day began in 1933 to show the reliability of the emergency services and amateur radio operators’ ability to create an independent communications network in emergency situations. The event is sponsored by the Amateur Radio League and encourages ham radio operators across North America to set up temporary radio stations in public locations.

The Hancock AuxComm team helps with communications during emergency situations by taking responsibility over emergency specific communications, allowing the Hancock County 911 operators to focus on everyday emergency calls.

The team’s sign trustee, Justin Shaw, is the emergency coordinator for District One in West Virginia and coordinates emergency communications across six counties, and the president, Levi Anderson, is responsible for leading emergency communications in Hancock County.

The team had about 15 operators participating as part of the weekend’s. They competed as a Class 5A, meaning they had five stations set up, which included a digital station, a voice station, and a morse code station. They also had a “get on the air” station to let unlicensed individuals get air time, but this station was not eligible for competition.

During Field Day, the team used battery, generator and solar power to run equipment. Secretary Roy Polmanteer reported they had a good community turnout, and had representatives from the Newell Volunteer Fire Department, Hancock County Commission, and Hancock County Ambulance attend.

(Riedel can be contacted at jriedel@reviewonline.com)