The Ventura County Board of Supervisors recognized the county’s amateur radio volunteers by designating June as Amateur Radio Month at the June 12 meeting.
In presenting a proclamation to local ham radio operators, the board cited the many hours of training and instruction the volunteers devote to serving the region in times of emergency.
Ham operators gain operating privileges by passing examinations that qualify them for licensing by the FCC.
Some then undergo training to support the county’s emergency services agencies or they may affiliate with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service to serve agencies such as the Red Cross when there’s a need for skilled communicators.
A recent report showed over 3,475 licensed operators residing in Ventura County.
Locally, during the Thomas fire, communications volunteers were pressed into service in Ventura County.
On a larger scale, the hurricanes of 2017 saw amateur radio used as the only workable link to some of the impacted islands and communities in the Caribbean.
In Ventura County, the ham radio communicators also support activities such as community events. They conduct weekly on-the-air drills to assure their equipment and operating techniques are current.
Amateur radio operators are volunteers who also purchase and maintain their own equipment.
Amateur radio began in the early 20th century. More than 800,000 ham operators live in the U.S.