NEWS: The FCC granted the application for W6TQF as the Skamania County ARES call sign. W6TQF was the call sign of Gerald O. Martin. Gerry was an ARES member from Concrete, WA and died in Skamania County at the age of 64 while on duty reporting the eruption of Mt St Helens on May 18, 1980. His tactical call sign was "Coldwater 2". His last transmission was “Gentlemen, the camper and car that’s sitting over to the south of me is covered. It’s going to hit me, too.” You can listen to the last transmission at http://skamania-prepare.org/ares/w6tqf-about-our-station-call-sign/
The Skamania County ARES team was formed to help citizens and government agencies communicate during an emergency/disaster. Members are FCC licensed amateur radio operators (“Hams”) that volunteer their time, equipment, and technical knowledge to enable our community to recover from disasters when the need arises. For additional information, please contact the Emergency Coordinator.
How can you help?
- If you have an amateur radio license, feel free to check us out. Attend a meeting, participate in a scheduled NET, apply for membership.
- If you would like to get an amateur radio license, there are many ways to study for the tests. Please note that Morse code hasn’t been a requirement for years!
- Skamania County ARES offers a amateur radio technician exam review class once per year, usually in Spring. Contact the Emergency Coordinator for more information.
- Radio Amateurs of the Gorge (RAG/W7RAG) offers a class once per year typically in late summer or early fall in Hood River. Contact Kevin for more information.
- The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) has self-study books available with all of the questions and answers you will see on a test.
- There are plenty of smartphone apps will drill you in the questions for all 3 levels (Technician, General, and Extra).
- If you are ready to take an amateur radio license exam, there are many locations in the metropolitan Portland/Vancouver area that offer exam sessions every week. Go to: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session and enter a zip code to find a schedule of exam sessions.
- If you don’t have the time or interest in amateur radio, there are many things you can do to be an asset to your community in the event of an emergency or disaster:
- Take a First Aid/CPR/AED class. Check with the Columbia Gorge Community College, local hospitals (Gorge Rescue), or the American Red Cross for a schedule.
- Participate in the Washington Map Your Neighborhood program. Map Your Neighborhood is designed to improve disaster readiness at the neighborhood level and teaches neighbors to rely on each other during the hours or days before fire, medical, police or utility responders arrive.
- Volunteer with your local fire department.
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