Amateur Radio Operators Support Apple Scrapple Event


Local volunteer amateur radio operators provided communications support to the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center Mobile Command Unit in Bridgeville for the annual Apple Scrapple Festival on October 15.

Wearing yellow emergency vests, the operators, aka the hams, joined the crowd of attendees to provide general information, give instructions and be the eyes and ears on the street for the mobile command unit of the county. The teams were also able to provide specific information about the festival, as well as helping family members find each other.

For an event as important as Apple Scrapple, these feet in the street allow first responders and event staff to focus on other tasks.

Using their radios, multiple volunteers can exchange information and quickly coordinate a response to an incident.

The operator on site during an incident sends a message to the network control to the mobile control unit. The message is heard by other operators working on the event and, if necessary, they can also respond to the location. If a visitor asks a question that an operator doesn’t have an answer to, they can call network control for information, and all event operators hear both the question and the answer.

Bill Sanders, Auxiliary Communications Group Operations Section Chief, said, “Fortunately for Delaware, we don’t have a lot of disasters. So we like to come to an event like this to practice our teamwork and messaging skills. It’s a way to keep our skills sharp.

Every amateur radio operator is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and operates under the rules set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations. Each ham provides its own equipment and makes a concerted effort to keep abreast of new technologies and methods.

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