by Gene Mackey; Photos by Karelle Scharff
Closer to Community Safety
Twenty three Ham Radio enthusiasts got new/used radios at the Allenspark Fire Station on January 26. The radios are compliments of Boulder County, generously donating used radios to BCARES (Boulder County Amateur Radio Emergency Services). The radio giveaway is to augment MERN (Mountain Emergency Radio Network) to form a network of Ham Radio operators in emergencies across the immediate Front Range. Disasters such as forest fires and floods can cause loss of power and confusion with the public and a communication network can disseminate information to calm and inform the public of escape routes, unseen dangers, road closures, and provide a link between Emergency Services and the rest of the people for communications and trust. Large disasters are always confusing and this extra link is hoped to reduce the panic and fear often felt in a large scale emergencies.
Special thanks goes to Dan Hershman, Road Maintenance Director and Sheriffs Auxiliary for this radio giveaway. The radios are surplus from the FCC change to narrow band radios for all public service organizations, but were able to be adapted to 2 meter Ham Radio frequencies.
The radio network is planned to connect the Front Range from Estes Park to Nederland and link emergency plans for evacuations and safety. Repeaters for the Ham network are located at Gold Hill, Estes Park, and Longmont and new repeaters are planned for Allenspark and Nederland.