ST. GEORGE – A project many months in the planning has now been completed: Installation of a new high frequency antenna at the Washington County Emergency Operations Center.
Members of the Washington County Amateur Radio Emergency Service teamed up with the St. George Fire Department to install the new antenna on a 70-foot flagpole. The antenna gives the Emergency Operations Center the ability to communicate via direct radio waves with all of Utah and neighboring states in the event of an emergency in which the Internet, cell phones and other infrastructure-reliant systems are not available.
WCARES also assisted in the installation of radio as a backup communication system at Dixie Regional Medical Center’s River Road campus in February 2013. In the coming months, the Southwest Utah Public Health Department is planning a renovation and improvements of their communications room.
“We are very excited that these agencies have had the vision to provide these abilities to communicate,” WCARES Technical Manager Bob Vosper said. “Getting timely, accurate information during a significant event can be critical.”
WCARES is a group of about 40 amateur radio operators who volunteer their time, equipment and expertise to serve Washington County when the need for emergency communication arises, such as a natural disaster or blackout. Every member is a qualified operator trained in incident communications, message handling and communications traffic control. The group also provides non-emergency communications support for events including Ironman St. George, Huntsman World Senior Games, Zion 100/50 marathon and St. George Marathon.
Submitted by: Washington County Amateur Radio Emergency Service