MAYVILLE - The Chautauqua County Amateur FM Association will host a radio relay field day starting at noon Saturday, June 23 and ending at noon Sunday, June 24 in the Chautauqua County Emergency Management Offices located at 2 Academy Street in Mayville.
Every June, the American Radio Relay League holds a "Field Day" to take radios, antennas and other equipment to a site not ordinarily used for communication activities and attempt to contact as many other such sites as possible in a weekend. Field days test and familiarize Ham radio operators with the intricacies of setting up and maintaining communications away from their usual stations so as to prepare for the possibility of needing to do so in a disaster situation.
Often in major disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes or terrorist attacks, the infrastructure used for day-to-day communication between emergency agencies is destroyed or compromised. In such situations, Ham radio operators are able to fill the gaps. Ham operators also provide "health and welfare" information for friends and family outside of the disaster zone who are worried about loved ones.
Participants compete to see which groups can contact the most stations, renew old friendships and start new ones and demonstrate to the public and to emergency agencies that they deserve their operating privileges.