During last year's hurricanes, the US Government turned to amateur radio operators for communication support. HAM radio has been around for decades. This afternoon, the Tyler Amateur Radio Club and East Texas Emergency Communications Service held its Field Day at Tyler State Park. It's a day when the public can talk to people around and learn how the radio works. Operators say the word amateur is a bit deceiving.
"There are many radio amateurs who have taken a number of courses through the emergency management institute for FEMA," said Rusty Wallace, Disaster Services Coordinator. "We train monthly. We conduct sophisticated drills twice a year. We do this field day to set up for emergency preparedness." There are nearly 700,000 licensed amateur radio operators in the United States, and more than 2.5 million world wide. Operators today were able to talk to people as far away as California.