For the City Times
Radio Operators Watch for Safe Trick or Treating
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Members of Wood County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), in cooperation with the Mid-State Repeater Association, Wisconsin Rapids Police Department, and Wood County Emergency Management will be participating in the annual Halloween Watch event to help keep trick-or-treaters safe.
In this event, amateur radio operators will be assigned portions of the Wisconsin Rapids area to drive around in and observe during trick-or-treating time. They will be watching for any signs of trouble – vandalism, violence and so on. If something is observed, they will report it to law enforcement. Operators are specifically instructed to not engage anyone they suspect of participating in criminal activity, rather observe and give updates to law enforcement until they arrive.
“This is one of the times that we as a group get to give back to the community by providing this service. We’re happy to provide it and we appreciate the opportunity to work with our other partners on this annual event” said Wood County ARES Emergency Coordinator Mike Krohn.
Operators will be in vehicles that will have decals denoting that they are providing emergency communications. If an operator is out of the vehicle for any reason, they will be wearing bright colored traffic vests to ensure visibility.
The purpose of ARES is to provide trained amateur radio operators who are able to provide emergency communications in the event of any natural or man-made disaster. In this role, amateurs are able to be additional eyes and ears of partner agencies to help them complete their vital work.
For scanner and shortwave listeners, the amateur radio portion of the event will be on the 147.330 W9MRA repeater, and operations will start before trick-or-treating time and wrap up near the end of trick-or-treating time.
Anyone interested in getting more information about becoming an amateur radio operator can email the Mid-State Repeater Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or head to Facebook and check out Wood County ARES and the Mid-State Repeater Association’s pages.