Benoit, Longtime Ham Radio Operator, to Join Saturday’s Field Day
LA QUINTA – More than 35,000 ham radio operators will set up radio stations at field days this weekend throughout the United States and Canada in the annual demonstration of amateur radio’s instantaneous world-wide communications.
Supervisor John J. Benoit will join the Desert R.A.T.S Amateur Radio Club at the La Quinta City Hall Emergency Operations Center located at 78-495 Calle Tampico from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday.
The continuous 24-hour exercise is open to the public, which can tour the community emergency response team trailer and observe the activation of the emergency operations center. Newcomers to ham radio will be able to “get on the air” at the GOTA station and make a contact. The event lasts from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday.
“I sincerely appreciate the role ham operators and particularly Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) groups play in our emergency preparedness,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “I encourage citizens to see the value of their emergency capabilities and come to a field day, a special event that is becoming a part of history.”
Supervisor Benoit has held an advanced class amateur radio operator’s license, WA6IAD, since 1994. He had a significant home ham station for many years and participated in many ham radio events, including field days, from his home station and mobile operations since the 1980s.
Natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, wildfires and floods can quickly turn into disasters when communications are lost. Ham radio operators provide emergency communications for government and civic organizations when normal systems are rendered inoperable or overloaded.
In 1983, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake cut Coalinga, Calif., off from outside communications. Benoit was one of the many ham operators who stepped into the void, personally handling several emergency messages emanating from the community.
For more information about field day activities, please contact Glenn Morrison, president of Desert R.A.T.S., at 760-770-6434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.