If there is a storm and the emergency communications system goes out, local amateur radio enthusiasts are prepared to help first responders.
“Once that goes down, the police don’t have any way to communicate, the fire department doesn’t have any way to communicate, so they rely on guys like me to fill that void,” explained John Fritze.
That’s when John Fritze, and other amature radio enthusiasts, known as Hams, would be notified by the Albany County Sheriff to help assist.
“What happens is, I can sit down behind a police radio and I can do dispatch. If I am trained to do that, it’s legal for me to do that,” explained Fritze.
As trained communicators, the Hams are licensed by the FCC. Some are even trained to help report to the National Weather Service. And when the hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, Hams in the Upstate New York region were deployed to help relay messages back and forth.
And while the Hams don’t always get recognition, they are always there if and when we need them.