GREENE COUNTY — The interest in amateur radio continued to grow during 2018 with Ohio ranking fifth in the country in the number of licensed Amateur Radio operators according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) year end numbers.
The renewed interest in amateur (ham) radio is attributed in part to the desire for alternative communication methods in emergencies. The ability of amateur radio operators to help save lives in wildfires, mud slides, severe weather and other disasters has been documented in the media.
To help serve this interest the Greene County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (GCARES) is once again offering help in obtaining an FCC amateur radio license. GCARES is offering three Amateur Radio license classes starting Sunday, Feb. 10. The classes will meet from 7-9 p.m. each Sunday through April 7. A test for all classes of licenses will be given 6 p.m. Sunday, April 14 in the Training Room at Beavercreek Township Fire Station 61.
There is no charge for the classes and Morse Code is no longer required to obtain any amateur radio license. The classes are supported by the Bellbrook Amateur Radio Club (BARC), the Upper Valley Amateur Radio Club (UVARC) and the Xenia Weather Amateur Radio Network (XWARN) in addition to GCARES.
The entry level Technician Class course will be held in the Training Center at the Bellbrook Amateur Radio Club Clubhouse, Room 1, Sugarcreek Elementary School, 51 S. East St. in Bellbrook. No experience is required and there is no minimum age required to earn a Technician Class license.
The General Class course and the Test Session will be held in the Training Room at Beavercreek Township Fire Station 61 located at 1295 Dayton-Xenia Road just west of Orchard Lane.
The Extra Class course will be held in the Training Room at Fairborn Fire Station 2 located at 2200 Commerce Center Blvd. just south of Dayton-Yellow Springs Road.
Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. To register for a course or for more information contact Henry Ruminski at W8HJR@arrl.net or leave a voice mail or message at 937-232-9272. Those interested can also come to the first class meeting to learn more.