Local amateur radio operators train for the worst-case scenario

Posted at 1:49 PM, Jan 25, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Bluegrass Amateur Radio Society is camping out at the Kentucky Horse Park this weekend to train for any potential natural disaster or emergency.

Twice every year, they brush up on their ham radio skills, which would be crucial for communications in an emergency where cell towers or power are knocked out.

"In this day and age of cellphones and technology, there's still only one tried and true method when all else fails and that's amateur radio," amateur radio operator, David Richardson, said.

If a disaster were to strike, the group would be ready to pass along messages to the appropriate authorities. For example, they could be vital in communicating to state or national agencies about whether people have been hurt or what resources are needed.

However, they also acknowledge that the chance of a crisis in Lexington is slim, so many in the group enjoy amateur radio as a hobby.

On Saturday, there was an eclectic group of people, from a real estate broker to professor and lawyer. They all work in amateur radio in their spare time.

Saturday's training is also a competition, where radio operators around the country compete to see how many people they can connect with in 24 hours.

There is no prize, but each group is ranked based upon how they do.

BARS will be out at the Horse Park until 2 p.m. for the competition.