Story by Paul Rios
Photos by Billy Ortiz and Dennis Richardson
View a video by Billy Ortiz of this presentation
April 13, 2012 (Lakeside)--A once in a lifetime opportunity between the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club and The Lakeside Fire Department arose when the newly built Fire Station #2 was nearing completion.
The Lakeside Amateur Radio Club (LARC) contacted the Lakeside Fire Department (LSFD) and asked if they could install and operate an amateur radio station at the new facility. LSFD said they would welcome LARC. The Amateur Radio Station will be used for drills and for emergency communications if a firestorm like the 2003 and 2007 fires should hit the county in the future.
With this newly installed Amateur Radio Gear, they hope to aid with communications into the many valleys in the Lakeside community. The new radio communications group will be called Communications Volunteer Group (CVG) of the Lakeside Fire Protection District. The new group will encompass Lakeside Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the Amateur Radio Station, and the Lakeside Fire Department, all working together to serve the local community in the time of need.
Another way the station will be used is to provide backup supplemental communications with CAL Fire and the Sheriff EOC that already are in place and are up and running with amateur radio equipment. This type of communication is essential to help decongest radio traffic during a wildfire disaster freeing up Fire Department Radios to handle emergency communications.
The Amateur Radio Station Equipment was donated by SURF, San Diego Running Organization, which uses Amateur Radio communications to aid in some of their runs. They helped in the past by donating money to purchase radios for CAL Fire PIO Information Center to help them with backup supplemental communications and communications with VIP Red Flag Patrols. Other donations were made by members of the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club. The Lakeside Amateur Radio Club members will also be installing the radio equipment soon.
The Lakeside Amateur Radio Club is grateful in knowing that the Lakeside Fire Department has graciously accepted help with communications in the event of fire or other disasters. During the 2003 wildfire the need for amateur radio or (Ham Radio) communications was recognized as local radio stations were giving late news to areas like Crest, Harbison Canyon, Peutz Valley, El Monte Valley, Blossom Valley, Moreno Valley. In fact, some areas received no news creating a deadly scenario.
By assisting in communication, lives can be saved. If one life is saved the effort will be well worth it.