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Ham radio operators save the day

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    Posted: 21/May/2017 at 17:23
A tornado rips though a town - Power lines are down. Phone service is out. All means of public communication … gone 
The Xenia Gazette informs its readers about the importance of amateur radio, they say: 
Fortunately, amateur or ham radio is there to save the day as hundreds of operators use their skills to help public safety and government officials.

The above scenario is generic in nature. But anyone who was around Xenia in April 1974 knows all to well that situation can happen.
It did.
An F5 twister tore Xenia apart late in the afternoon April 3. Many had no power. Phone service was disrupted. Cell phones and other portable communication devices weren’t around then. But because of the ham radio operators, Xenia was not shut off from the rest of the world.

And as 30,000 ham operators converge on Xenia and the Greene County Fairgrounds May 19-21 to celebrate their passion, the rebuilt city is a reminder of the importance of hams.

“We’re able to provide communications for at least an extended period of time when all the other ways of communicating are down,” said Marion County Common Pleas Court Judge William Finnegan NR8I, a student at University of Dayton when the 1974 tornado hit. “We can use a lot more power than a CB can. Our range can go world-wide. I’ve talked to almost 200 countries. We can communicate thousands of miles if we needed to.”

Once the tornado hit, Finnegan went to Xenia to help in any way he could.

Read the full story at

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