Amateur radio operators prepare to help others

Amateur radio operators prepare to help others
Posted on 07/25/2014

On April 17 during the Great Utah ShakeOut, nearly a million people in Utah joined to participate in a large-scale earthquake drill. Here in Cottonwood Heights, a small group of amateur radio operators gathered to participate in the drill as well. Though they usually work behind the scenes, their expertise could make the difference between success and failure in the city’s response to emergencies.

The Cottonwood Heights Amateur Radio Club (CHARC) works closely with the city’s emergency preparedness committee to help with communications during a disaster. The radio network these volunteers have established serves as a major communications tool in helping block captains, district leaders and precinct leaders learn the status of every household in the city within just a few hours of a catastrophic event. That data is then mapped through the city’s Geographic Information System to give city leaders and first responders a clear picture of the status of the city’s residents.

“Should we have a real event in the city, this data would be critical to providing service to the citizens of Cottonwood Heights,” said Assistant Police Chief Paul Brenneman.

April’s preparedness drill was “an outstanding success” according to CHARC President Carlos Cardon. However, block captains and amateur radio operators are still needed. If you are interested in volunteering as a block captain, please email Debbie Mat If you are a HAM radio operator or would like to learn more about amateur radio, email CHARC at

We extend our thanks to these volunteers who work so hard on behalf of all of us!