ACS/MST Field Day 2009

June 19, 2009


Seattle:  Ham radio enthusiasts will join thousands of Amateur Radio operators across the nation to show off their emergency communications capabilities this weekend at South Seattle Community College June 27th and 28th.  Seattle’s “Auxiliary Communications Service and Medical Service Team” that serve the City’s Office of Emergency Management, will demonstrate their capabilities  as  emergency radio operators showing how to set up and operate field radio stations under emergency conditions, off the power grid, for an extended period of time. 

The two Seattle groups will demonstrate their Ham Radio Communications and preparedness capabilities during the Annual ARRL Field Day exercise using Green-Energy, solar and wind generated electrical power to run amateur radio stations during the event.  Seattle ACS and MST field day planning chairperson for the event, Tammy Zoch said, “The event will offer the public a chance to participate talking on Ham Radio to radio operators throughout the US and Canada and experience the exciting world of amateur radio communications.  New this year will be a display of emergency portable radio stations used by ACS members in deployment during times of disaster and emergency needs.” 

The staging area for the City of Seattle  Ham radio event will be located at the South East sector of South Seattle Community College campus near Olympic Hall.  On-Air operations will start at 11AM Saturday and continue till 4PM Sunday.

 Map to SSCC public will have a chance to meet and talk with ACS and MST members and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about.   On display will be the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code, as over 30,000 amateur radio operators across the country participate in the ARRL Field Day event. 


Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events word-wide.  During Hurricane Katrina, Amateur Radio – often called “Ham radio” – was often the ONLY way people could communicate, and hundred of volunteer “hams” traveled south to save lives and property.  When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications. 

In the event of an emergency such as an earthquake, with failure of normal communications systems, ACS is responsible for establishing emergency back up communications networks in the field providing support for the Seattle’s Emergency Operating Center.  The other Team, MST is responsible for establishing a similar network between City hospitals, the Department of Health and the City and County Government. 

Field Day is an annual event climaxing the week lone “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio.  Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and back yards around the country.   Their slogan, “Ham radio works when other systems don’t” is more than just works to the hams as they can send messages in many forms with out the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.

“We hope that people will come and see for themselves, this is not your grandfather’s radio anymore.” said Allen Pitts of the ARRL.  “The communications that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives when other systems failed or were overloaded.  And beside that – it’s fun!” 

For more information about the Seattle ACS or how to join the team please visit the Seattle ACS website:  Information on the Western Washington Medical Service Team (MST) can be found at  To find out more about ham Radio or how you get started, visit the American Radio Relay League home page on the World Wide Web

written by:  Dave Mann, KD7ZYM – Seattle ACS PIO


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