What started out as a hobby for a small handful of community members has bloomed into a club that is now capable of assisting the county in emergencies or other major events.
The club, known as the Coastal Amateur Radio Team (CART), began when Larry Lowe, current club president, bounced around the idea of helping people become amateur radio operators.
Amateur radio operators, also known as ham operators, hold special licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that allows them to operate amateur radio systems. CART currently has 14 licensed members, including Lowe and CART Vice President and Bryan County Probate Judge Sam Davis.
Davis said he is excited about the club, and he and other CART members are working with county officials to establish a county ham radio shack at the Bryan County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) building on Hwy. 204 in Ellabell.
Davis said Bryan County’s emergency 911 systems are operated mainly by Internet and computers. If these connections were to be lost during an emergency, he said, there would be no back-up communication in the county.
With an amateur radio system, this would not be an issue, he said.
“The whole premise behind it (CART) is the fact that should something happen, we’d handle all the communications for them (the county) until they could get their 911 systems back up and running,” Davis said.
Read more in the June 8 edition of the News.