SPRINGFIELD — Amateur radio operators across the United States and Canada were at the controls Saturday for a Field Day exercise.
One of those organizations, SMARC (the Southwest Missouri Amateur Radio Club) set-up at the Red Cross location on West Bypass.
The members say it's a great way to give back to the community. In a disaster they can volunteer and help with their hobby - firing-up their radios and providing crucial communication. Just last month this Springfield club responded during the Joplin tornado.
"Most of us were in the first level of response," Steve Palmer, President of SMARC said. "When (St. John's Hospital-Joplin) lost communication, we made contract with Freeman Hospital and the club worked to get response from the hospitals here in Springfield."
As an added challenge, all the power for the exercise was provided by solar power for the first time. The club did this incase electric and fuel wasn't available in a future disaster.