Ham radio groups work behind the scenes of floods, crashes and emergencies to help community (Utah)

With the advent of cellphones and all things tech, one might wonder if there is still a need for amateur radio operators.

Any local radio operator will readily tell you there is — or as Orem operator Keith McQueen explains, “We’re a backup communication resource when everything else goes to pot.”

Amateur radio, also dubbed ham radio, has been around more than 100 years — and in a small way it was the world’s first internet, the world’s first cellphones. By bouncing signals off multiple radio towers, amateur radio operators could chat with people all across the state, and often across the world.

Wade Starks, another Orem operator, said Utah’s current radio towers make it possible for local operators to talk to anyone from St. George to Las Vegas.

More often than not, these radio operators are mostly all volunteers and hobbyists who educate themselves on technology needed.

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