Ham Radio Operators Volunteer to Reestablish Communications in Puerto Rico

3 years 3 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, September 28 2017 Sep 28, 2017 September 28, 2017 9:38 PM September 28, 2017 in News

WESLACO – A group of 50 volunteers armed with ham radios land in Puerto Rico with the task of reestablishing communication.

Dr. David Woolweaver is the director of the West Gulf Division of the National Association for amateur radio. 

He said Hurricane Maria has left parts of Puerto Rico with no power, gas, or communication services.

So his organization teamed up with the American Red Cross and sent 50 volunteers armed with radios to the island.

"So we are sending systems down, repeater systems their called. And that will be designed to assist the police the fire and emergency services so they can get back to providing the services for the people," Woolweaver told CHANNEL 5 NEWS. 

He explained that first wave of volunteers are dedicated to providing rescuers the communication services they need.

Woolweaver said a second group of volunteers are being assembled.

“The second wave we hope will be taking with them high speed systems that will be able to transmit information back to the states that will support what we call health and welfare traffic. That's information about the individuals who are living there so we can be certain their loved ones are safe and sound," Woolweaver explained.

He said the high speed systems will have the capability to reach the entire United States.

A number of the volunteers sent to Puerto Rico will also make their way to the U.S. Virgin Islands to help reestablish their lines of communication as well.

Woolweaver said his association will continue to further their education and update their equipment to ensure they are ready to assist those in need.

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