The distorted voice in the otherwise quiet radio room of the Ridgefield Emergency Operations Center (EOC) tells the story. Whipping wind and other weather related challenges have wiped out Internet, cell phones and landlines statewide. The only form of communication that remains is via amateur radio, popularly known as HAM Radio. Regional and state representatives are asking Ridgefield’s experienced team of handlers for input on shelter status and the state of the town as they participate in a nationwide drill sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the nation’s largest amateur radio organization.
Real time drills like the one Ridgefield’s Emergency Operations Radio Team participated in on October 6, give them an opportunity to test equipment and to hone skills. This is the fourth that they have participated in this year.