Amateur radio has been around for years. The removal of the Morse code requirement in 2006 saw an explosion of licensed amateur radio operators as well as license upgrades. The amateur radio operators use their bands for “rag chewing” (shooting the breeze), informal and formal group nets (on the air meetings), as well as for emergency traffic. The entry level, Technician class license, is fairly easy to obtain and has a good portion based off of common sense. Many CERT members have found the benefit of using amateur radio over runners and FRS devices.
O.M.E.G.A. typically facilitates two radio sessions per year – the “H” Week review typically held the last week of June and Technician radio winter class, typically held in November and December.
The session most recently completed, was the “H” Week review. This “Hard” week review covers the entire study guide in one week. The sessions begin on Sunday and run through Thursday, typically the last week of June. This session is sponsored by Community of Christ Church during their vacation bible school week. During the H Week review, it is strongly recommended that the students have previously read the study guide and come to class with questions for clarification. If there are no questions, the facilitator of the session will provide a high level review of the material. Concentration will be placed on understanding material that is testable. If time permits, a practical session is held the last hour or so of the last session.
OMEGA is currently in the process of scheduling a winter 2011, Technician level radio session for January/February time frame. The winter class is a much slower paced class, meeting two nights a week for five or six weeks. Each session is an hour and a half to two hours long, usually starting at 6:00 PM. The study guide is gone over at a slower pace and in more depth. Additional handouts are provided and suggested book titles are provided for greater understanding of certain topics. Homework is given and reviewed.
These sessions are purely voluntary. No grade is given. The facilitators are volunteering their time and the location is provided as a community service, so there are no class fees. The student must purchase the study guide, occasionally, the facilitator will have study guides available for purchase. At this time, we do not hold the testing sessions, but information is provided for finding a testing session and the expectations. O.M.E.G.A. hopes to be able to offer testing in the future.
The “H” week sessions typically have fewer students than the winter class. The Technician class winter session typically has a dozen students. This last “H” week session had two students, of which one chose to become an amateur radio operator.
If you are interested in attending one of the sessions facilitated by O.M.E.G.A., please check the training calendar at the O.M.E.G.A. web site
(http://training.OMEGAresponders.org/) and pre-register. If you would like to have a session for your own group, please contact training@OMEGAresponders.org for availability and scheduling.