Public service means volunteering your time, and your skills to the community, to benefit the general public. By law, amateur radio cannot be used to provide communications for business purposes or for hire, but aside from that, by volunteering to help out, we can make an event run more smoothly, more safely, and also generate a lot of good will in the process. It also turns out to be a lot of fun!
We regularly help run the Schaumburg Triathlon, the Chicagoland Marathon, the MS Walk, the Hoffman Estates 4th of July parade, and several smaller events. To event sponsors who must control sites that cover a large geographic area, having a group of people volunteer to link them with all their remote sites is imperative. Knowing where people are, what supplies are needed, who needs transportation, help, or just relief help can make the difference between a seemingly flawless event and a catastrophe. Even those groups who do not understand the value of our help, often tell us that they don’t know how they would have run the event any other way. It takes more than technology (in the form of radios, cell phones, etc) to run communications for a large event. It also takes some of the skills that hams have already learned, to participate in a controlled network, and avoid confusion.
Club members routinely record over 200 man-hours volunteering each year. These members transport their own equipment to the site which includes radios, batteries, antennas and generators. They also bring supporting equipment such as tables, chairs, safety vests, clipboards or maps depending on the exact deployment.
Watch the calendar for upcoming events where you can volunteer.
For more information, you can contact the Public Service Chairperson.