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An article by Mike Davies in The Campbell River Mirror newspaper on January 10 reported that a “lack of radio operators a ‘significant gap’ in region’s ability to respond to serious earthquake”.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

It will be the regular, everyday people of our community – even more so than our emergency responders – who will make a major disaster like a significant earthquake…let’s say, ‘less bad,’ according to Shaun Koopman, protective services coordinator for the Strathcona Regional District (SRD). And one of the ways the community can improve how we cope with – and bounce back from – a major disaster like the overdue earthquake we’re expecting, is to have more amateur radio operators.

‘We really are short of operators,’ Koopman says. ‘This is one of our biggest gaps here in Campbell River. Not enough people know how to use amateur radio.’

One of the main reasons for that, he says, is that people figure that with all the technology available these days to make communication easier, they think radio has become obsolete.

‘It’s amazing how far we’ve come in terms of communication technology,’ Koopman admits. ‘But in the event of a major event or emergency, we still go back to radio.’ ”

The article goes on to say:

Koopman says the province did a multi-million dollar earthquake exercise last year called Exercise Coastal Response, ‘and one of the biggest lessons learned that came from that was the importance of Ham radio operators in the community.’

And so, Koopman – with help from a few local radio operators – has organized a four-week course, run on consecutive Saturdays beginning January 28 and running throughout February. The four-session course is being run out of the Campbell River Search and Rescue building on Larwood Street in Willow Point with morning sessions running from 9:40 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with an hour break for lunch. There is a $60 fee for the course, payable at the first session, which includes the workbook and cost of the exam.”

For more information on the course and to read the complete article please visit: