Thousands of Ham Radio operators will be showing off their emergency capabilities this weekend in a worldwide Field Day. In Dickson County, amateur radio operators will be set up at the Dickson County Emergency Services building at 284 Cowan Road for the 24-hour effort to make radio contact with other operators across the country and around the world. The annual Field Day begins at 1 pm Saturday and runs until 1 pm Sunday with local operators logging voice and code contacts. Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications in emergencies, including California wildfires, Oregon and Michigan storms, tornadoes and other major events. The slogan for ham radio operators across the country is “Ham radio works when other systems don’t.” Locally, amateur radio operators have provided weather spotter services and communication links when storms or ice have caused widespread power outages. While telephone systems, Internet-based communications and even some emergency radio systems can be compromised in a crisis, ham radio operations can work hand-in-hand with emergency responders to provide critical communication links. This weekend’s Field Day provides the public an opportunity to watch ham radio operators in action as part of the conclusion of Amateur Radio Week, sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio operators. “We hope the people will come and see for themselves, this is not your grandfather’s radio anymore,” said Allen Pitts of the AARL. “The communications networks that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives in the past months when other systems have failed or been overloaded.” There are 650,000 Amateur Radio licenses in the US and more than 2.5 million around the world. The Dickson County Amateur Radio Club invites anyone interested in learning more about ham radio operations to stop by their Field Day operations at the EMS building. The club has an ARRL licensing exam team that can schedule an examination to work on obtaining a license here in Dickson. For more information on amateur radio services, visit arrl.org, emergency-radio.org or qsl.net/dicksonarc or the Dickson County Amateur Radio Club’s page on Facebook.