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DeWitt amateur radio club needs new trailer

By Sonny Long
March 22, 2013 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated March 21, 2013 at 10:22 p.m.

This is the setup inside the Coleto Creek Amateur Radio Club's emergency trailer. The club is in need of a new trailer with more room.

HAM IT UP

The Coleto Creek Amateur Radio Club meets at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the First United Methodist Church, of Yorktown, 222 N. Riedel St. For more information, call 361-550-9618.

The Coleto Creek Amateur Radio Club needs a new emergency operations trailer.

The 10-year-old group of HAM radio operators has been using a more than 50-year-old trailer that is small to say the least, said Jimmy Podsim, the club's public relations officer.

"We use it at Field Day as a communications base during the Water Safari and during any emergencies," said Podsim. "One person in it is OK, but with a second person, it gets full real fast."

Club members, like other ham operators, provide emergency communications even when traditional means of communications are unavailable because of power outages or other reasons.

The Coleto Creek Amateur Radio Club, a nonprofit organization, serves DeWitt County and had as many as 50 members, but the number has dwindled during the years and is down to fewer than a dozen active members, said Podsim.

"We'd like to get young people interested in ham radio," he said. "You can talk to people from all around the world, and it's an invaluable tool during a crisis."

Club past president Cliff Boerm said he has used his ham radio to help the National Weather Service track tornadoes in the area, among other emergency situations.

That's just the tip of the iceberg for ham radio capabilities, he said.

"Ham radio operators played a huge role immediately after the terrorist attacks on 9/11," Boerm said. "People need to understand the role ham radio can play when nothing else works, how vital a service this is."

And a new trailer is essential for the club.

"We not only need something larger, like an RV or travel trailer. We need something that doesn't have to be pulled to an emergency site and set up," said Podsim.

Hurshel Pruitt is the club's president.

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