NEWINGTON – Marking the resiliency and importance of maintaining radio communication, the National Association for Amateur Radio turned up the dial Thursday and celebrated the reopening of its national headquarters in Newington.
“Amateur radio is a noble cause and one that brings me great pride and joy,” said Rick Roderick, president of the American Radio Relay League. “Over the last year, I’ve witnessed the extraordinary dedication of ARRL members, staff and board of directors, who without skipping a beat, have worked together to equip our members for the opportunities they need to serve an active and vibrant radio service for our country.”
ARRL board members from across the US, along with state and local elected officials, partner organizations such as the American Red Cross, the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, International Amateur Radio Union, Radio Amateurs of Canada, and other community members, gathered at ARRL’s national headquarters on Main Street for an official ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the rededication of radio services as the pandemic begins to ease.
Founded in 1914, ARRL is the national association for amateur radio and a noncommercial organization of radio amateurs. Its mission is defined by five pillars, public service, advocacy, education, technology and membership. Newington has been its national home since 1936, with over 158,000 members nationwide and over 2,000 members in the state.
Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a popular hobby and a service in which licensed participants operate communications equipment with a deep appreciation of the radio art, according to ARRL.
The organization supports the awareness and growth of amateur radio worldwide, advocates for meaningful access to radio spectrum, strives for every member to get involved, encourages radio experimentation and advances radio technology, and trains volunteers to serve their communities by providing public service and emergency communications.
Glenn Field, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said amateur radio plays a vital role when phone lines or other means of communications are down during times of crisis, such as tropical storms, hurricanes, forest fires and other emergencies.
“The role of our amateur radio operators goes farther than just gathering and relaying information. They are able to access hard hit areas which allows us to zero in on areas in which we want to conduct our storm survey and maximize our productivity while out in the field,” he said. “The National Weather Service treasures the role ham radio operators play.”
On behalf of the congressional delegation, Rep. John Larson presented a certificate of special congressional recognition for ARRL, which highlights the dedicated and phenomenal service that ARRL and its members have given to the state of Connecticut.
After surviving two global pandemics, ARRL CEO David Minster said the organization and its members have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly while being able to continue to serve the public.
“This speaks to the resilience and dedication of our staff, board members and volunteers,” he said. “We are your friends and neighbors, we celebrate the good times and bad times, and we’re by your side when all else fails.
Contact Catherine Shen at firstname.lastname@example.org