The Big Bear Amateur Radio Club this last weekend administered the technician class amateur radio license test to a record 15 individuals—and all of them, including 10 members of the Community Emergency Response Team and Big Bear City Fire Chief Jeff Willis (pictured third from left), passed the test. The radio club’s Art Langer, who also serves as CERT’s VP and as the Big Bear section captain for the San Bernardino County Fire Department’s Emergency Communications Service, tells KBHR that prior to the test, students studied for eight hours on Friday and Saturday before testing on Sunday. “We’ve been doing this for over a year-and-a-half now,” he says, “and everyone who has taken our class has passed the test, so I’m proud of our success rate.” The amateur radio license test is administered once a quarter, and now follows CERT training sessions. “So now,“ Langer adds, “we have 58 members of our CERT team who are also trained in amateur radio communication. When all else fails and there’s no phone or cell towers or anything else, there will be ham radio.” KBHR’s weatherman Ben Brissey (pictured fourth from right), who is also a member of the CERT team, says, “Having this license gives you the ability to talk on our local two-meter ham repeater, which is just a lot of fun for chatting and meeting new people—and it is going to be extremely useful in times of emergency, both for our local CERT team communication and in our community.” To find out more about ham radio, the Big Bear Amateur Radio Club welcomes guests to their monthly meetings, held on the last Saturday of each month at 6:30pm at the Big Bear City Fire Department; more info is on their website at BBARC.org.
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