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It's all about communication for the Iredell Amateur Radio Society

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Amateur radio is more than just a hobby for Tom Cash, the secretary for the Iredell County Amateur Radio Society. The fact that it can be a vital service to the community in times of need is what got him interested in amateur radio years ago.

"The mantra for amateur radio service is 'we are the last line of communications', and that's absolutely true because we can communicate even if the cell services are down, or other traditional means of communication are down, we can still communicate," Cash said. "The idea of providing support for the community, in some ways you can give back and donate your time for efforts like this."

It's not just emergencies where amateur radio can play a role. It also can be at events like Balloonfest or the Love Valley Roubaix, where cell service might not be reliable but communications are needed to keep things running smoothly or help out someone in need.

The Iredell County Amateur Radio Society wants to show off those aspects of how amateur radio operators as it takes part in the American Radio Relay League Field Day. The event kicks off on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Albert B. McClure Park at 1230 Museum Road in Statesville. ICARS plans to demonstrate the science, skill and service to the community and nation using amateur radio.

The event is part of a nationwide, 24-hour celebration of amateur radio where ICARS will have stations set up to show off some of the different aspects of what it often called ham radio. There will be chances for the public to broadcast as they learn about how Cash and others serve the community while creating their own as fellow hobbyists and inviting others to join.

The public is invited to attend the field day.

Follow Ben Gibson on Facebook and Twitter at @BenGibsonSRL

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