Jim Bell Wireless to hold winter Field Day event

Published 1:50 pm Monday, January 16, 2023

The local Jim Bell Wireless group announced during a recent meeting at the  Greenville-Butler County Public Library the group’s winter Field Day event will be held Jan. 28 at 2828 Sand Cut Road in Greenville.

George Milligan, the President of the Jim Bell Wireless Association of Butler County, talked about the upcoming Field Day Event.

“There will be signs pointing the way for visitors who have never been out that way,” Milligan said.

The group will begin setting up their equipment around 9 a.m.

The public will be welcomed in at around 10:30 am.m.

The Field Day event is free to the public.

“We will probably go about dark,” Milligan said.

They explained some of the in’s and out’s of their programs, as well as the part they play in helping the county stay safe.

The purpose of the Field Day event is to demonstrate to the public what the group does, show the public how a wireless radio actually works, and show what can be done with the radios.

“We will be making contact with other people who set up and other organizations who have set up for Field Day, all across the U.S. and Canada,” Milligan said.

Besides other wireless groups, there are also individuals who set up their equipment to participate.

“There’s different categories,” Milligan said. “There’s categories for groups, for individuals and such like that.”

Milligan explained it’s an event for people to just exercise their capability and show others that an operator can go out remotely and set up for an emergency situation.

This part of the operation is called Skywarn, a National Weather Service program.

People in the Ham Radio community report severe weather to the local EMA office.

“These individuals and groups help the local EMA by reporting on what they observe while out in the field, as well as damage they encounter,” Milligan said.

These radio operators report what they see happening on the ground in real time.

“We have to have a license to operate  on certain frequencies,” Milligan said.

The Field Day events are held twice a year.

Marie Begley, a member of the group, commented on some of the history of Butler County, and some of the things that’s happened in the county.

The Jim Bell Wireless group was named after a previous EMA Director, James Dean Bell.

Since the 1960’s, this group has helped the authorities and the Weather Service alert the public to what’s going on in their area.

“We should have that sort of history in the Advocate,” Begley said. “People would be interested in reading about things like that.”

The group also welcomed Rosie Till, Butler County Emergency Management Agency Director.

“I look forward to working with all of you and thank you for inviting me, “ Till told the group.

Till invited the group to meet out at the EMA office on Airport Road in Greenville.

“We’ll probably be out there in February,” Milligan said. “We hope this will continue to build the relationship between us and the EMA.”