SARANAC LAKE — The Adirondack Amateur Radio Association, or AARA, was recently awarded a $650 community organization grant by the Rotary Club of Saranac Lake to upgrade emergency and backcountry communication equipment.
“We are honored to be entrusted with these funds to help us upgrade the back-up emergency communications equipment at the Adirondack Health Emergency Department at Saranac Lake,” said Barry Brogan, AARA team coordinator. “We maintain amateur radio equipment at all of the Tri-Lakes healthcare facilities and we are linked in through the repeater system on Whiteface Mountain to all other northern New York hospitals and county emergency operations centers. Since we first installed radios in the early 2000s, the technology has changed and the new radio that we will be installing in the emergency department actually allows us to access it remotely from anywhere on the hospital campus.”
The amateur radio association will also purchase portable antenna equipment that can quickly be set up anywhere accessible by a vehicle.
“We are purchasing two new antennas and towers that can be supported by a trailer hitch and set up pretty much anywhere,” Brogan said. “This improves our capacity to fulfill our mission of providing emergency communications to the healthcare community as well as state and local agencies, such as the state forest rangers, during search and rescue missions. This equipment is also used to provide backcountry communications for community events like the 90-miler canoe race.”
The Rotary Club of Saranac Lake makes grants to community non-profit organizations each spring in support of a wide variety of community improvement initiatives. Information is available on the Rotary Club website.