SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Who was that bivouacked this past weekend at Spring Lake Park? Did the Marine move boot camp from Parris Island? Did Orson Welles classic War of the Worlds land in South Plainfield instead of off Route #1 in Grovers Mills New Jersey? No. It was South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club’s (SPARC) Annual Field Day.
The Field Day is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). It began at 2:00pm June 25th and ran through the night to 2:00pm June 26th. It is a 24-hour emergency preparedness exercise and demonstration of the Radio Amateurs skills and readiness to provide self-supporting communications without further infrastructure being required.
“This is a 24 hour exercise, it is a United States and Canadian exercise,” said Marvin Bronstein SPARC President. “We do make contact into and out of other countries and that is part of the exercise, so we will be contacting people all over the globe. We keep score by the amount of contacts we make and what modes of operation whether Morse, voice, digital or video. We send these results to the American Relay League and they computerize the tallies. SPARC has about 15 members.”
Unlike last year’s exercise which was plagued with poor rainy weather, this year’s event had perfect weather for a perfectly motivated group of volunteers.
SPARC members are also CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) members under the South Plainfield Office of Emergency Management. These individuals have demonstrated their value in public assistance by providing free radio communications for local parades, runs, walk-a-thons, fairs and other charitable public events. Many of these “hams” participate as weather spotters in the SkyWarn program of the US Government Weather Bureau.
“It is amazing what SPARC is able to do with a ladder, and other normal household items,” said South Plainfield Mayor Matthew Anesh. “I’m fascinated with how quickly SPARC is able to put this operation together. It’s amazing.”
For further information about SPARC please contact Marvin Bronstein at (732) 287-0491; firstname.lastname@example.org