Red River Valley Amateur Radio Club to celebrate 50th anniversary
By Red River Valley Amateur Radio Club
May 20, 2023
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Paris, Texas -- On May 20, the Red River Valley Amateur Radio Club (RRVARC) WB5RDD will mark its 50th Anniversary. The celebration location is the Paris Junior College ballroom at 10:00 a.m. Confirmed guest speakers are Lamar County Judge Brandon Bell, Lamar County Emergency Coordinator Quincy Blount, Paris PD Assistant Chief Randy Tuttle and ham operators that are descendants of original Club members. The public and press are invited.

The RRVARC was established in 1973 by dedicated ham radio operators in the local community. Since then, the Club has established a dedicated location at the Paris Texas Police Department headquarters, operating from their Emergency Operations Center (EOC), while providing community communications services. These services include tornado/storm spotting, ice storm communications support and planned functions such as Tour de Paris where the Club serves as the communications coordinator.

The entire region has been well served by the Club’s partnership with the National Weather Service (NWS) Fort Worth and a link via the North Central Texas Connection (NCTC) to one of the Club’s radio repeaters. Trained storm spotters/observers in the field provide information to Club personnel at the EOC, which in turn can provide that information to NWS personnel. The Club has served the Lamar County and Red River Valley community for 50 years, supporting first responders in disasters of all types.

Founding members Jerry Keisler (WA5KZA), his wife Patricia (WD5FGW) and Mike Rice (WB5KWK), all continue to participate in the Club and membership continues to grow. The Club and individuals have received commendations from the Lamar County Judge and County Commissioners, thanking them for their dedicated service.

In the last few years, the RRVARC became an IRS 501(c)3 non-profit, purchased the domain name and launched a successful Internet presence. Recently RRVARC established a relationship with and started simulcasting the local repeater frequency (146.76) from the website via a direct link to Broadcastify and the Broadcastify smartphone app. In a disaster, even non-hams can now go to the website and live-stream our radio transmissions.

The group is an American Radio Relay League (ARRL) - The National Association for Amateur Radio® - affiliated Club, regularly teaches classes leading towards licensing and conducts quarterly test sessions. Some groups that have taken training from RRVARC are church groups, Boy Scouts, Civil Air Patrol and volunteer firefighters, to mention a few.

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