Ham radio operators gathered in San Bernardino where The Salvation Army Corps held its 20th annual “Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network” (SATERN) seminar, which was free to the attendees. SATERN is the official emergency communications service of The Salvation Army. Paul Hager is the SATERN coordinator and promoted this year’s event.
The topics included, Changing Role of Armature Radio in Emergency Disaster Services by Carl Gardinias, Active Shooter by Bob Turner and the final topic of the seminar was “Armature Radio Mesh Networks” by Don Hill.
Among the participants were members of the American Red Cross and ham radio operators from the community. Mark Vessup, from San Bernardino, said that this was the third SATERN seminar that he has attended. Vessup works for the US Forestry Service in the Communications Department as a Radio Technician.
Four Boy Scouts from Perris, CA prepared over 60 meals for the seminar participants. Scout Master Ed Stilgebouer said that the scouts are “Life Scouts,” which is one level below an “Eagle Scout.” This was the troop’s 10th year that they participated during the SATERN event.
SATERN members are activated during disasters to facilitate communications. During major disasters most landline telephones and cellular phone services are not expected to be operational. Radio equipment operated by governmental agencies, like police and fire departments, is very sensitive and may have operational issues after a major disaster.
SATERN members meet once a month for joint training exercises involving several Salvation Army Corps locations in Southern California. All SATERN members are part of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) and are background checked and hold ham radio operators licensees. Only qualified licensed ham radio operators are allowed to transmit on ham radio frequencies.
Major Daniel Henderson is the Committee Advisor and Host for this year’s SATERN seminar. Last year Major Henderson said, “We work disasters because Jesus Christ wants us to touch people’s lives! Jesus wants us to be in the middle of human pain and suffering (assisting were we can).” Major Henderson is the Pastor at the San Bernardino Salvation Army Citadel Corps, which has recently moved to 2626 E. Pacific St. in the City of San Bernardino.
If you would like more information on how to obtain a HAM Radio License or becoming a member of SATERN, you may contact Mr. Paul Hager at 909-338-0319.