The City of Medford has recently made a donation to the Jackson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) for the purchase of equipment to provide new, or augment existing, back-up emergency communications from several locations throughout the county. The Jackson County ARES unit composed of licensed amateur radio operators trained in emergency communications provides back-up emergency communications when all normal communications have either failed or are otherwise compromised. The ARES unit has placed some 20 amateur radio stations throughout the County. These stations exist at all of the hospitals, most fire stations, the Emergency Operation Centers, the County Health Department and the 911 dispatch center. In addition, the ARES unit maintains a mobile communications vehicle equipped with VHF radios for local communications.
The donation from the City has made it possible to purchase equipment to establish an ARES station at the Greensprings Fire and Rescue station. This station will provide back-up communications during emergency incidents for the residents of the Greensprings area including the Pinehurst School. This station will be able to communicate with other ARES stations in the County through the use of one or more of the several repeaters located in the valley. Having ARES stations in the rural and more remote areas of the county is especially important during emergencies when these areas can become isolated and cut off from the ability to communicate with emergency responders.