The Red River Valley Ham Radio Club-WB5RDD will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday. The ceremony will be held in the dance hall of Paris Junior College at 10.00
Confirmed guest speakers include Lamar County Judge Brandon Bell, Parish Police Department Assistant Chief Randy Tuttle and ham operators who are descendants of the club’s original members.
The public and media are invited.
RRVARC was established in 1973 by dedicated radio amateurs in the local community. The club has since established a dedicated location at the Paris, Texas Police Department headquarters, operating out of the Emergency Operations Center, providing communications services. These services include tornado/storm watching, ice storm communications support and scheduled functions such as the Tour de Paris where the club acts as communications coordinator.
The region was well served by the club’s partnership with the Fort Worth National Weather Service and a connection through the North Central Texas Connection to one of the club’s radio repeaters. Trained storm spotters/observers in the field provide information to club personnel at the EOC, who in turn can provide this information to NWS personnel. For 50 years, the club has served Lamar County and the Red River Valley community, supporting first responders to disasters of all kinds.
Founding members Jerry Keisler (WA5KZA), his wife Patricia (WD5FGW) and Mike Rice (WB5KWK) continue to be involved with the club and membership continues to grow. The club and individuals were commended by the Lamar County Judge and County Commissioners for their dedicated service.
Over the past few years, RRVARC has become an IRS 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, purchased the wb5rdd.org domain name, and launched a successful web presence. Recently, RRVARC established a relationship with Broadcastify.com and began simulcasting the local repeater frequency (146.76) from the website with a direct link to Broadcastify and the Broadcastify smartphone app. In the event of a disaster, even non-amateurs can go to the website wb5rdd.org and live stream our radio broadcasts.
The group is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League/National Association of Radio Amateurs, holds regular classes leading to licenses and conducts quarterly test classes. Groups trained at RRVARC include church groups, Boy Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, and volunteer firefighters.