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Ham radio operators remain at the ready to help in emergencies

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Amateur radio enthusiast Ron Kosciusko of Tiburon operates the emergency radio system Oct. 28 at Tiburon Police Department, where as a volunteer he can connect with other operators in the region. (Elliot Karlan / For The Ark)

Though ham radio operation is sometimes dismissed as a dying medium, there is a small but dedicated community of about 50 operators throughout Marin — including several on the Tiburon Peninsula — who share a common interest of serving their communities and speaking to people all over the world through the air waves.

Ron Kosciusko became interested in ham radio many years ago after learning Morse code as a scoutmaster with Boy Scouts of America, now Scouts BSA; knowing Morse code is a requirement to get a novice ham operators license. He’s currently the Tiburon liaison for the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service, or Races, which operates as an auxiliary arm of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and helps exchange messages between fire and police stations, hospitals, public-works facilities and other county agencies when there are no other means of communication.

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