State Ousts Leader Of Oregon Amateur Radio Service

The state is cutting ties with the head of Oregon’s amateur radio service, Vince Van Der Hyde.

The cut comes after he asked volunteers not to take part in a recent emergency drill — because of bad equipment and control issues.

When Oregon suffers a major earthquake, cell phones, telephone lines and other communication systems may fail — or be overwhelmed. So the state has an agreement with amateur radio enthusiasts to provide a backup system.

That system was scheduled to be tested during a drill last week.

But Van Der Hyde, the head of the Oregon Amateur Radio Emergency Service, asked his members not to participate.

He declined to comment for this story, but in a letter he said state equipment was in disarray, volunteers were not given enough time to prepare and the state doesn’t have operational control of the service.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management issued a statement confirming the end of the relationship with Van Der Hyde. But stressed that it’s not cutting ties with the amateur radio group.


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