Oroville >> When the Red Cross signaled it would open a evacuation center in Oroville for the Cherokee and La Porte fires, there was a small band of volunteers that may have not been noticed.
They were hauling boxes of equipment to a back room at the Church of the Nazarene. They were part of the Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society, providing communication capabilities to the Red Cross.
Whenever the Red Cross establishes a evacuation center, the ham radio society sets up. It helps with communication between the Red Cross operations, centers and headquarters.
GEARS is part of the American Relay League.
The process was repeated in February during the Oroville Dam spillway crisis, in July with the Wall Fire, in August with the Ponderosa Fire, and now with the Cherokee and La Porte fire. Volunteers donated more than 500 hours of service during those local emergencies.
“We provide emergency communications for the Red Cross. When the…