One local man wants to help area residents to learn more about ham radio operation.

Curtis Benham will be teaching a radio technician class on using ham radios. He said that what inspired him to teach a class on the subject was noticing the amount of citizens who live in rural areas throughout Benewah County.

He said that knowing how to properly operate a ham radio could make a huge difference for rural residents during an emergency.

He said that some residents who live out of town may not have the best cell or Internet service, and that ham radio may be a significant way to call for help.

“I'm trying to support means of communication for the geographically diverse residents of Benewah County,” Mr. Benham said. “For those who don't get the best cell service, if landlines are down, ham radio would be all they got.”

Mr. Benham said that he wants to further spread the hobby of ham radio operation and that it's uses go beyond emergencies. He suggested that ham radio is useful even during popular events.

“I'm interested in furthering the hobby. We need good emergency communication support in the community,” Mr. Benham said. “Having people who know how to operate ham radio could be useful even during events like the yearly jet boat races. Its crucial for officials to be able to communicate down river especially when you start to get out of cell service.”

This will be Mr. Benhams third time teaching the course, and he said that there is no age limit to learning how to operate a ham radio.

“The youngest ham radio operator I've heard of was six years old,” Mr. Benham said. “I've taught people as old as 85 years old before, there's really no age limit.”

Mr. Benham has had success with his past classes, averaging between six and eight students signing up for the class each time. He said that ham radio as a hobby is currently popular and he would like to increase it's popularity here in the county.

The course is slated for eight weeks with the first class taking place on Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. Classes will be hosted at the Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints Church. Each lesson will be on Wednesday nights at that same time.

The course is free.

Mr. Benham said that those who are interested in the class but can't make it to the first lesson due to weather are still welcome to sign up and attend the rest of the sessions.

For more information contact Mr. Benham at 208-582-1704. Mr. Benham asked that callers leave a message and he respond as soon as he can.

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