Rochester Amateur Radio Association, Inc.
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Since 1931
Rochester Hamfest



Public Service

Hams assist public organizations by providing emergency and backup communications.

—  Throughout our history, amateurs have established a reputation for public service communications

—  When all else fails!!

—  When called upon we fulfill one of the most important purposes of amateur radio

—  Local, State and Federal Governments recognize our abilities to assist when needed

Each year we serve many grateful agencies with well over a dozen events. You can sign-up for events below and at any RaRa or ARES meeting. Additional events are listed on the Club Calendar.

Check the RaRa Public Service Page for more information on participating or contact our Public Service Coordinator at


Stay in good operating condition: Participate in a public service event each year!


A Note from Mike Moore, KC2NM, Public Service Coordinator
(January 23, 2021, Published in the February RaRa Rag)

Unfortunately, several setbacks in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic have made planning events difficult for the agencies and organizations that we serve. It has been confirmed that our largest event, The American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure will be held as a virtual event this year. Longer term, the ADA is looking at how to restore the Tour de Cure as a regional rather than a local event in Upstate New York. We look forward to working with them to learn how we can be of help on the road course as Command Post, SAG, and Sweep drivers.

We are in contact with the MS Society and Fairport Crew Crew to receive plans for the ROC the Ride and Fairport Lift Bridge Regatta events. These events are typically held in the Fall so there is time to continue with these events when the information is available. ROC the Ride is a bicycle ride fundraising event conducted in Genesee Valley Park and points south, The Fairport Lift Bridge Regatta is a rowing event that is held by the Fairport Crew Club. For both of these events, RaRa will provide course safety and participant tracking communications.

Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is the largest Scouting event in the world. It is held annually the third full weekend in October. JOTA uses amateur radio to link Scouts and hams around the world, around the nation, and in our own community. RaRa, with our partners Drumlins ARC and SIARC have historically operated JOTA as part of the Challenge Trophy Campout which is an encampment of approximately 2000 scouts.

2021 will be the 45th year for The Pumpkin Patrol. RaRa will participate in partnership with the NY State Police and HAM groups to the east and west along the NYS Thruway. We will be stationed at each of the 16 Monroe County bridges of the Thruway. Twice an hour roll call net will operate to keep an eye on the bridges to make sure motorists will not become the victims of any dangerous pranks.

As Rochester’s hub of lifelong science learning, RMSC is the place that we can experience the thrill of invention and innovation. During the week between Christmas and New years, volunteers from RaRa and other area organizations present the Holiday Science & Technology Days. We will have a booth with demonstrations of electricity, magnetism, and technology related to radio. Our partners at RDXA and XARC operate a demonstration Amateur Radio Station.

Please mark your calendars for our upcoming RaRa Public Service Events.

Update as of May 5th, 2021

Tour de Cure 2021 will be a virtual event with no dedicated road course.

We have requested participation in MS ROC the Ride and Lift Bridge Regatta - No Dates Yet

Many organizations have had a turnover in staff and volunteers so we anticipate the need to rebuild.

2021 Calendar Calendar

Event name Location Days Dates Sign Up
Bike MS: ROC the Ride Genesee Valley Park TBD TBD TBA
ROC the Ride is a bike ride similar to the Tour de Cure except that it supports the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The rides start and end in Genesee Valley Park and the routes extend to the south with lengths of 100, 63, and 30 miles. We have a command post set up in a park shelter and communicate with SAG and Sweep vehicles equipped with Amateur Radio.      
Fairport Lift Bridge Regatta NYS Barge Canal—Fairport TBD TBD TBA
The Fairport Lift Bridge Regatta is held on the Erie Canal in Fairport. RaRa provides communications support for rowing shell races and this operation stations hams at various locations along the course to report race progress and provide information relative to safety on the course. Most of the communications use handheld radios on simplex frequencies. The regatta participants are mostly high school aged and they are there with their families. It provides an opportunity to showcase Amateur Radio to the public.    
JOTA Babcock Hovey in Ovid, NY Saturday October 16 TBA

Jamboree-on-the-Air, or ‘JOTA’, is the largest Scouting event in the world. It is held annually the third full weekend in October. JOTA uses amateur radio to link Scouts and hams around the world, around the nation, and in your own community.

RaRa will set up a ham shack at the Babcock Hovey scout camp in Ovid, NY. The annual Trophy Challenge campout is held that weekend and we will have the opportunity to demonstrate the many facets of Amateur Radio to 2000 youth.

Pumpkin Patrol Bridges of the NYS Thruway Saturday & Sunday October 30 & 31 TBA
Pumpkin Patrol is our longest running public service event. It is a state-wide event and RaRa in Monroe County is just one part of something which spans the entire NYS Thruway. Each pair of riders in a vehicle equipped with mobile Amateur Radio is assigned watch on one of the 16 Thruway bridges in Monroe County. A net is run between sundown and midnight with status reports provided every half hour to report any untoward activity on the bridges. This operation is done in service of the NYS Troopers where we become their “eyes and ears” on Halloween night and the night before. Our presence prevents acts of vandalism and frees up law enforcement resources for more valuable use.      
Holiday Science & Technology Days Rochester Museum &
    Science Center
Monday to Wednesday December 27th
to the 29th
The RMSC Holiday Science and Technology Days are held in December at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. This program is provided jointly with RDXA. RDXA demonstrates an HF phone station and RaRa members demonstrate STEM experiments. The purpose is to present Amateur Radio to the public and interest young people to pursue career paths in the STEM Fields.           

Last revised: 05/06/21 07:17 PM


The Rochester Amateur Radio Association, Inc. is a 501(c)3 Educational Corporation
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