Public service I have done, do, or have volunteered to do as a ham radio operator. None of this is paid time and ham operators cover their own travel costs to provide these services. They also use their own personal equipment.
I have been involved in 4 major groups that provide communication support as a public service:
Waupaca County ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) providing mobile and stationary emergency communication. I also served as the county Emergency Coordinator for ARES for several years as well as Assistant EC for several years. Also as a mobile storm spotter providing real-time, eye witness reports of severe weather or severe weather potential to the National Weather Service in Green Bay. ARES can also be called to service by the Wisconsin Emergency Management, or the county Emergency Manager for disaster communications. A secondary mission of providing operational communications support to large public events. I also serve as an auxiliary weather spotter to four neighboring counties if I am in one of those counties while they are under severe weather warning or watch.
TALARC (The American Legion Amateur Radio Club) uses members who are licensed ham operators to provide support and emergency communications to local and surrounding communities. In January 2005, the Legion signed an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to support emergency disaster preparedness. In 2011, the Amateur Radio Club was established as an integral part of that plan and many Legion posts are being equipped with Amateur radio stations.
Fond du Lac County REACT (Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams) to provide emergency channel monitoring on CB, FRS, GMRS, and Ham Radio. A secondary mission of providing operational communications support to large public events. REACT also deployes trained storm spotters during severe weather.
FCARC (Fox Cities Amateur Radio Club) to establish social contacts in the ham radio world. A primary mission of providing operational communications support to large public events. Many club members are also storm spotters affiliated with their local ARES group.
Monthly meetings in each of the groups last between 45 minutes and 2 hours located in Fond du Lac, Appleton, and Waupaca, Wisconsin. Time and travel costs to these meetings are my public service contribution in an effort to stay well informed of the public needs. Waupaca County ARES/RACES also includes checking in on the radio each Sunday evening at 8:15 pm.
Some of the annual events that I provide communication support for are:
The Iola Old Car Show and Swap Meet
WARS "Bump & Jump" offroad bicycle race in Iola
The Waupaca Trinity Triathlon
Fox Cities MS Walk
Fox Cities Triathlon
JDRF walk in Appleton
High Cliff Triathlon in Appleton
Special Olympics in Stevens Point
Staging support for Fond du Lac Labor Day parade
State wide ARES simulated emergency drill
SIMCOM (State Interoperable Mobile Communications) excersize that helps state, federal, and military agencies identify strengths and issues of cross platform communications.
At least one Skywarn training session each spring.
I also stop for anyone roadside whenever I can. Provide a gallon of gas to get to the next station, change a flat tire, provide a jack or other tools, make a phone call or radio contact for help, or just sit with them until their help arrives. Believe it or not, not everyone knows how to change a flat and not everyone has a cell phone. On occasion a cell phone has a dead battery and on occasion a disabled motorist is 60 or more miles from anyone they know. If I'm not pushing time to get to work in time, I stop.