Jack and Ruth Barber were the key Amateur Radio Operators when the k7if group was originally formed in 2006. This group was a combination of Citizen Band Operators and Amateur Radio Operators who would have a scheduled time to report in to a net control station on behalf of the residents’ support system. The support system had a simple procedure consisting of three colored signs each residence was given for window display following an emergency situation. RED indicated HELP was required, YELLOW indicated the residence had been CHECKED, and GREEN meant no assistance was needed. DART came along a few years later and eliminated the use of these cards. Map Your Neighborhood followed several years later.
After Jack and Ruth Barber had left Panorama, the k7if group diminished from 35 hams to seven. Toward the end of 2016 the license to operate the k7if was nearing expiration. Bob Kalkwarf k7au decided to renew the k7if callsign before expiration and located the seven hams for a vote of support. The group joined the Resident Council as Activity 18 in 2016 and began looking for space to build a radio station to be able to join the national Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) organization which would provide an official connection to a profession communication network for disaster response support in the Olympia area.
A physical location for the radio station space has been approved by Panorama and is adjacent to the Emergency Supplies Storage area in the vicinity of the Barn. Plans and budgets are being drafted to solicit Panorama Corporate support for the facility. It is expected we will be able to enlist arriving residents who have their ham license to help man the station during network schedules with the existing ARES / OARS group of the Olympia Amateur Radio Society.