Volunteers Providing Emergency Communications for Multnomah County, Oregon

Featured Member Profile: Garrett AF7RF

I grew up in Klamath Falls. My grandfather was an electrician and fostered in me a fascination with all things electrical. I studied electronics all four years in high school. Remember vacuum tubes? I took a shot at a degree in electronic engineering at OSU, but discovered I hated engineering.

I was working for ODOT at Government Camp in 1983. We were using CB radios but couldn’t get around the mountain. We needed more power, so the crew and I got ham radio licenses.

I started my electrical apprenticeship in 1990, was teaching the program by 1993, and got my journeyman license in 1994. In 1998, I became a Master Electrician and got certified as an electrical inspector. By this time I was working on traffic signals for ODOT in Portland. I went to the Bridge Shop in 1999. I started working with County Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and in 2006 I was one of the first in the area to become a COM-L. I tried for years to learn Morse Code so I could get my General ticket but, dang it, I just couldn’t learn CW. As soon as they dropped the code requirement, I got my General and then six months later my Extra Class ticket.

I became the ARES Deputy EC in 2010. I retired as Multnomah County Senior Bridge Inspector last year. I am still employed part-time with Multnomah County Emergency Management as their COM-L and Amateur Radio Coordinator.

I have been married to my lovely lady, Meri, for over 40 years now. We have two kids. Brittany got her English degree at PSU, is married and lives in Portland. Spencer earned his master’s in music at Juilliard and is an opera tenor headed to Zurich, Switzerland with the young artist program.