Press Release

Department of Disaster Management
Release Date:
Friday, 16 April 2021 - 5:59pm


The Territory’s emergency communications capabilities have been strengthened by the addition of two licenced amateur radio operators, including one who has achieved the rank of examiner.

Mr. Elton Scatliffe is the BVI’s first amateur radio operator to qualify as a volunteer examiner, and the first to earn this accreditation remotely. He initially trained in emergency radio operations as a volunteer under the late Arthur Swain. Professional Cadet at the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) Mr. Keon August also becomes the first BVI amateur radio operator to earn an operating license remotely.

DDM Acting Director Mr. Jasen Penn said that licensed amateur radio operators, sometimes known as “hams,” are an important component of emergency communications.

“Amateur radio operators are a community that shares information about local conditions around the region and the world, and they can communicate even when landline or mobile service becomes inoperable,” Mr. Penn said, adding, “This means that they help us all prepare for and respond to threats from weather and other disasters.”

Amateur radio operators will also connect on Sunday, April 18th, for World Amateur Radio Day, which is being observed this year under the theme, “Home but Never Alone.” According to the International Amateur Radio Union, this theme was chosen to reflect amateur radio’s ability to connect persons who may otherwise feel isolated due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Persons who would like to pursue their licence are encouraged to contact BVI Amateur Radio League President Dr. Ronald Georges at

IMAGE CAPTION: DDM Acting Director Mr. Jasen Penn congratulates recently qualified amateur radio operator Mr. Keon August and amateur radio accredited volunteer examiner Mr. Elton Scatliffe.


Chrystall Kanyuck-Abel
Information & Education Manager
Department: Department of Disaster Management
Office: 468-4200 
Mobile: 468-9854