BELLEVILLE – For some, radio communication seems like a thing of the past; something to look back on as we use more current forms of communication like smartphones and the internet.
For Peter Hodgson however, it can serve as the best backup for communication when other services go down.
Originally born in England, Hodgson would emigrate to Canada with his parents in 1965. He said that his father was apart of the aviation industry in England and wanted a fresh start.
"He swore that he'd never work on aircraft again," he said, "He was a technical writer, so he wrote manuals and specifications for companies,"
While he was 18 at the time of emigrating, he had already completed school in England and therefore didn't need to attend school in Canada.
"Most of the people my age were still in school," he said.
After living in Oakville with his family, he would move into Belleville in the 1980's, as part of a promotion he received from his job at the time.
It was here that he first became involved with the local Amateur Radio Club.
The Quinte Amateur Radio Club provides two services for the area. It's most important is emergency communication.
Many cities are required by law to have a backup emergency system when primary communication systems fail.
Hodgson, who is an emergency coordinator for the club, says the radio still remains one of the best forms of communications in emergency situations.
"Cell phones aren't designed to be able to handle the traffic that would happen if there was a flood," he said.
However, despite being mandated for the area to have this backup communication service, Hodgson and the rest of the members of the club are volunteers.
"We're actually written into their plan as a contact if needed," he said.
He and 60 other volunteers also provide other services for the area, such as Halloween patrols, where they patrol the streets on Halloween. As well as providing radio services for community policing.
"It's actually very quiet," he said. "We are noticing over the years though that a lot more parents are walking with their kids on Halloween," he said.
But Hodgson has another important service he contributes to, and that's with St. John Ambulance's Therapy Dog's Program.
He said that his involvement started when his daughter first asked him for a pet dog.
"She wanted a chocolate lab so she bought one," he said, "But like all kids, she went away to university, then it became my dog,"
He was contacted by St. John Ambulance in 2007 to be apart of the program. One of his current dogs, named Mocha, has taken part in various different Therapy Dogs programs across the region.
"We do Hastings Manor, the Belmont, Loyalist," he said, "It's kinda funny to cause when you go to the long term care homes, you meet Loyalist students who are doing their job there, and they're always saying 'hi Mocha, hi Mocha,'"
"They probably get to know the dog but they don't get to know me," he said.
Hodgson, despite his work, wouldn't consider himself a hero.
"There are people in St. John Ambulance that save lives," he said, "I just go with the dogs, and I enjoy it,"