WNKI, the local emergency radio broadcast (1600 AM), also has a telephone number [(951) 659-WNKI or 659-9654], which can be called from outside the station’s range, said Bill Tell, president of Mile High Radio Club and the local Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services.

If no active emergency is taking place, the message will be, “WNKI is broadcasting normal tourist information.”

However, if an emergency exists, MHRC will post an advisory description or message to be heard for those dialing into the station, Tell said. It also hangs up automatically so that the line is not tied up and others can call to learn more about the situation.

Tell has been getting help about the system from Carroll Lindholm, one of the original WNKI founders who now lives in Los Angeles. It’s his voice on the message.

RACES is still working with the Idyllwild Fire Department to complete a memorandum of understanding, which would give MHRC authority to operate the station, Tell explained. Once in place, he is hoping to use MHRC’s 501(c)3 status to collect funds, enabling the club to improve the station’s performance.