The History of North Georgia GMRS
“ Build It They Will Come.”
Gary M. Beckstedt Sr.
As a certified, paid and volunteer Fire Fighter of 30+ years, I have seen what many NEVER need to see. But from this experience I have come to learn, understand and respect the weaknesses of Radio Communications in the time of distress, emergency and disaster. Solid, reliable radio communications is the very back bone of our communities and the country.
In 2007 when I learned about GMRS, it was then I remembered the Fellow American speech. Being too old to be an active fire fighter, I was still wanting to give back to my community. I did some research and found that this was a perfect place to help not only families, but also volunteer groups within the State of Georgia, who needed effective and reliable communications during emergencies, disasters, and severe weather situations. I also learned that I was not alone in such an endeavor. Upon the discovery of a nation wide web site, I found that over 377 GMRS repeaters throughout 41 states were doing the same thing. It was time to get busy and put Georgia on the map with GMRS coverage.
As many of you know, I am the owner and co-founder of The North Georgia GMRS Organization, here in Newnan Georgia. We have bought, assembled, installed and continue to support 29 repeater sites throughout the State of Georgia, and southern Tennessee. In addition we have 3 more new sites to complete in the near future. Five of our current sites are situated in mountain top settings of North Georgia, which provide reliable communications for areas with no cell service and limited simplex coverage.
With the average cost of $ 9,000.00 per site for equipment, installation and support, one can see I have a substantial investment. In recent times I have been asked, “What has been the reason why you have spent so much time, money and resources in putting together the North Georgia GMRS network of repeaters?
My answer had three replies.
“ If this network will one day, save one life, in a time of need, then it’s all worth the time, money, and sacrifice”
“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country”
“Build It They Will Come”
The North Georgia GMRS Organization currently is the largest General Mobile Radio Service Repeater Organizations in the United States. Our membership roster has over 550 active licensed members, and their families which by definition of FCC rules, expands to well over 908 users across the State of Georgia. In addition there are in excess 2986 licenses issued in the State of Georgia as well.
We are a member group by nature, formed in 2007. Our sole existence is to provide reliable GMRS communications, education, support sharing, and cooperation for GMRS users in Georgia. Our membership continues to grow at a rate of 25% per a year, since 2017.
The North Georgia GMRS Organization was formed to provide an outlet to alternative sources of communications to our members and their families. We foster cooperation and sharing of repeater resources for both family use and provide access for emergency communication for area emergency response teams in times of need. In addition we provide local and state groups and agencies with interoperability agreements for emergency communications as required.
The North Georgia GMRS Organization has been instrumental in enforcement of FCC rules in our area, as well as the promotion of proper licensing, self-coordination of repeaters, and radio usage.
Many members of The North Georgia GMRS Organization are Professionals; and current members are Firefighters, Police Officers, EMS Personnel, Doctors, Lawyers, and Amateur Radio Operators. We also embody members from private emergency communications providers, commercial communications technicians, and every day citizens. Every walk of life is embodied in the membership of The North Georgia GMRS Organization.
Within this page you will learn just a little bit more about the original founders of our organization, and come to understand the individual drive, spirit, and dedication, each of us had. We celebrate the past 16 years of hard work and dedication, and look to enjoy the next many years in working with many members, both old and new. There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us.
We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line.
Gary M. Beckstedt Sr.
Gary M. Beckstedt Sr. / WQYU407 / ATL-60 , Amateur WB4GMB
Back in 2007 when the founders first got started, it was getting crazy with spending money and working long hard hours up on these towers. In a justification for what we were doing, Gary made this statement…
“Build It. They Will Come.”
This network wouldn’t have been possible without Gary. It has been his vision and passion that has brought this Network to a reality. (Not to mention a lot of his money and many, many hours of hard work.) His dream is to make available an alternate means of communications for friends and family, and to be able to reach one another.
We Thank him for his Vision and share in his Dream.
Dianna M. Beckstedt
Dianna Beckstedt / WQIT856 / ATL-61, Amateur WB4DMB
Dianna has been with us from day one. Ready to grab a rope, hoist a tower section, and tell me I’m nuts when it comes to what we do best….Dianna has always been our Ground Crew Manager, while Bracy and I did all the "High in the Sky" tower work. She has been a valuable asset for us while working up above. However, my deepest thanks go to her for her hard work and unwavering patience in the creation and development of our first website, back when we first started up. Many of the pictures that will be displayed on this web site were taken by her, for us. Without her great work, all of this would not be possible.
“ Thank You”, " Thank You”
Bracy Poppell/ WPYE419 / ATL-80, Amateur KB3KHP
Even though Bracy has moved to Utah, he has been missed and will never be forgotten.
Bracy was a great asset to our team. With both his technical wisdom and hardworking spirit, he was ready to pitch in and make things happen. I truly believe his motto is “Have harness, will climb”. Bracy has provided invaluable support in ALL tower projects and helps whenever he can.
Our NGGMRS Membership
The Early Members of NGGMRS
To all that have donated, we would like to give you a huge Thank-You! Without your financial support in the beginning, this network and its continued growth would not have been possible. A special Thank You for all of you that have helped by volunteering your time, materials, and energy to help get this network on the air. Without each of you this would not have been possible.