Tag Archives: EMCOMM

A Memorable Story From President George Plotkin KF5WFA

Club President George Plotkin, KF5WFA, writes some ‘Food for Thought: Ham Radio is Awesome!’ in the September issue of “The Groundwire” website of the Tyler (TX) Amateur Radio Club. It’s about Emergency communications …  Layne AE1N

Sometimes one is compelled to share a story, particularly one of a timely and life-affirming nature. As you all know by now, we had the Texas QSO party this past weekend, a chance for us to get to know one another and to get on the air and make a few contacts. Not being a contester, I viewed the QSO party as a chance to sharpen my amateur skills.

Terry Gimbel, W5TG, a former Tyler ARC president, and an all-around good guy, was the midwife for this event and was a good one at that.  He and Bill Huston (W5ZK) got us up and running on Friday night, and Saturday went fairly well. Most of the folks who showed were old hands at ham radio. Contacts were made until the bands crashed around midday. The crowd left around 1600 HRS, leaving Terry to watch over things for a bit. What happened next was remarkable, and Terry’s own description is better than anything I can pen. Terry writes:

“Saturday afternoon, after everyone had gone for the day, I was just tuning around on the 10m band for no particular reason when I heard a very faint signal calling ‘CQ’. The operator sounded desperate for any North American station on frequency to answer. Not hearing anyone else answer him, I responded with my call and that’s when things got serious.

“The calling station was in Puerto Rico. The operator said he was on a salvaged wire dipole taped to the roof of a building and was running on generator power. The man’s name was Luis. He said he had very little gas for the generator and was desperately looking for someone to relay health and safety information into the U.S. He asked me if I could just take as many names and phone numbers as possible and to call family, friends and loved ones. Now, my Spanish is rudimentary at best but for the next 90 minutes under very bad band conditions we made it work. I’ll tell ‘the rest of the story’ at the next club meeting.”

Wow! One of the original reasons for radio was to relay messages in times of emergency. The Amateur Radio Relay League had that as a fundamental part of their constitution. What was initially a get-together to meet one another for fellowship and to try our hand at HF radio communications became a life and death issue for an amateur radio operator named Luis and those he was valiantly trying to help. There he was, huddled in the dark without power or water, running his equipment on the only generator for miles around with gas from an overturned car and one of our amateurs rose to the occasion and made a real difference.

Thanks Terry, you made a difference.

Ham radio is awesome.

73 de George KF5WFA

FULL STORY: http://www.tylerarc.org/?p=1112

Communications Interoperability Training with Amateur Radio Community

Elements of the US Department of Defense (DOD) will conduct a communications interoperability training exercise November 4-6, once again simulating a “very bad day” scenario. Amateur Radio and MARS organizations will take part.

This exercise will begin with a national massive coronal mass ejection event which will impact the national power grid as well as all forms of traditional communication, including landline telephone, cell phone, satellite, and Internet connectivity,” Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, explained in an announcement.

During the exercise, a designated DOD Headquarters entity will request county-by-county status reports for the 3,143 US counties and county equivalents, in order to gain situational awareness and to determine the extent of the impact of the scenario. Army and Air Force MARS organizations will work in conjunction with the Amateur Radio community, primarily on the 60-meter interoperability channels as well as on HF NVIS frequencies and local VHF and UHF, non-Internet linked Amateur Radio Repeaters.

Again this year, a military station on the east coast and the Fort Huachuca, Arizona, HF station will conduct a high-power broadcast on 60-meter channel 1 (5330.5 kHz) on Saturday from 0300 to 0315 UTC. New this year will be an informational broadcast on Sunday, on 13,483.5 kHz USB from 1600 to 1615 UTC. Amateur Radio operators should monitor these broadcasts for more information about the exercise and how they can participate in this communications exercise, English said.

“We want to continue building on the outstanding cooperative working relationship with the ARRL and the Amateur Radio community,” English said. “We want to expand the use of the 60-meter interop channels between the military and amateur community for emergency communications, and we hope the Amateur Radio community will give us some good feedback on the use of both the 5-MHz interop and the new 13-MHz broadcast channels as a means of information dissemination during a very bad day scenario.

Contact English for more information or questions about this exercise.

Reblogged from the ARRL website by Matt, N1ZGN

International Amateur Radio Saves Life

A recent incident with a happy ending is summarized in the following press release translated from the German Press … Layne AE1N

Exceptional international help in an emergency

The Ortsverband Erding in the German Amateur Radio Club makes again talk about: The fact that radio amateurs worldwide connections can connect with other radio operators, is no secret. This hobby is practiced by hundreds of thousands around the world. Even members of the Erdinger Club keep themselves abroad and keep contact with their homeland. But now and then the interesting hobby becomes an emergency. So happened last Friday, when Lothar Fröhlich / DK8LRF and HK3JCL, also a member of the Erdinger radio operators, in Colombia just talked to friends in New York and Germany on shortwave and suddenly a cry for help was heard. Cheerful thought first, someone wanted to make it a joke and disturb the round, but he quickly realized that it was a cry for help of a known radio in Dingden on the Dutch border. What happened?

The radio operator, confined to a wheelchair for 49 years after a serious bathing accident, was alone at home and had fallen down and was unable to move. Since he is often talking to Fröhlich at the same time on a certain frequency, he had set this fortunately and also pressed the “VOX” button, so that the radio automatically goes on air when someone speaks. This was to his benefit, because he called for help with all his strength and was, as he later announced, about 5 m away from the microphone. Fröhlich immediately called on the frequency for German radio operators who should notify the rescue or the police. A Hamburg radio operator heard the announcement and immediately notified the police. At the same time, Fröhlich called for help from Colombia via his echolinking station in Isen. A radio operator from Eichstätt took up the call and for safety’s sake also notified the local police. This returned by return mail and confirmed that help was already on the road and remarked that such a thing had never happened to them before, that a call for help from Germany would be taken by a radio operator in Colombia and then land the emergency call to the police in Germany. The victim was helped quickly. He immediately thanked the helpers by radio.

(The event was also described in detail on March 6th in the Munich Merkur .)

SOURCE: http://ov-erding.de/