Hams respond to Emergency

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Hams respond to Emergency

Post by Fred_Vobbe » 08-12-2005 07:00 AM


Radio amateurs attending the July 30th ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Convention were among the first to respond when release of a noxious substance felled more than 50 people. Utah ARRL Section Manager Mel Parkes, AC7CP, and other hams swung into action to assist after conventioneers and other guests near an inside pool adjacent to the convention area at Ruby's Inn lodge near Bryce Canyon, Utah began complaining of nausea, headaches and difficulty breathing sometime around 11 AM.

According to the ARRL Letter, convention attendees helped to evacuate victims and direct traffic as emergency crews arrived on the scene. Parkes himself later suffered the effects of the substance and was among those treated at the scene before being taken to a hospital.

ARRL Marketing Manager Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV, who was representing the League at the convention said several Amateur Radio Emergency Service members grabbed their "jump kits" and rendered assistance to those suffering from the fumes.

At first, neither the substance nor its source were known. It was later determined that someone had apparently smeared pepper spray on the wall of a room in the lodge, and the fumes got into the inn's ventilation system.

The incident "totally disrupted the convention," Motschenbacher said. But as things began to calm down that afternoon, some presenters conducted their forums outdoors. The evening banquet was also held outside and away from the affected area.

Among those helping to coordinate activities was Utah Section Emergency Coordinator Jerry Wellman, W7SAR. Ironically, the incident occurred as Wellman's forum titled "Emergencies: What If?" was under way. (ARRL)
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Cpt Spike Mike
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Post by Cpt Spike Mike » 08-12-2005 08:18 AM

Hey Fred, that's good stuff. You can always count on HAM ops to answer the call. There are those who may call them "geeks" and such, but they're there when the crap hits the spinning blades. Kudos to all those who respond in a time of need! :cool:

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