PDA

View Full Version : Amateur Radio Op helps with emergency in Joplin, MO



W9JAM
06-19-2011, 07:30 AM
RESCUE RADIO: THE HERO HAMS OF THE JOPLIN TORNADO
Some high drama has emerged in the aftermath of the tornado that ripped
through Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday night May 22nd. It's a story of
true ham radio heroism as supplied to us by Patti Flowers-Palmer,
KD0AEL, and Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Carlson, KQ6FM, has the
details:
--
Patti Flowers-Palmer, KD0AEL, tells Amateur Radio Newsline that it was
on Sunday evening, May 22nd while a young amateur was finishing with
post Skywarn Net Control duties that a voice was heard calling for help
over the 146.91, W0EBE, repeater. Caleb Burns, KD0BWT, responded to
that call. It was coming from the Freeman Hospital in Joplin,
Missouri. The news it carried was that a devastating F5 tornado had
destroyed much of the community as well as its regional medical
facility.
In that exchange, crucial medical supplies were ordered and medical
teams were called to duty. Initially, the call was made by an
Information Technology person at that location. He was relieved by
Thomas Ellicott, N0EKP, who deployed to assist his own stricken
community.
As that transmission was taking place, Steve Palmer KA0SPM, and his
wife Patti KD0AEL, Andrew Brashers KD0HUN and Jonathan Rinty KD0OSF,
all who had been deployed as Skywarn spotters, responded by driving to
Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Meantime, Tom Hargis
WX0SML and Jamas Justice, KD0GUU, both of whom had been deployed with
Skywarn, drove to St. John's Regional Medical Center also located in
Springfield. Both of these hospitals are regional Medical Centers for
Southwest Missouri.
Upon arriving and finding that the radio rooms near the Incident
Command Centers were void of any amateur equipment, operators at both
locations began relaying information from doctors and nurses from using
their own mobile radio gear. This, to begin the crucial process of
moving injured from the overwhelmed Freeman Hospital to several
Springfield trauma centers.
With immediate needs met, the hospitals worked with the amateurs to
provide locations for the operators to set up mobile radios as base
stations so that communications could continue. One was located in an
incident command at St. John's and the other in the ambulance bay of
Cox South. As this was occurring, KD0BWT grabbed a handie-talkie and
headed for Ozarks Community hospital where he established mobile
command. A short time later, Pat Conway WA6JGM and Clifton Smith
KC0SQU responded by taking a mobile unit to Ozarks and setting up a
more permanent station at that location.
The amazing band opening that had allowed the initial communications
began to fade and KA0SPM deployed to the National Weather Service in
Springfield where he relayed messages via the 145.21 repeater. That
machine had survived the tornado that ravaged other parts of the
Joplin area.
According to KD0AEL, before the night was over, there was a tremendous
outpouring of offers from amateurs over the entire area who offered any
assistance they could provide to keep communications flowing. During
the week that followed, a number of hams continued to call to offer
assistance and they were directed to the coordinators of the CERT
search and rescue efforts.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Don Carlson, KQ6FM, reporting from
Reno, Nevada.
--
As a side note, Patti says that the operator that received the first
transmission was on his honeymoon but had been acting as net control
for the Greene County Skywarn. Talk about total dedication to duty.
(KD0AEL)

suddenseer
06-19-2011, 09:48 AM
Sounds like the folks in Mo have their brains set to "common sense" mode. Here where I live, the net control, or other hams will not respond to a call from a non ham at the control point of a station, even in a life or death emergency.

kb2vxa
06-19-2011, 04:03 PM
I was going to make a snide remark about the new wife's opinion of dedication to duty but thought better of it.

suddenseer
06-19-2011, 05:40 PM
My snideness is directed at those local hams I know. Personally, I would answer any distress call I hear on any amateur frequency. I can think of many scenarios where it would be proper for me to do it. I really doubt if there would be repercussions about amateur to non-amateur communications. In a life or death emergency, the rules be damned.

K6BSO
06-19-2011, 05:47 PM
Part 95 specifically says that in a life or death situation, you are allowed to use any available radio frequency to send a distress call—licensed or not.

W7XF
06-20-2011, 12:17 AM
I think you meant Part 97. Part 95 is Chickenband. And you're right, in an emergency, ANYTHING goes.

K6BSO
06-20-2011, 07:07 AM
I think you meant Part 97. Part 95 is Chickenband. And you're right, in an emergency, ANYTHING goes.

That's a big 10-4 good buddy.

WB0LSR
06-20-2011, 04:02 PM
Sounds like the folks in Mo have their brains set to "common sense" mode. Here where I live, the net control, or other hams will not respond to a call from a non ham at the control point of a station, even in a life or death emergency.

Are you Serious????


That's just crazy.. in a life or death emergency any person can use any frequency that there is, with no need for a license. This behavior you describe is almost criminal IMO. Understanding how a person could listen to a distress call and just ignore it isn't in my programming. Does not compute.

KB2SFH
06-25-2011, 09:14 AM
I was going to make a snide remark about the new wife's opinion of dedication to duty but thought better of it.

Good choice Warren :naughty:

KB2SFH
06-25-2011, 09:19 AM
Sounds like the folks in Mo have their brains set to "common sense" mode. Here where I live, the net control, or other hams will not respond to a call from a non ham at the control point of a station, even in a life or death emergency.

As hams, we are DUTY-BOUND to help in every way possible if we hear distress calls no matter who is doing the calling. If a ham hears an emergency and does nothing about it then they are in the wrong hobby and should rip up their license and give away their equipment to a ham who will help.

kb2vxa
06-26-2011, 02:59 PM
I remember a sign painted on one of the few remaining rooftops; STOP LOOKING AND START HELPING!

W9JAM
06-27-2011, 01:59 PM
As hams, we are DUTY-BOUND to help in every way possible if we hear distress calls no matter who is doing the calling. If a ham hears an emergency and does nothing about it then they are in the wrong hobby and should rip up their license and give away their equipment to a ham who will help.

I totally agree. When I was driving a semi, I pulled over to help a lady who's car was on fire. Put out the fire, but all she was concerned with was that I grab her purse and make-up out of the front seat before the car burned down... Luckily the only damage was to the exhaust.... Anyone else think I was stupid for trying to put out a car fire?