Amateur radio operators help with the Goldilocks ride in Herriman

posted May 25, 2013, 6:56 PM by Brad Rupp   [ updated May 25, 2013, 6:56 PM ]

More than 1,500 women who were ready to ride in the Goldilocks all-women’s bike event in Herriman Saturday morning were faced with a decision because of rainy, cold weather.

To ride or not to ride, that was the question. “Sometimes it just has to rain,” Goldilocks event organizer Dani Lassiter said.


Radio Amateurs Provide Communication Support in Boston Marathon Bombings

posted May 19, 2013, 6:31 PM by Brad Rupp

As has happened many times in years past, over 200 Amateur Radio operators participated in communications for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013. Unlike prior challenging situations such as very warm weather for the runners or other weather-related challenges, this year’s marathon will be remembered for the bombings that took place at the finish line. Despite this heinous act, professional first responders, medical volunteers from the American Red Cross that staffed the route, and Amateur Radio operators performed magnificently in the face of adversity.

Boston Marathon 2013 – Bombs, Carnage and Amateur Radio Operators

posted May 19, 2013, 6:28 PM by Brad Rupp   [ updated May 19, 2013, 6:30 PM ]

“Stop all runners on the course.”

Did I hear that correctly on my Charlie 5 frequency? Stop the Boston Marathon? You can’t be serious?
Yes, after 116 years of Mother Nature doing her best to stop this world-class running event, a terrorist attack was
able to do in seconds what She couldn’t do in decades.

Hidden Village, Utah CERT Responds to Canyon Road Landslide

posted Feb 7, 2013, 11:05 PM by Brad Rupp   [ updated Feb 8, 2013, 8:39 PM ]

Shortly before noon on July 11, 2009, a landslide associated with an irrigation canal breach moved rapidly down a steep hillside on Canyon Road in Logan, Utah. Three people were killed when their home was completely demolished; 16 other homes were damaged.  The Hidden Village Neighborhood CERT was activated to respond to the crisis. A wife of a CERT member spotted the landslide and within 23 minutes six CERT members had arrived on the scene and immediately set up a command post and radio communications center. The team took on most of the CERT Incident Command (IC) positions, developed teams and shifts, and put in more than 232 hours during the 5-day incident. "Sixteen of our Hidden Village CERT [members] engaged and responded," said Sue Shaw, Hidden Village Emergency Preparedness Leader.

Shaw served as a recorder on the first day of the incident, working with Incident Commander John Ellsworth. They began by orienting volunteers – 300 in the first shift – and assigning them to cleanup sites. Noting their efforts, EMS Coordinator and Assistant Fire Chief Will Lusk then tasked the CERT to oversee the organization and supervision of hundreds of additional volunteers, which on Sunday totaled 784. The volunteers were responsible for cleanup on the affected streets in preparation for city cleaning crews to begin their work.

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Expanded search for 13-year-old Herriman girl to begin Thursday

posted Feb 7, 2013, 10:50 PM by Brad Rupp   [ updated Feb 8, 2013, 8:41 PM ]

HERRIMAN — Concern heightened as the sun set Wednesday on the search for a 13-year-old girl last seen in her bedroom Tuesday night.

If the girl isn't found by Thursday morning, police and the family are looking to dramatically increase the search, calling for volunteers to join them.

Brooklyn Gittins was in her home, when she went to bed at 8:40 p.m., said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. But when her parents went to check on her at 7 a.m. Wednesday, she was gone.

"We've checked all the places she would normally go," Hoyal said.

Brooklyn is believed to only be wearing black pajama pants with a Scottie dog pattern and a T-shirt with "Lake Powell" on it. She does not have her glasses with her, something Hoyal said is uncommon for the girl.

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Colorado Wildfire: Colorado's amateur radio operators fill in wildfire-coverage gaps

posted Feb 7, 2013, 10:48 PM by Brad Rupp   [ updated Feb 8, 2013, 8:41 PM ]

A 5:15 a.m. phone call Sunday asked amateur radio operator Randy Long to find more volunteers to aid communication in the High Park fire zone — and warned him to evacuate his home.

Long, an Amateur Radio Emergency Service coordinator for Larimer and Weld counties, fled his house southeast of Buckhorn Mountain and started rallying more licensed ham operators to work the fire.

Since Saturday, he has been managing operators staffing eight-hour shifts around the clock. They're doing such things as setting up portable radio repeaters and relaying messages between the fire lines and command posts. About 40 operators have volunteered.

"My guys don't start before I do, and they don't finish after I do," said Long, 55, who still doesn't know whether his home burned in the 46,600-acre blaze.

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'Communicating' is a critical element of preparedness

posted Feb 7, 2013, 10:39 PM by Brad Rupp   [ updated Feb 8, 2013, 8:42 PM ]

Whether it's a powerful earthquake, a hurricane or tsunami that collapse buildings and highways or even heavy snowfall that delays delivery of food to store shelves, few parts of the world are immune from the effects of an emergency or disaster. In 2005, public health professor Sarah Bass of Temple University noted researchers found "people universally rely on television and radio for information during an emergency. But surprisingly, they say, half of respondents would go to their clergy for information, highlighting the important role that non-traditional communicators play in emergency response."

Obtaining and sharing information for many once focused on traditional media broadcasters such as radio and television but today communications most likely center around the Internet or portable text-messaging devices. Infrastructure disruptions, often caused by power outages, can leave communities temporarily isolated from the "outside" world and residents seeking information from non-traditional sources.

The Church's website reinforces prophetic counsel by encouraging members to "prepare a simple emergency plan." Among the items the site lists for consideration are a three-month supply of food, drinking water, financial reserves, medication and first aid supplies, clothing, important documents and ways to communicate with family following a disaster. Stakes and wards are also reminded that "during an emergency, normal means of communication may become inoperable. Communication needs should be addressed in ward and stake emergency plans."

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HAM radios come to the rescue during Utah wind storm

posted Feb 7, 2013, 10:35 PM by Brad Rupp   [ updated Feb 8, 2013, 8:42 PM ]

BOUNTIFUL — Some people just know when they find a hobby to last a lifetime. For Gary Johnson, it's being a HAM radio operator. "I love it," he said. "There's a fire in my belly. I do love this hobby a lot."

There are times, though, when his hobby stops being a hobby and becomes something so much more. When severe winds hit northern Utah Thursday, Johnson and his HAM radio friends were called into action.

"We were used to pass information, health and welfare," he said; "be the eyes and the ears of the police department."

Johnson, or N7DND to his friends, was at home in Bountiful when he got the call from the Davis County sheriff. Communications were breaking down because of all the commotion, and the sheriff was wondering if some HAM radio operators could help get messages through to emergency personnel.

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