How I Using Ham Radio Made Realize its Importance

amateur radioMy name is Richard and this is my narration of how I used an amateur radio to save lives of accident victims.

It all happened on the winter of 2011 when my family went for a Christmas vacation in British Columbia. We had decided to drive the 10 or so hours drive from Calgary to Vancouver. I was to travel with my wife, daughter and maid, with my wife helping me with the driving shifts.

On the day of the journey, we were all ready as early as possible and hit the road by six in the morning. The drive was however not as smooth as we had anticipated because of the heavy fog and snow, hence our pace was quite slow. Despite that we were determined to make it so there was no quitting.

By midday, we had covered almost 400 or so kilometers. We decided to have some rest as we refilled our gas and had lunch at Revelstoke, BC. Our rest however, took longer than expected because, my daughter who suffers from mild asthmatic attacks started feeling unwell and after taking her medication we decided to extend our rest.

Our road trip resumed shortly after 3 in the afternoon. Our pace was even slower and thus we arrived in Kamloops shortly after sunset. My wife had decided to drive through this second part of our trip and was by then exhausted. We refilled gas here and had some light meal as we contemplated whether or not to proceed with our trip or spent our night there – though it had not been part of our plans initially. After much deliberation we decided to soldier on.

By 9, we had hit the road again with me behind the wheels. After driving, for several miles, I turned on my Kenwood mobile ham radio and tried connecting with those in the region to know if it was a good idea to carry on with the journey on that road. A few minutes later, I got a response from another ham user who suggested that I shouldn’t travel because of the poor visibility at night and the snow, but if I wished, I could still carry on.

I looked at my wife, we nodded that we proceed. Anyway, my wife never believes in quitting so we went on.

How I Used Ham Radio Make a Distress Call

After about four miles, we came across a grisly road accident where by another motorist had veered out of the road and hit a tree. I hastily pressed on the brake pedals and went to help. I realized that the two occupants in the car were still alive. By this time, my wife had been trying to call 911 but there was no service in the area. One of the victims called on me to assist with some water.

I quickly hamradioistationsetupreturned to the car to fetch water and that when my wife told me that there was no service so she couldn’t contact emergency response team. I quickly told her to try locating emergency assistance using the amateur radio on wide-coverage repeater frequency while I went to assist the injured victims.

Luckily, she was able to get a response from users on the frequency and she relayed the information and location of the accident as well as the nature of assistance needed. All this time, I was administering first aid to the victims.

It took almost two hours for the emergency response team to arrive at the scene and with their help; the lives of the victims were saved. But I owe much to the ham radio community who made all that possible.

We carried on with our journey and by 9 in the morning we were in Vancouver ready for our short Christmas vacation.