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RAYNET activated during heavy snow.
RAYNET groups in South Wales, Scotland, Kent, Devon and Cornwall were all active during last week’s spell of heavy snowfall. Cardiff and District RAYNET were put on standby to assist in the expected inclement weather and were tasked with various duties. The group assisted alongside Cardiff and Vale Rescue Association. On the Saturday, there was a request from Gavin Macho CEPO to contact the Co-ordinator of Social Services regarding assistance for a carer to be transported to various addresses for her duties; they were then tasked to take the Co-ordinator on call to her home address. Additionally, two vehicles trapped in snow had their occupants taken to safety. In all, the group covered 276 miles during the three days. RAYNET in Tayside was active from 09:00 on Tuesday 27th February to 18:30 on Friday 2nd March. They were asked to monitor, from home, to provide a fall-back communication system for Tayside 4X4 Response who were providing transport for both councils & NHS in Tayside. Two members from each of the Tayside and Perth & Kinross groups were involved - though I am sure others were listening in. Lothian RAYNET were very active supporting Lothian 4x4 Response (who had about 30 volunteer vehicles moving NHS and care staff through the snow) with 70 hours almost continuous radio safety cover between Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Most of the time three controllers working 3 hours on, 6 hours off around the clock, but gradually introduced a few others to ease the rota. A number of stations, including Fife RAYNET, provided invaluable assistance. Some 700 or so safety messages were passed. Meanwhile, Glasgow and Clyde RAYNET Group were put on standby from Wed 28th Feb to Friday 2nd March. The group were monitoring the local VHF frequency and also the Broadnet Emergency talk-group which was operational. They assisted locally with Scotserve, a Voluntary Medical Response group, who were transferring staff to and from the children’s hospital in Glasgow by updating road conditions, again through the UK talk group.The controller was involved in local civil contingency conference calls throughout the period, as part of the communication between the agencies which was great.
How a Bristol amateur radio enthusiast saved a girl's life in remote Exmoor - Bristol Post
The Bristol Post article and video by Tristan Cork describes the moment when Radio Amateur Mike Everett who lives in Bristol heard a distress call from another Radio Ham on Exmoor.
Mike Everett became an emergency call handler after hearing a request for help from a man camping on Exmoor. A 12-year-old girl in the camping party was suffering from a severe epileptic fit and needed immediate medical help. Where they were camping was so remote it had no mobile phone signal. But one of their party did have amateur radio equipment so sent out a distress call that was picked up by a relay transmitter on the Mendips, and then reached Mike’s house in Bristol.
He was the first to answer and, as other radio hams across the country listened in, called 999 and summoned an ambulance to Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor, just before 11pm on Friday night.
Initially, the emergency call handler was unaware Mike was actually calling on behalf of someone else 70 miles away, and it took a couple of minutes of toing and froing to twig that Mike was the go-between in a matter of life and death as he relayed the medical instructions to the operator at the campsite.
The call lasted more than ten minutes, with Mike passing on information about the 12-year-old girl, called May, from the other operator, Jon, to the ambulance control room. She suffers from a form of epilepsy known as ‘cluster seizures’, and needed medical help as soon as possible. Within three minutes, the emergency services were on their way to May - first a fire brigade's emergency responder arrived, and then an ambulance which had been some distance away on the M5.
“The ambulance got to the young girl, and she was taken to hospital. For a while I didn’t know how it all worked out, but I was able to track Jon down and find out that May was treated in hospital and recovered and is back enjoying her holiday again, which is great,” he added.
Jon and May's family said they wanted to thank the fire first responder Gary and the ambulance crew. "They were wonderful with May and the family, a credit to the profession," they said.
"I'm not sure how long Mike has been licensed as a radio ham, but I have to say how incredibly impressed I was with his professionalism," said Jon.
Well done Mike and Jon!
"When all else fails, amateur radio will still be there to help."