Hospital Trains Ham Radio Operators
Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Radio Test: Kevin O’Dell, instructor, points out features of a ham radio set to (back) Charlie Garner, Carolyn Garner, Dusty Michael, Tad Hall; and (front) Jeff Hicks, Obie Heath, and Tracy Walker.
Eight more medical staff and volunteers have joined the ranks of amateur (ham) radio operators to serve Love County in public health emergencies or other disasters.
Carolyn Garner, Charlie Garner, Tad Hall, Jonathan Hall, Jeff Hicks, Dusty Michael, Obie Heath, and Tracy Walker completed a two-day ham radio class in September and successfully passed the test for FCC licensure.
The class was sponsored by Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, Clinic and EMS and instructed by Kevin O’Dell of the Southern Oklahoma Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Scientific Society.
Richard Barker, hospital administrator, Dr. John T. O’Connor, Jr. and Karen O’Connor already are licensed and are now exploring General Class licensure.
“We have a working ham radio in the hospital and will place radios in two EMS command vehicles and in the EMS station in Thackerville,” Barker said.
When telephones go down and cell phones become too overloaded to work, ham radios do. They enable the hospital and Love County EMS to continue to contact its units in the field and maintain communications into and out of Love County for other emergency responders.
“Our goal is to work with the Amateur Radio Emergency Services group in southern Oklahoma as trained members of this valuable service. Ham radios in our command vehicles would be made available to the group of volunteers as they arrive, if deemed necessary,” Barker said.