Author Archives: anthony

Amateur Radio Supports 9-1-1 Outage

Amateur Radio Supports 9-1-1 Outage

This morning on the scanner I heard dispatch advising that people were having trouble calling 9-1-1. Apparently they were getting “circuits busy” messages or just getting cut off. I thought to myself, “hmm, wonder how long that will last. Long enough, and we might see an ARES activation.” (one of the contingency plans stations amateur radio operators at published locations who can relay emergencies from the public to the Emergency Operations Center.) Sure enough, a little while later we got the word that we were being requested to activate. I checked in and asked what I could do (our net control operator wasn’t quite sure what to do with me since most people sit in their cars to stay out of the weather and … I don’t have one). He asked me to go to one of the local hospitals and activate the station there. It took a few minutes to get out there (whatever was affecting 9-1-1 was also causing trouble for my out-of-state number calling into the area). After waiting a few minutes for a security escort, I got to the area where we set up. There was a class going on in the room the antenna connection lives in, and I was asked to wait until the class was done before setting up.

All righty then. You’re our servd agency, so whatever you say goes. Sadly, I couldn’t hit the local repeater from the area with my handheld and had to wait until the room cleared. The promised 10 minutes was more like 15, and I got the radio plugged in and turned on just in time to hear our group being told the situation had resolved itself and advising we could stand down.

I’m thinking we might want to put an extension cord in the cabinet. Both for power and the antenna. That way, if this happens again, someone can slip in, hook up and move out of the way. Oh well, in either event I know where the radio is for next time. 🙂

Moving Lessons

Moving Lessons

I’ve learned a few things in the cross-country move I did back in February.

1. When the pod that shows up is a whole 105 cubic feet smaller than the website claimed (I read 5x8x7, I got 5x5x7) emergency “do I really need this?” must take place.
2. A third flor walk-up is great, until you have to haul things up said three flights of stairs. Thanks friends for the help!
3. It’s hard to decide whether the crok-pot surviving the move, only to be destroyed in a three foot fall when the box topples over is sad, hillarious, or a little bit of both.
4. Bringing an unassembled piece of furniture with you, only to have it self-destruct (read gravity and I have different beliefs about how that assembly process should have worked) while being put together makes you want to cry.
5. And probably the most bizarre lesson. Hanging file folders can shrink.

See, I was unpacking boxes to clear out my bedroom so the furniture people have somewhere to put the new bedroom set. When I emptied the box of files into the filing cabint… they didn’t fit. Who knew you could starve cardboard?

Head, Meet Desk

Head, Meet Desk

Some of you who are intimately familiar with my eating habbits routinely mock me for not trying new places/foods. You want to know why I don’t? Because of things like this.

I have some time to kill before my first SxXSWI panel, soI ran into a random restaurant… that serves nothing but seafood. I had already ordered a drink and felt awkward leaving. So, I’m eating a hot dog, that I garentee you is off the childrens’s menu.

I don’t ever want to hear another mocking comment about my food preferences from any of you, ever again!

Dispatch Sit-Along – End of Shift Report

Dispatch Sit-Along – End of Shift Report

Tonight I sat in on 2nd shift with our county comm center. It ran from 14:30-22:30. I had a great time and learned a lot too. I got to see what goes on behind the scenes of a traffic stop, hear what happens when you call 911 for difficulty breathing, and got a look into what it’s like to support the officers and other personnel in the field.

It was a fairly slow night, even though a couple people uttered the “Q” word in hopes of stirring up a little action. For thos of you who don’t know the “Q” word is quiet. Uttering this word in Emergency Services often results in the Universe raining down a literal ton of things to make the now infamous speaker of the word regret ever having emerged from the womb. Okay, maybe not that bad, but the “Q” word is generally a no-no.

We’re pretty sure the snow was what kept people in doors and out of trouble. Which is, after all, a desireable thing.

I got the chance to talk with the duty crew and learn about the hiring process and how things work around there. So I’ve got an idea what to watch out for and what to do now.

I had a really good time, and if there isn’t a job opening in the next couple of months I’ll probably go back for another shift.