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Sunday 27 August 2017

Amateur radio to the rescue

I discovered a couple of days ago that two Amateur radio operators were involved in saving the life of a youngster with Epilepsy, which to me shows that when all else fails then radio will prevail.

The story is that of a youngster camping on Exmoor with friends and family, one of whom holds the callsign G6ASK, the youngster had an epileptic seizure and thus needed immediate medical attention, with no phone signal on Exmoor this would have been impossible had it not been for G6ASK, who had his mobile setup in the car, putting an emergency call onto the closest repeater GB3WR, the call picked up by an operator in Bristol, M6MGE, who just happened to have the radio on and heard the call from G6ASK, and called 999 (the UK emergency service number) and subsequently relayed information between G6ASK and the 999 operator, thus getting an ambulance to Exmoor and saving the youngster's life, she has since made a full recovery.

This story got the attention of the BBC, including a segment on Radio 2 on The Jeremy Vine show, this was some good publicity of the hobby and has made me rethink my opinion on Jeremy Vine as I didn't really like him that much, I have listened to the segment in question which featured all parties involved.

Knowing what happened in the West Country I want to say that I am proud to be an Amateur radio operator, and also stress that I will equally respond to emergency calls if I hear them, I consider any emergency call priority one and do what I can to assist.

I keep an active mobile setup as you know, some people who I know who have no clue about the hobby may claim that my car looks like a dodgem but in fact that antenna and the radio attached to it could one day be what could save their life or even what could save my own life when the mobile networks simply cannot be relied upon.

I have since decided to keep a radio on at all times, you just never know when you may hear that call for help.

Below is a video filmed from M6MGE's side in Bristol as events unfolded, I cannot fault his professionalism and calm manner during all of this.

Again I cannot stress how this makes me proud to be an Amateur radio operator.

Maybe this could also encourage others to enter the world of Amateur radio, it works where phones do not, we also have RAYNET here in the UK, a part of Amateur radio that is specifically there to handle emergencies if they crop up, I may consider joining it myself if I can find time, so as you can see, Amateur radio is not just about chatting to other people, passing messages between someone in distress and the emergency services is part of it too, it's all about getting the message across clearly and concisely and that is what has happened here.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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