Terry Stader, KA8SCP writes on PART-L:
As we have done for many years, [the Police Amateur Radio Team of Westford] will once again be providing the Pumpkin Patrol service to the Town of Westford. Many of you are veterans and others may be volunteering for the first time… which ever you are… thank you in advance for your help!
Pumpkin Patrol involves the use of Amateur Radio volunteers providing additional eyes and ears to the Town of Westford during the annual Trick or Treat event. Our purpose is to observe and report any potential safety concerns back to the PART Pumpkin Patrol Net Control Station which will be located at the Westford Police station. A report from one of our patrols will get handed off to the Westford PD dispatcher and addressed by the Town’s public safety services. Our role is ONLY to report what we see and provide input to our Town’s public safety departments.
We normally require 5 – 8 radio operators per “shift” that will patrol various geographical sections of town. Maps and a checklist of locations to watch will be provided when you check-in for your assignment. Check-in occurs at the Westford Police station where we record your call sign and your vehicle information. You do NOT need to be a resident of the Town of Westford to volunteer, but a basic familiarity to the town’s geography is a plus! We have quite a few new hams and club members this year. If warranted, a meeting prior to the event may be scheduled. This will give our new folks and veterans a chance to interact and become comfortable with the operation.
The normal time for Trick or Treaters is 6 PM until 8 PM. Our activities have varied over the years, but we normally will run the operation from 5:30 PM until 10:00 – 11:00 PM. If the weather is lousy, the net closure time will be adjusted accordingly. We try and accommodate every individual’s schedule, we have run with 2 shifts in the past… an early and a late shift. We will accept your offer to assist at any time throughout the course of the evening.
The plans are to use the WB1GOF 2 meter repeater, 146.955 (PL 74.4), for the entire event. So all a volunteer will need is a radio capable of operating on that frequency. A vehicle will help too… but if you don’t drive and want to ride shotgun with another ham, that can be accommodated as well. If you’d like to do a bike or foot patrol, please contact me and we could talk thru that kind of an operation.
As you may have noticed, Pumpkin Patrol occurs at the same time as our regularly scheduled PART Net. The PART Net will run as normal. Pumpkin Patrol operations will inject with their traffic as necessary, so please standby for that traffic if you hear it.
Feel free to drop me a note with any questions and/or if you would like to volunteer. Pass this along to others who may be interested.
Terry Stader – KA8SCP
PART of Westford, Senior Club Advisor