Terry Stader, KA8SCP writes:
The Lowell CERT communications team was called to action this past Sunday, October. 17th, to provide multiple communications activities for the Bay State Marathon, now the third largest marathon in New England. Communications unit leader Terry Stader, KA8SCP was contacted several weeks ago with the thought that Amateur Radio could provide a link from one of the medical groups housed in the visitor’s locker-room at LeLacheur Field in Lowell, to the incident command post located at the base of the Rourke Bridge. They were also asked, during the course of planning, if they would be able to provide a link for “accountability”, where family and friends of runners could be advised the status those runners on the course. Both medical and accountability nets were established for the race by the CERT team members. The entire ham radio operation was conducted using 2 meter simplex frequencies and after a couple of key antenna placement issues, flawless communications was established.
Additional Lowell CERT personnel were used on the course for various runner support activities as well. The incident command staff were pleased with the hams ability to overcome radio communications obstacles they had encountered in the past. Lowell CERT Communications Unit members are active ARES (Northern Middlesex ARES) and RACES (Region 1 RACES) members who also support the Upper Merrimack Valley MRC when needed. This is the first time the Lowell CERT unit was activated for a special event and will be more than likely be called to return to the Bay State Marathon as well as other Lowell-area events. Stader thanks all the ham that assisted as well as the Lowell public safety (Fire and Office of Emergency Management) personnel that asked for Amateur Radio support for this event and displayed their ability to communicate, when all else failed.
Terry M. Stader, KA8SCP
MEMA Region 1 Communications/RACES Officer
ARRL EMA Assistant Section Manager
NESMC Eastern Massachusetts Director
Senior Club Advisor, PART of Westford, MA – WB1GOF
WB1GOF and K1HRO D-Star Gateway Administrator
WB1GOF-R (Node 380799) Echolink Administrator
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