Thursday, May 14, 2020

Ham Radio Brings Help to Stroke Victim

With all the attention being paid recently to hospital admissions for COVID-19, we shouldn't forget that other medical emergencies continue to occur. And ham radio continues to be a valuable resource for getting help. Newsline reports on a multi-state effort recently to get medical help for a member of a 75-meter net who was suffering a stroke. According to the report, when Con Parsons, K6CON, tried to check into the net one morning, all he could do was say "I" repeatedly. Fellow net member Sheldon Harms, K7ICB, in Montana recognized Con's voice and knew something was wrong, confirming that by calling him on the phone. Calls to Con's fire department and paramedic service resulted in recordings, Sheldon asked Rick Kunze, K6ISP, in a different California county, if he could help. Rick got through to emergency services and got an ambulance dispatched. Meanwhile, Dan Adler, WB0VQG, in Colorado, got in touch with Con's county sheriff to make sure help was on its way; and Dana Roper, N6DTR, who lives nearby, drove to Con's home to make sure the ambulance had arrived.

Due to the quick response of the amateur community across several states, as well as first responders, Con reached the hospital in time for quick intervention and was released a day and a half later. Next time someone asks you why anyone needs ham radio anymore when they have cellphones, you might want to share this story with them.