Our new 22 foot push up antenna pole for HF Operations
Recently, our team was given a 22 foot push up fiberglass antenna pole and a holder designed to fit into the trailer hitch receiver on our communications van. Thanks to Steve Pack, WB7VAS, for that gift and more. That got me to thinking about where we would be without the support of others. As I started tallying up all the pieces of equipment donated to us, I was amazed at the generosity of others to support our volunteers.
Our radio desk at the downtown Emergency Operations Center, began with a radio donated by the family of a ham we didn’t even know who only requested that the radio go to a good cause when the ham passed away. The other radios in the EOC as well as the digital system and the computer were all donated as well..
Our communications van, which began as a project that seemed fun to work on, is itself a donation from the Centralia Police Department. All the radios in the van were donated from different sources as were many of the antennas. The antenna poles that make up our support system were given to us as were the HF antennas being supported. The batteries, the power system and all the interior lighting were quietly provided by a generous team member. Even the coffee maker in the van was donated.
On our communications trailer, we had a little help with two small grants but the trailer itself was a gift. So were the communication equipment boxes, the TWO generators, the solar panel, the fuel cans, the coax, the antenna poles, tool kit, first aid kit and fire extinguisher. Even the space to house the van and its trailer – in the Riverside Fire Station – is a generous gift. Other valuable equipment was moved around to give us that space.
Our repeater system was a donation and the person that donated it even installed it for us! The facility space that houses the repeater is donated to the team at no charge. We don’t even pay the electricity that runs it! The same person donated the repeater also donated most of our vhf and uhf radios still in use today.
All volunteer groups require support. An Amateur Radio Emergency Services team can provide much of what it needs because most of the team members have their own radio equipment and expect to use it when an emergency happens. But, when it comes to communications vans or communications trailers or EOC radios or working repeaters, it takes generous supporters to make it happen. We are where we are due to volunteers who want to support their community and lots of others who have a generous heart and are willing to help. We could operate as a team without that support but it would be an entirely different organization.
To all those who have given so much, I just want to say “Thank You”. Your generosity means so much to us.
Bob Willey, Emergency Coordinator