Ham radio to the rescue

Editor’s note: HAM radio can save the day and it can even save a life. Andrew Hoschar recently shared the following story where HAM saved the day. It was a coincidence …or was it??? that I found a story about an early Forks HAM radio operator who maybe saved some lives. A 1962 Forks Forum article appears at the end of Andrew’s story.

By Andrew Hoschar

May 23rd could have turned into an emergency, but thanks to ham radio, Joe Wright, other amateur radio operators, and Ted Rasmussen, it turned out just fine.

A friend and I went out to lake Wentworth to test out our new boats. When we got down there, my Suzuki Sidekick was making horrible noises. We started checking things. Low and behold, I forgot to check the oil before leaving, and it was dangerously low, not even a drop on the dipstick.

We had zero cell service, and I knew my SUV wouldn’t make it back to town without seizing the engine. I called on the radio for assistance, and KE7FFX answered. I asked for a “phone relay” and gave him the phone number and message to call Heather M Lewis and have Jacob get on the radio. He was very helpful, at first she didn’t answer and he left a voice mail. He even “stood by” on the radio the entire time.

After a little wait, Joe Wright came on the radio and helped get ahold of Heather for us. Eventually, I heard my lil man throw his call sign out “KY7HAM CQ, CQ, CQ”, Joe answered him “KY7HAM this is KG7JWW, I believe your dad needs assistance and requested you contact him on the radio.”

I answered, let him know where the oil was in the shop and asked him to have mama get ahold of Ted to come to our rescue.

A little bit later, I heard “K7OWN this is KY7HAM, we have the oil, and we’re on our way.” Since it was dark and harder to navigate the gravel roads at night, we decided to risk it and limp the sidekick to the top of the hill and meet them there.

Everything worked out like it was written in a how-to book! My friend was so impressed by this, that he told me he’s going to start studying for his ham license.

We had a blast on the water, it was such a beautiful day out there. We slowly paddled around the lake all day, even after we realized my mistake, we went back out on the water while waiting for help to head our way. My friend was a little weirded out that I was so calm throughout the whole ordeal. I kept telling him “it’s reasons like this, that I’m glad my son and I have these licenses and equipment.”

From the Forks Forum July 1962

Demorest Gives radio assistance in accident

An interesting incident in amateur radio happened on Sunday afternoon, July 8, when Glenn Demorest W7 UYZ was listening on his HAM receiver. A mobile station WTOB from Minneapolis, Minn., who was on Snoqualmie Pass on the way to the Century21/Worlds Fair, happened upon a very bad car accident.

An emergency call was made for help. As no one closer to the scene was answering, Glenn answered the call. On obtaining details as to the location, Glenn called State Patrolman Boyd Rupp, who in turn called Port Angeles, who radioed the State Patrol nearest the accident scene …thus sending much-needed help. State Patrol and an ambulance were soon on the scene.

Later WTOB mobile called to thank Glenn for his help in getting aid to the victims. One person had lost their life but the others were saved.

Glenn is one of four amateur radio operators in Forks the others are Jim Gorham K7 OON; Doralie Crisp K7 OXL; and Mrs. DD Peterson whose call number is being processed in Washington D.C.