Yesterday, this letter to the editor was published on the website of The Review of East Liverpool, OH:
Ham radio usage needs fixed
Attention amateur radio operators, it is easy to forget where amateur radio is and what we are here for.
First let me give you a story. A man sat in his car out of gas during freezing weather, on January the 29th of this year. He was a Ham operator and he had called several times for assistance. No answer came.
For those of you who know a little about sub-freezing weather, you can go into hypothermia in less than an hour inside a car and it takes 20 minutes outside.
This man never got any help from the radio but his son, knowing he was stranded, walked 5 miles to where he was with a small can of gas that held about a gallon-and- a-half. They made it home safely, no thanks to Amateur radio assistance.
You wonder why I didn’t help that man inside that car … well that man was me. You see, at home I monitor the local repeater, but now I have lost my faith in Ham radio.
People you need to listen up, if were not going to monitor local repeaters of call channels on a 24-hour basis, than Ham radio is not worth saving. Is this the message you want to send to those who are after our frequency?
Amateur radio is for the recognition of emergency communication first, and a privilege to use it as a hobby second -not anything other than that.
Start monitoring those frequencies, and set up a schedule for volunteers on a 24-hour basis. If we are to live up to our name, then we need to listen to those calls of emergency, with your local clubs.
This could have been a bad car accident happening in the early-morning night, with severe bleeding, or worse.
We must not fail those who need us in these times.
I do want to thank the officer who gave my son a ride back with gas, and we did get home safely.
So, is someone monitoring your repeater?