When the going gets tough, emergency radio operators rule
Story idea submitted by Government Camp Rest Area Assistant Supervisor Barry Reed
In early November, Clackamas County Amateur Radio Emergency Services set up a temporary broadcast station at the OTE rest area in Government Camp. Radio K7OSX’s Jim Titus and Steve Jensen were participating in a bi-agency disaster simulation exercise.
Titus said that the objective of the drill was to connect all emergency responders, including broadcasters from the American Red Cross, law enforcement, fires departments, public utility companies, and county governments.
In addition to the Mt. Hood region, representatives from Northern California, Washington State, Idaho, and Utah participated in the inter-state drill.
Titus said the lobby at the Government Camp rest area was preferred by K7OSX broadcasters, since it protected Jensen and Titus from extreme weather and was ideally located in an open area on the side of Mt. Hood.
Barry Reed, assistant supervisor for Government Camp rest area, said that visitors using the rest stop were fascinated by the temporary communication relay station. Titus and Jensen fielded many questions about their operation and were happy to explain how the emergency system works.
Reed said that although the location had at first seemed ideal, the station was moved outdoors after about an hour of broadcast. The rest area building’s metal roof was apparently interfering with the radio signal.