Ham Radio Could Save Your Life

Natural Bridge Kentucky

Natural Bridge

When my wife and I went to Natural Bridge in Kentucky back in 2007 she wrote the following diary note to go with this photo.

While hiking in the park, I noticed that the nearest Cell phone reception was 11 miles down the road from where we were.

There’s also a warning on the bulletin board near virtually every trail head: "Every year, about forty-five people fall from these cliffs. One or two usually result in death. Once contact is made with emergency personnel, it will take at least thirty minutes for someone to arrive. Many falls result in spinal injuries, so the person who comes to find you must wait for the EMTs to arrive to remove you safely – another thirty minute wait. Unpacking all the equipment, bundling you up securely, and getting you back to the emergency vehicle can take over an hour. It’s a forty-five minute drive to the nearest hospital. In other words, if you fall, it could be about three hours before you receive proper medical treatment. And that’s after you actually manage to contact someone."

I ensured that from my car, parked in the lot I could reach the local 2M repeater in the next town over. I then turned on the cross band repeater, and set the 70CM side of the car, and my HT to match one another. This gave me an instant link to "town" and several times while hiking, I verified that I could both hear the repeater in town, and still communicate with the hams there. (all while using 0.5W) There's nothing like eliminating the time to get to a place you can call for help.