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2011 News Releases




Saving almost 1,000 lives

Date : 10 / 11 / 2011
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) Secretary Paul Wacharaphol HS4DDQ reports his team helped to save almost 1,000 lives by coordinating rescue communications in cases of medical emergencies during the severe flooding. He coordinates the emergency medical communications at Public Health Ministry on Ngarmwongwarn Road and using the callsign HS0AC. Speaking at a small RAST gathering at Sena Place Hotel on Sunday November 6, Paul HS4DDQ told how emergency unfolded.

Since the flooding began in July at least 529 people have been killed in the affected 63 of Thailand's 77 provinces. The cost to the local economy including hundreds of global manufacturers who rely on its low-cost factories keeps rising. The amateur radio station established by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NTC) using the call HS0AB were also discussed, along with the donations that RAST has received that now total over 50,000 baht, including a large amount received from donors in Malaysia. The NBTC has praised the role that radio amateurs have been playing to help people cope with the disaster by providing communications support and this have been especially helpful in flooded areas where several mobile phone cell sites have failed. Government agencies have been able to take advantage of the amateur radio communications infrastructure when their own networks failed.

Using their skills and experience radio amateurs kept communicating with one another under adverse conditions. There volunteer spirit that has carried radio amateurs to the "front-line" has also helped many victims of Thailand's worst flooding in over 60 years. The RAST club station HS0AB was controlled by Pranee Netrattana E21DKD, was praised for her efforts. The station was inundated by flood water to a depth of over one metre, but that the campus was presently still inaccessible and the extent of damage to equipment is yet to be evaluated A good example of this was demonstrated by Champ Muangamphun E21EIC and his wife Goi E20NKB, who left after the meeting with flood relief supplies in their four-wheel drive vehicle well equipped with a boat strapped to the roof.

- Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU R3 Disaster Communications Committee and RAST.


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