I would like to thank all the volunteers who assisted with the MS Walk communications, Sunday 17th April. It was a fine day when many could be enjoying time with their families; but, chose to help out in a worthwhile cause. As radio amateurs we always learn something from these kinds of exercises. We learn how to deal with the unexpected. We learn more about our own equipment. We get input from the officials we work with. We learn also how to work with each other.
As for thanks, let me begin with the non-ham volunteers, IE: Cindy, Jim Taylor’s daughter who worked the entire exercise with FRS equipment, and, Drew, my son who led the walkers with his bicycle, to Birkdale Centre and back. Also part of our group were Christine, Randy Nelson’s wife, and Lauri’s friend, whose name I believe is also Christine. Next let me thank the lady amateurs who participated, IE: Lauri Schmucker VA3SLA, Julie Qiu VE3QMU, & Elizabeth Mackenzie VE3XGM, Elizabeth was our at home liaison for telephone calls that might have been required, in, or out of our group.
Special thanks goes to our mobile trouble shooters Paul Mercer VA3PAU, and Robert Titus VA3CSE. This year, we seemed to require this aid even more than previous years. The gas use, the vehicle use, the personal assistance of these amateurs cannot be over appreciated.
Our site operators at Thomson Park, Jim Taylor VA3KU, at Birkdale Center, Earnie Eason VE3EJE, & at Cedarbrae Collegiate, Arpad Vadasz VA3VAD, did a tremendous job helping out the MS Walk officials, the walkers, and at times, directing traffic.
Our trail blazer volunteers were Peter Prasad VE3FJI, Hugh Gillon VE3HAG, Robert Campbell VE3VAJ, Joe Cusimano VE3OV, and Nick Blacklock VE3EBC. These operators guided walkers along the trail; and, called in incidences such as straggly walkers, crosswalk avoiders, kids playing in the creek, young fishermen at work, sick or tired walkers, or worrisome pets that required some special attention.
This year we had amateur radio operators with the walking group. I mentioned before Lauri VA3SLA, and her friend Christine. At the end of the walking group, Randy Nelson VE3WRN and his wife Christine kept us informed of the tail end stragglers; and, other situations that they noted along the way.
Our net control station was ably manned by Steve Schmucker VA3DUN, and Rudie Toroian VE3OUA. Steve handled the 2 metre traffic, while Rudie handled the FRS/GMRS traffic. During our exercise Joe Ditta VA3JDX arrived to lend support. Joe has helped out in many previous exercises; but, until his arrival, this time, he had not been added to the volunteer list.
I am sure many others would have added their names to the volunteer list if they had been asked. As much as possible, for this event, I relied on free will volunteers; and, only asked two individuals who had volunteered previous years for this event. I expected that these two would volunteer if they were made aware of this event. As for other possible volunteers, let me just advise that our ARES activity in this area is of free will nature. I shall not go into all of the circumstances of this development.
Please listen to, or check in our daily ARES nets, the main one being the 6:00 PM daily net on 145.13 (-) VE3GTU repeater (linked system) for the local ARES happenings. I can not thank all of our committed volunteers enough. Finally thanks goes to Bernie Penna VE3AOU, and the East Toronto Repeater Group, for allowing our ARES group to use repeater VE3TOR for the MS Walk communications.
Bob Chrysler VE3IEL, coordinator for this year’s MS Walk communications