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Page last updated on: Saturday, January 1, 2022

Pandemic Project: Trailer for extended emergency radio assistance

The Spokesman Review reports the pandemic project of Frank Hutchison AG7QP started with a question: how could he better help communities during emergencies like natural disasters?

The newspaper says:

“I’m an Assistant Emergency Coordinator for the Spokane County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)/Auxiliary Communication System (ACS),” he said. “In this role, I needed to be able to deploy to any location and provide emergency communications including for extended periods of time.”

For example, two years ago during the wildfires in Oregon, a call went out for radio operators. Without a place to sleep, eat, or operate his UHF/VHF (ultra-high frequency/very high frequency), and HF (high frequency, formerly known as short-wave) radios, he felt he’d be more of a burden than a help.

At 71, the retired Navy commander and former Boy Scout leader said it became obvious that tent-camping and sleeping rough was no longer wise. He decided to look for a trailer to build out to his specific needs.

Hutchison’s son, Richard, had introduced him to the world of amateur radio three years ago.

“My son said he was coming to Spokane for the annual Hamfest event and he was going to pay for me to take the amateur radio license test,” explained Hutchison.

He passed it and went on to take and pass two additional tests. However, he still didn’t own a radio.

“Richard fixed that,” he said. “As soon as I passed the tests he gave me one.”

But the hobby quickly proved addictive.

Hutchison grinned.

“I now have 14 radios.”

Read the full story at

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