Monday, October 9, 2017

Why I did not go to Puerto Rico as a ham operator.

The Red Cross (a dubious organization to begin with) asked the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) for the services of fifty hams to set up message centers in Puerto Rico after Maria plastered it. The Salvation Army (a wonderful organization) asked for twenty.

At the same time there were reports of gangs robbing people that were trying to restore cell phone communications.

I asked about the firearms laws in PR and found out that I would not be able to arm myself if I went as a ham. Puerto Rican laws make if difficult if not impossible for this to happen.

I’m fairly certain that the requested hams were not likely to be stationed in a secure environment. Most likely they were going to be assigned outside of a San Juan secure government building.

In short, I didn’t see any reasonable assurance of basic safety nor would I be able to supply my own security.

The first rule for caregivers is to make sure that he/she is safe because if they are injured they no longer are an asset. They immediately become a liability.

When we clean cargo tanks at work and put people in the tanks there is always someone up on deck as a tank watch to keep an eye on the people in the tank in case they are overcome by fumes. The tank watchers are told that in the event someone below does get gassed they are NOT to go in after him. They are to get someone with an air pack of some sort to go below.

People want to be heroes and save lives. It is understandable.

However, if you go below in this instance and get gassed yourself you have done nothing for the person below and have only taken a bad situation and made it worse. Now there are two people to attempt to rescue.

Harvey hit Texas and Irma hit Florida. A number of ham operators charged down and offered assistance.  I’m sure that the various police departments were overloaded. However, both states make it fairly easy for an outside aid giver to carry his/her own protection. At least there is some mechanism for a caregiver to provide for his own safety.


A friend was reading the news and told me that the FEMA people have simply blocked out anything the mayor of San Juan has to say.

The government relief workers are in San Juan working their asses off but they simply ignore the mayor.

As they should.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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