Rally Communication Van

Two ham radio operators sit in air conditioned comfort inside the Sabine Valley Amateur Radio van during the Cotton Patch Challenge.
Two ham radio operators sit in air conditioned comfort inside the Sabine Valley Amateur Radio van during the Cotton Patch Challenge.

Joe Lalumia stands outside of the Sabine Valley Amateur Radio Emergency Communications van that was parked on Stonewall and Jordan Streets.  Volunteers from the “Ham” community provided emergency communications to the command post.  There is room for three volunteers plus a police/fire department dispatcher to monitor emergency communications.  Most of the time the van is used for community service but there was one time last summer that it was dispatched to Van, Texas to assist when telephone, mobile coverage, and police radio went down due to infrastructure damage caused by the storm.

There were seven rest stops on the Cotton Patch Challenge Tour.  Most were providing status of the cyclist as they passed the rest stop and check point.  Other ham radio (the name amateur radio buffs preferred to be called) were mobile in their vehicles looking out for cyclist that had broken down.  A troublesome pair of dogs was chasing cyclist near the last rest stop and the radio operator was able to notify animal control.

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