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09 November 2011

Thailand's radio hams help save almost 1,000 lives

At a recent gathering hosted by Thailand's amateur radio society, RAST, those present heard how RAST Secretary Wacharaphol, HS4DDQ, and his team working with the Public Health Ministry on Ngarmwongwarn Road and using the callsign HS0AC had helped to save almost 1,000 lives by coordinating rescue communications in cases of medical emergencies.

The activities of the amateur radio station established by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission using the call HS0AB were also discussed, along with the donations that RAST has received from several members and 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.

During the RAST meeting, NBTC official Pranee Netrattana, E21DKD, a skilled operator and winner of the CQWW VHF contest, was praised for her efforts as one of the net control operators at HS0AB.

Amateur radio repeaters have helped and in many cases, government agencies have been able to take advantage of the amateur radio communications infrastructure when their own networks failed or where there has been interference, such as when many different agencies are trying to communicate simultaneously on nearby frequencies from a central location.

Radio amateurs' experience and their skills in communicating with one another under adverse conditions and in coping with interference has helped, while the 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.

- RAST