Saturday, June 03, 2006

Public Service Communications

Today was a CERT day. No emergency, per se; but our town did take advantage of the CERT team and its communcations skills.

Today, South Plainfield hosted the New Jersey Statewide Track Meet. South Plainfield is uniquely qualified to host this event. We are located centrally in the state; and South Plainfield is very close to all the major highways in New Jersey. We are close to the NJ Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, US Routes 1 and 9, Interstate Highways 78 and 287.

So today, in our relatively small town, high school athletes from all over New Jersey came to compete in track and field events. And quite a few buses brought them. And quite a few family and friends came to cheer their favorite runners, javelin throwers, and high jumpers on.

Parking is almost non-existant for such a large event. But between the Police department and the CERT team in assistance; the day went pretty much without incident - except for the rain. Oh, did I mention the rain? Buckets and buckets of rain! It made standing out in a parking lot, directing cars quite the comfortable thing to do, indeed!

In the end, though, it was quite satisfying. The town needed its CERT team and we responded. And as part of the team of eight that volunteered for this morning, five of us were Hams. We relied mainly on the town's licensed frequencies for communications; but in a few instances, 2 Meter simplex communications provided a good back up.

It was good to work together as a cohesive team. Hopefully our services in a major disaster will never be required. But if that need arises someday, we'll be ready!

73 de Larry W2LJ

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