Article supplied by Johan Mayer (ZS6DMX)
The world is a small place they say, and I tend to agree. It all started last year 2015 when Helen from Curves Beyerspark requested assistance from a handful of Amateurs via Martin (ZS6TMN) to help with a fun walk around the dam to raise funds for their charity as well as to promote a healthy lifestyle among women. Amateur radio operators became known to Helen via Hamnet member, Mina, (ZS6MNT), who at the time was an active member of the Curves Beyerspark Women’s Gymnasium. The fun walk around the dam was a big success, with members from Hamnet assisting and ensuring the safety of all participants.
It was with little surprise when Helen once again called on the team this year, and again requested the assistance from the Hams. This year however, they were planning on making it even bigger than before, by involving the local SPCA to raise funds for their spay clinic and also changing the venue of the walk.
Taking over from Martin (ZS6TMN). Johan (ZS6DMX) as well as Philip (ZS6PAJ) took charge and got involved with the planning and organising. Philip attended the final planning meeting together with Mr. Barnard (Barries) from Boksburg EMPD, playing a crucial role in making sure that the right plans were made to ensure a smooth and incident free day for all. Philip also oversaw the planning on the EMS side, to make sure that any medical incidents could be attended to if any happened.
Johan sent a request to local Hamnet members while Philip (who also took on the responsibility of being in charge of EMS for the day) organised students of Queens High school who were to support him on the medical response side of the event.
Leon (ZS6LMG) was asked to draw up a simple comms plan for the day and to register the event with ICASA. Comms where to take place on 145.425 between hams and 433.625 between EMS volunteers.
Martin (ZS6TMN) was put in charge to run the JOCC from his Vito Bus, as it is equipped with all radio equipment needed for the operation.
The day started not too early, at 7:30 with Johan and Philip arriving at the Boa Vida Cafe in Boksburg with his crew of students, well branded and visible, ready for action. The other Hamnet members started arriving at about 8:00am.
Johan started distributing the radio equipment to the volunteers and briefed the team on where they needed to go for the day as well as duties. The antenna mast was also erected and connected to the radio gear in Martins Vito Bus.
Many of the people arrived there after, and at 9:00, the walk kicked off, with Hamnet volunteers at their respective points, ready for anything.
The route was along a closed off residential area, occupied by Marshals from Curves, showing the way for the participants. The 4 teams of medical students walked with the participants, so that they could attend to any problems if they happened. One EMPD vehicle was also present, patrolling and assisting participants when they walked next to one of the main roads leading into the closed off residential area.
Comms were perfect, with regular radio and progress updates being made to JOCC and teams. The organiser, Helen, was also updated regularly on the progress of the walk via radio.
About 2 hours had passed and all the participants were safely back at the Cafe, without a single incident reported. Everybody reported back at the JOCC for a debrief, where Johan thanked all who assisted for the day. He also gave his word of thanks to Philip, his wife Tarryn (and little one) and to the students of Queens High for their involvement, pointing out how pleased he was with their radio operating skills.
Everyone assisted in gathering and packing the radio gear, after which greetings were exchanged and each person parting way.
Helen has indicated that she was very impressed with the service rendered by the members of Hamnet and other volunteers, and noted that the feedback she received from the participants were very positive!
Letters of thanks were also exchanged afterwards between Helen, the SPCA and Hamnet.
We look forward to next year, I have no doubt that the event will be even bigger and better.
Johan and Philip would like to thank the members of Hamnet as well as their wives and other volunteers for their support and dedication, this is what it means to serve our local community!
List of Hamnet Members and other amateurs involved for the day:
For Hamnet Gauteng South,