The American Red Cross (ARC) has extended its invitation for the existing Amateur Radio volunteers in Puerto Rico to extend their stay. Members of the “Force of 50” deployed to Puerto Rico at the beginning of the month, and all are working there as ARC volunteers. ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, arrived in Puerto Rico last week to join the cadre of volunteers. Volunteer Val Hotzfeld, NV9L, said the team’s capabilities are becoming known.
She said FEMA aviation and ESF-8 (Health) wanted to confirm that a hospital on Vieques Island needed to have patients evacuated.
“With the help of Rob Landon, KE8AMC, we were able to determine if aviation needed to send an air rescue for dialysis patients to evacuate from Vieques,” she said. “We made their day. They were not aware of our presence and were impressed with our communications capabilities.” Thomas, who has been stationed at the hospital, heard from the hospital administrator that they needed to evacuate dialysis patients, who require air conditioning that the hospital is unable to provide.