Amateur Radio Operators provide Communications for MS Walk in State College, PA

On April 30th Centre County ARES provided Communications for the 2017 Multiple Sclerosis Society Walk in State College. About 250 walkers participated to raise awareness and funds for the MS Society. This is the first time the Society asked amateur radio to assist with communications over the three mile course. ARES was fortunate to recruit operators from Centre, Blair, Clearfield, and Clinton Counties. Incident Command System forms were used to prepare for the walk and distribute the information to the participating operators several days prior to the walk.

Operators were detailed to a Net Control Station (NCS) at the entrance to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on the Penn State Campus. One operator maintained contact with the MS officials in charge of the walk while the other handled full net control duties.

The rest of the operators were placed at various locations along the walk route and one operator rode in the Support and Gear (SAG) vehicle. The weather, though cool and overcast, was comfortable and posed no problems. The only action needed came when a group of walkers somehow got behind the sweep walkers who were to be at the end of the participants. An operator from the rest stop at the midpoint of the walk escorted them to the next location with an operator where the sweep walkers were waiting to get behind the group.

Amateurs participating were:

Rich Brnik, KB3QKR
John Lee Jr, KC3DWP
Nolan Rollo, N8NCR
Craig Miller, K3OOL
Darrin Dixon, KC3DWO
John Szwarc, N3SPW
Kent Matsueda, K3NTS
Drew McGhee, KA3EJV
Cody, K9HFK
Ryan Vanauken, KB3VDG
Richard Weddigen, KC3FEZ
Elaine Prestia, K3ERP
Carmine Prestia, K3CWP

Centre County ARES thanks these amateur radio operators for giving up part of their weekend to help. We are also grateful to the MS Society for their invitation to participate and their continued trust in our ability to provide reliable communications. For their part MS Director Sharon O’Keiff-Fusco extended the Society’s thanks for our help in making this a safe and enjoyable event.

Carmine W. Prestia, Jr., K3CWP
ARRL ARES EC, Centre County, PA