APPLAUSE: VIU ready for emergency communications

Commitment to safety helps radio event

To the Editor,

With Japan’s earthquake and tsunami damage still fresh in people’s minds, the question arises are we ready to survive for 72 hours on our own here in one of  the highest probable earthquake zones in Canada?

Are members of the amateur radio community able to provide viable long-range communications without being tied to conventional  power grid or using conventional communication modes that invariably fail as each disaster unfolds?

This had lead to a discussion of whether Vancouver Island University with it sizable student body could be considered ready to handle emergency communication if needed.

The answer is yes as there are several amateur radio operators who attend VIU and some are quite involved in that idea.

On the Canada Day  weekend, Radio Amateurs of Canada asking its licensed amateur  radio operators to make sure their equipment was in working order and could be put to use during an emergency.

To this end, I set up mobile amateur radios station on the grounds of Vancouver Island University to prove this point.

With less than a full days notice, we contacted the offices of the president, health and safety, facilities and even parking enforcement groups at VIU.

I was given permission (and assistance) to put the temporary station in place to demonstrate that this could be effectively accomplished if needed.

The tall antennas and radios were set up and over the next 24 hours the point was proven the system can and does work if needed from the campus of VIU.

More than 100 radio contacts were made with local radio clubs, across the province, and as far away as Newfoundland, Florida, California and Mexico. The farthest contact was Brisbane, Australia, a country because of flooding and fires is well aware of the  importance of reliable emergency communications in a disaster.

A big thank you goes to all the guests who came out to see the system in action and Mark Egan,  health and safety coordinator at VIU and Stewart Ralph, associate director of facilities services and campus development at VIU.

It was good to see the high level of commitment to student and community safety from the various departments at VIU and to see the cohesive and rapid deployment of resources that support that end.

Ian Turner



Just Posted

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Gabriola singer-songwriter Sarah Osborne, Cowichan Valley duo Heartwood, Vancouver singer Kelly Haigh and Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo (clockwise from top-left) are among the performers in this year’s Cultivate Festival. (Photos submitted)
Gabriola Arts Council presents COVID-conscious Cultivate Festival

Theatre, music and art festival returns to Gabriola Island after 2020 hiatus

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomer by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Most Read