Amateurs in the Yukon do a tremendous job with their repeater system. Here is one example of how it works. Congratulations to all involved in this incident and thank you for your efforts in maintaining your network
On Friday morning, July 11,214 Certified Pilot Car Ltd was enroute withtwo of its vehicles operated by Mike (VY1WH) and Elayne House to Dawson City accompanying two loads from Western Heavy Haul; an oversize load and a legal size load with mining equipment. Mike was talking to a trucker who was ahead of him when that trucker, Thomas Moore of Norcope enterprises, spotted what he was pretty sure was an overturned vehicle with what appeared to be fairly fresh tracks leading to it off the road over a steep bank near Twin Lakes, which is south of Carmacks on the North Klondike Highway. As Certified Pilot Car was within a few minutes of Thomas’s location, and Thomas had spotted this too late to stop, Mike informed him that we would stop our convoy in the area he described and not proceed north until we found the unit and ascertained whether it was in fact a recent or old accident and that there no assistance we could render. Elayne House actually found the overturned vehicle, and thought she could hear a faint voice coming from it. She was in that moment deciding whether she should go over the bank and investigate or radio it to Mike when her driver, Clyde, arrived on foot and it was decided Clyde would go over the bank immediately to investigate so Elayne could relay information by radio to Mike.
There was a female inside, who was in great pain and had stated she had been there since midnight and couldn’t move (it was now approximately 06:15). Elayne radioed this information to Mike who immediately called ahead to Thomas on Ladd 1 to inform him that an ambulance was needed if he was within cell coverage area and could reach one. Then Mike immediately switched to the YARA network and made an emergency call requesting any station for emergency assistance. The call was answered by Ray (VY1RF) who relayed the information to emergency personnel. At this time, further medical information, recovery details, patient condition, etc, were relayed via the YARA system to better inform emergency personnel the exact details of the situation, etc, as well as the need for the mechanical extraction equipment. Shortly after that, the RCMP arrived, shortly after that the ambulance. I have no further recovery nor other details, other than that the subject was initially in critical condition, and is still alive in Whitehorse hospital at this moment, updated condition unkown.
YARA president Terry Maher has a sign on his truck that says, “Amateur Radio Saves Lives”. There is no way to know for certain if it did in this case, but I would be fairly confident in saying it certainly played a part. For those involved in designing, installing and maintaining our Yukon network, I can’t express enough thanks. Sincerely.