Mom called tonight and told us to watch Dad on the news . This is the story that aired on KSL news:
Ham radio to the rescue where cell phones failed
March 28th, 2008 @ 10:15pm
Alex Cabrero reporting
When a woman crashed her car over a cliff in Logan Canyon, witnesses tried to call for help on their cell phones, to no avail. There is no cell coverage in the canyon. But one man was still able to call for help, using old-fashioned technology.
In the same Fish Haven, Idaho room where he grew up playing with radios, Eldon Kearl now seems to have them all. "It's been my hobby, electronics, all my life," he said.
He's particularly fond of ham radios. He can talk to just about anyone in the world with just a little handheld radio. He carries it all the time.
"Lots of organizations are realizing the value of the ham radio in the event of an emergency," Kearl said.
Last week in Logan Canyon there was an emergency. A driver lost control of her truck in the snow, falling more than 100 feet over a cliff. Two of her three passengers were thrown out.
Other drivers stopped to help, but with no cell phone coverage, it was at least a 30 minute drive to make a call. It just so happens that Kearl drove by and had his little radio. "Immediately, I had contact with another ham in Logan," he says.
On the other end was Roger Ellis. Ellis, who says he's still new when it comes to ham radios, was able to talk to Kearl and relay information to dispatchers. A half hour later, help was on the scene.
"It was great. That's the reason I got into this ham radio stuff is for the emergency communications. It felt good," Ellis said.
Even though everybody in the crash turned out OK, there were some injuries, and the Utah Highway Patrol says if not for those ham radio operators getting help so quickly, those injuries could've become worse. But, as Kearl says, "It all worked out pretty good."
Kearl and Ellis have never met, but since they live relatively close to each other, they plan on meeting each other in person soon.
Way to go Dad!