De W7JWJ & W7QGP
FROM THE FILES OF THE TRI-CITY HERALD – JUNE, 1948
"Sirens screamed as a National Guard Truck with police escort pulled up to the loading bay of ‘Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Pasco. A lady passenger stepped out and walked into the hospital
Attendants believing the sirens heralded the arrival of an emergency case, rushed out. They looked in the back of the truck and searched high and low for the patient. Confusion reigned.
The lady in this case was surprised to learn that she was the cause of difficulty. She had merely obtained a ride in the truck in order to get
to Pasco in order to have a baby."
The ‘lady’ now happens to be Mary, W7QGP and the baby one day to be Diana, K7ETY. The reason for the truck was that the main street of Kennewick was under three feet of water. The emergency nearly occurred on the truck. The Columbia River was at flood stage. It was June, 1948.
In June of 1948 there were times when amateur radio communications saved the dike at Richland. Once when a fire hydrant broke and the water started cutting a hole through the dike.
During the 1948 flood an emergency station was set up at the National Guard headquarters in Kennewick. W7JWJ recalls first meeting Sam, W7BIW of Pasco, the volunteer radio operator. Sam was fast asleep on an Army cot in front of an improvised station, earphones on his head, cord wrapped around his neck and a beard that had been growing for a week
Sam. W7BIW recalls the stations engaged in emergency operations. They were: W7CKT, W7BWC, W7BX, W7EDU, W7CFC, W7AQJ, W7FKE, W7EGR, W7GNR, W7IYK, W7IOQ, W7ETS, W7BUW, W7CUD, W7AAH, W7KIX, W7JWJ and W7ENR and other volunteers. Their efforts were recognized. This note to the volunteers.
"Dear Mr. Lewis: The recent flood emergency produced many instances of services rendered over and above the normal call of duty on the part of project personnel of all grades and classes.
It is to be noted that no individual or department contributed a more valuable service towards meeting this emergency than the little group of radio operators who responded so promptly and remained uncomplainingly on the job through many sleepless hours to maintain the vital liaison between success and disastrous failure.
On behalf of this entire department I wish to extend the most sincere thanks for your assistance and cooperation and to express to each and every one of you my deep appreciation of a job well done.
W.E. Redmond, June 28, 1948