|Red Cross||| Print ||
|Written by Alfred Perez|
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.
Volunteer Ham radio operators are used by the Red Cross to provide emergency communications and operate its ECRV. The ECRV, or Emergency Communications Response Vehicle, was designed and created for the American Red Cross by Disaster Services Technology paid and volunteer staff, to provide communications links between disaster relief operations and the Disaster Operation Center. They include an interoperability switch which allows the Red Cross to communicate with the variety of communication systems based in the nation-wide network of chapters.
The nine base vehicles for the original design, Ford Excursions, were donated by Ford Motor Company; subsystems and components were primarily acquired through funding via the Disaster Technology Integration Program (DSTIP). The vehicles were extensively modified to add an 8.5KW alternator driven by the engine (keeping weight down, thereby avoiding significant safety hazards), a 52' pop-up pneumatic mast capable of rotating while holding a large shortwave yagi antenna, a VSAT satellite antenna system, and sixteen HF, VHF, and UHF antennas feeding its radios and data systems.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 23 January 2011 06:54|