DuBois, PA – January 5, 2012 American Red Cross PA Heartland Chapter Executive Director Bob Newell and Quad-County Amateur Radio Club President Joe Shupienis met to discuss ways each organization can support the missions of the other. Said Shupienis, “We both serve the public, and each group has unique strengths to share with the other.”

“It’s a perfect fit!” explained Newell, “We both provide our services to the same area.”

During times of disaster, both groups are called into action to serve the needs of disaster victims in stricken areas. The Red Cross has a long tradition of providing disaster relief services, including humanitarian aid and relief services to those affected by disasters. Amateur Radio is often the only reliable means of long-range communication into and out of a stricken area when all the usual forms of communication have been destroyed or overloaded.

The two organizations signed a Statement of Cooperation, a local extension of the national level Memorandum of Understanding between American Red Cross and the American Radio Relay League, the national organization for amateur radio™. The agreement specifies ways each organization can help the other carry out their common missions and goals, and identifies opportunities for cross-training that each organization can provide for the other.

“Amateur Radio has a long history of public service,” said Shupienis. “Hams often provide the only communications into and within a stricken area, such as the rescue and recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina.

“Radio Amateurs are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to own and operate powerful radio equipment on a wide range of frequencies with a flexible operational structure equaled only by the armed forces,” he continued.  Hams are well known for their unique ability to communicate around the corner and around the world, and make their communications services available to their neighbors and communities in times of need.”

The PA Heartland Chapter of the American Red Cross is headquartered in downtown DuBois and serves Elk, Cameron, Jefferson and northwestern Clearfield County. The chapter was created on May 1, 2011 by the merging of the Clearfield-Jefferson, DuBois, and Elk-Cameron Counties Chapters. “The history of the local chapters extends back to 1917,” said Newell. More information is available at www.arcpaheartland.org and at www.redcross.org.

The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club serves Clearfield, Jefferson Elk and Cameron Counties, and was founded in DuBois on April 17, 1975. The club offers free classes to prepare for license exams, promotes proper and effective use of   communications technology, and conducts public service activities to help members gain practical experience in providing communications for the public and served agencies.


Text: Gant Team

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