Feb 12, 2016

Help through Airwaves : An interview with VU2DH OM Devdas in media

Post Event Report : Chennai HAM support to Wipro Chennai Marathon 2015/2016

Rated among the top 5 Marathons in the country , from young to old, the Wipro Chennai Marathon 2015 had enthusiastic participants from all walks of life. Originally scheduled for December 13 last year, The Wipro Chennai Marathon was postponed due to the Chennai floods.
The marathon paid tribute to the spirit of Chennai on Sunday, January 31 with about 16,000 registered runners.
NGO Alert, Apollo Hospitals & physio company SPARKS were the official medical partners for the event. Continuing the association which Chennai HAMS had with Alert during the floods, they requested that HAMS provide EMCOM support to the medical aid stations being planned.
With totally 16,000 people participating , the logistics were mammoth . HAM team assessed overall and it was decided to setup as below
·        Base Control at CPT grounds where the marathon would finish
·        10 Mobile stations (named Alfa 1 to Alfa 10)
·        One Lead Car HAM
·        One Sweeper HAM
Basis same a detailed plan was laid out and executed.

On Marathon Day:

Since the race had to start very early at 4:00am on 31st , HAM’s were asked to be at their positions by 3:30am. But since there was a lot of traffic block , most of the HAM’s reached their spots by 3:00am and took position . There were some operating glitches at Base control due to power supply but that was compensated by other mobile stations on car mobile acting as base.

As soon as the race was flagged HAM communication channels were functional with the lead car HAM reporting position and aid station reporting to Base Control on situation and taking inputs on what to be done. Although every year the event happens, this years participation by HAM’s has definitely made a difference with instant communication possible. Below words from organisers. 

·      Below are the words from Marathon Race Director Harishankar Krishnaswamy
o   “I was wondering how HAM would be useful in the day and age of Mobile telecom. But clearly their information and real time updates were beyond compare”.
·     Below are the words from Peter Van Geit who was overall responsible for all aid stations / volunteers

o   “Thank the Ham Radio team on providing a communications backbone for any ops / medical related emergencies during the run. Feedback is appreciated. Not sure if the organizers faced any issues using the regular mobile communications network to sync up during the event. Looking forward also to welcoming your team as part of our August Javadhu Hills Ultra where any other form of communication is nonexistent”

·        HAM’s were able to divert ambulance to pickup a wheel chair participant when his wheel chair broke down
·        Communications were passed on with regards to shortage of ice etc at aid stations and replenishments provided
·        HAM’s co-ordinated with police and passed info whenever there were traffic issues faced

20 HAMS and 1 SWL participated in the event which was an excellent experience for all and we thank all those who volunteered.

Thanks and Regards 

Vipin Shankar