I haven’t heard about this too much in the last few years, but back when I first got my license, I helped out with this. So I figured I would mention the Pumpkin Patrol since it’s now October and Halloween will be here before we know it!
When I was helping out, I was stationed on one of 2 bridges near where I lived. One was in the village of Fultonville, just off Exit 28 on the NY Thruway, and the other was in Amsterdam off of Exit 27 of the Thruway. Both bridges, went over the Thruway and were accessible because they were State routes that went over the bridges. Now I had heard on the news about kids throwing stuff off of the bridges down on to roads and cars. And after a particularity bad incident, the NY State Police decided to stop the problem right off. That’s where volunteer Ham Radio operators like myself came in.
I had heard on the local repeater they were looking for a few people to help cover bridges and that they needed someone to cover one of those 2 bridges by me. So I called the man in charge at the time, Jack, WA2YBM, and ask if I could help. Long story short, I got all the info and a plaque for the car so the police knew who I was, and went out and sat on the bridge till midnight and did my check ins. I did it a few more times. Then I didn’t hear anything about it for a while, so I never really did it again.
Although, given the chance, I might be willing to still do it, if the need arose. It was fun, but to be honest, it was also a little boring. But I kept myself occupied and still enjoyed the experience overall. If there is a Pumpkin Patrol in your area, I would encourage you to sign up and be a part of it. Especially if you’re looking for something for the first time out. This would be a good way to break the ice.
Here’s a link to a quick story from a couple years ago. Just a blurb on the news…