Posts Tagged ‘Pumpkin Patrol’
With Halloween just a few days away, the Pumpkin Patrols will be rolling out. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind if this is your first one. If you’ve done PP before, feel free to post other tips based on your experience. Hopefully this year will be “uneventful” but in a good way!
So how do you keep yourself occupied for those few hours you are sitting in your vehicle, watching out? How about a nice audio book? Toss it into your car’s CD player or rip it into your iPod or mp3 player and play it through your stereo. No headphones, as you need to also have your radio’s volume up to hear the check in calls on the repeater. Why not a Nintendo DS or a game on your smart phone? Well, you need to be using your eyes to make sure no one is doing something they are not supposed to out there. Music is good too.
If you do see someone, the number one rule is, DON’T GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE. Your job is to observe and report. Call it in to the net control and they will alert the police. Get as much info as you can. Is there a car? Make, model and color? A license plate number? How tall were they? Did they wear hoodies? Hair color? How old did they look? The more info you have to give to the police, the easier it is for them to find the people. Having a notepad and something to write on and with is a must have too.
And remember to bring a little snack and drink in case you get hungry or thirsty. And also, and I can’t stress this enough, GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE YOU GO OUT. I’m sure you catch my drift as to why right? Nothing is more embarrasing then standing outside your car, and missing your check in. Yeah.. it can happen.
So anyone else have any tips? Share them here.
Rich also writes a Tech blog and posts stories every Tuesday and Thursday on Q103, Albany’s #1 Rock Station website, as well as Amateur Radio stories every Monday thru Friday on AmiZed Studios and hosts a podcast called The Kim & Rich Show with his fiance’ Kim Dunne
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…