St. Paul Fire Dept donates radio gear for disasters
The St. Paul Fire Department recently donated thousands of dollars’ worth of radio equipment to The Salvation Army, including ham radios, a 50-foot antenna (pictured at top), and much more. The radio gear will allow Salvation Army disaster teams to communicate with one another and with disaster officials regardless of distance or electricity supply.
“Often after a disaster, cell towers are down, emergency power is out, and communication is needed,” said Jim Daly (pictured right), a longtime Salvation Army disaster volunteer. “If there’s no cell service, there’s really no way to communicate.”
Daly helps oversee Salvation Army disaster responses in Minnesota and North Dakota, and he is often deployed to serve at high-profile disasters around the country. He and others are excited about the new radio equipment because it will allow The Salvation Army to create a mobile command center that can be hauled virtually anywhere.
“We have a 17-foot trailer that we will be outfitting with a good portion of the new radio equipment,” said Major Rae Doliber (pictured at top), director of disaster services for The Salvation Army Northern Division. “Having this mobile command center will not only help us at the point of disaster, but at training events we participate in with the government and military.”
Other pieces of the equipment (pictured right) will be installed in the emergency operations center at Salvation Army headquarters in Roseville, and in mobile kitchens that provide food, water, flood kits, and other supplies for disaster survivors and first responders.
The City of St. Paul originally bought the radio equipment to prepare for Y2K but hadn’t used it for many years.
“We are thankful for this donation and the new opportunities it gives us to help people,” Doliber said.
The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to operate the radio equipment and to help in other ways during times of disaster. Learn more about becoming a Salvation Army disaster volunteer.
If you think being a Salvation Army disaster volunteer doesn’t sound exciting, you haven’t met Jim Daly. In 15 years of volunteering, Daly has served at some of the most high-profile disasters in American history...