Amateur radio service supports Bethany triathlon

October 9, 2013
Radio operator Willie Merchant mans the net control, which coordinates communications from ham radio operators at strategic points along the bike and run routes of the First Responders Triathlon. SOURCE SUBMITTED

The Bethany Beach First Responders Triathlon was held Sept. 22. The event included a .62-mile swim component, an 18-mile bike and a 4.3-mile run.

The Sussex County Amateur Radio Emergency Service provided communications support to the event. ARES provides emergency communications during natural and man-made disasters and works closely with other local governmental and civic agencies providing services during such disasters. ARES also serves the community by providing communications support to local events such as the First Responders Triathlon.

Twenty local amateur radio operators supported the triathlon. Located at strategic points throughout the course of the bike and run events, the hams reported through a net control at the Bethany Beach Fire Station. Status on the progress of the participants as well as any emergency or medical needs were routed to the appropriate authorities by ham radio.

The event had more than 800 participants and was a very successful effort for the first responders as well as the ARES communications team.