Red cross and amateur radio renew alliance community gas in stomach


“We’ve been working with the Rutherford County ARES and ARRL for years,” said James Goodman, the mass care coordinator for the American Red Cross Heart of Tennessee Chapter, and the host for the meeting. Goodman takes care of sheltering, feeding and bulk distribution for the 17 counties in the Heart of Tennessee Chapter. He takes a lead role in direct contact with clients and partner organizations.

Goodman talked about the American Red Cross disaster services and gave an account of experiences setting up emergency shelters. He discussed how the Rutherford County ARES volunteers might coordinate with the Red Cross during contingencies and disaster assessments with emergency communications.

“Every time a storm system comes up, Frank says, ‘Ok we’ve got you covered, this is what we’re monitoring for you,’” Goodman said. “As things begin to happen, there are things we need to be aware of, which streets are being closed, where trees are down, or where the electricity is out. For contingencies and disasters, Frank is my early warning system. He helps me plan for how many volunteers I’ll put on standby.”

“The meeting with Rutherford County ARES is important because we are trying to broaden our relationship with them and the national ARRL,” Goodman said. “We want them to more fully understand our Red Cross missions and how we can do our job better, as more folks work with us and participate with us.”

Capley learned his radio communications craft in the Air Force, on the headquarters staff of one of the nation’s fiercest warriors, General Curtis LeMay, the Cold War commander of the Strategic Air Command. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked as a facilities engineer for the Hospital Corporation of America. Now, he serves as a volunteer using his organizational, technical and radio communication skills.

“The Red Cross meeting with the Rutherford County ARES brought together the team and the people who might be able to help us in the future,” Capley said. “There is always a need for more volunteers. It’s important that the general public understands what the Red Cross and the Rutherford County ARES can do for them.”

“We are a group of amateur radio operators who volunteer our services during disaster situations,” he said. “It’s a public service that we can provide. We have the capability to provide communications to public organizations when other types of communications may be down. The American Red Cross has worked with ARRL’s amateur radio organizations for some time. They say it’s a valuable resource for them and they are looking forward to continuing operations with us.”

Molloy has been involved with planning for contingencies and disasters for more than 37 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. He served as the national director for emergency management for a federal agency, the Indian Health Service.

The Rutherford County ARES work with the amateur radio frequencies and skills are important, Molloy said, because “an extended disaster, a lot of times, normal communications channels are either very busy or disrupted because of the disaster, and we offer an alternative communications process.”