Ham operators assist with Halloween

An annual Halloween project dubbed the "Pumpkin Patrol" has placed local ham radio operators in
the spotlight.
For a number of years, area hams have assisted state and local police in making Halloween travel safer
for motorists.
WTVG of Toledo featured the project during its newscasts, showing amateur radio in action along with an
Members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), armed only with their radios, look out for persons
throwing pumpkins or other items from expressway overpasses onto passing motorists.
Injuries and deaths as well as property damage have occurred from this dangerous prank creating an
enforcement nightmare for authorities.
With resources already stretched to capacity, law officers teamed up with volunteer ARES members in
Lucas, Wood, and Fulton counties.
The hams spot and report suspicious activity. State, county or local law enforcement units respond.
At the request of authorities, ARES this year expanded the project.
ARES Assistant District One Emergency Coord-inator Steve Ashenfelter of Perrysburg says their mere
presence is a big deterrent.
This year, no incidents were reported.
He said this is just one of the many public service projects amateur radio operators do each year.
For more information on ARES, go to The Toledo Mobile Radio Association Web site: tmrahamradio.org or the
Toledo Radio Amateur Club Web site: trac-online.org.
For persons who are interested in becoming an amateur radio operator, many valuable resources are
available on the American Radio Relay League Web site: arrl.org.