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Man saves the life of radio operator friend who lives 500 miles away
Bill thought it was a prank call at first when he heard a garbled voice on the other end. But he quickly realized the situation was no joke.
Elijah Chan
10.06.21

A man from Oregon got help from the unlikeliest person from his contacts – a friend from a hobby who’s living in another state.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

Bill Scott, a resident of San Joaquin County, keeps a small black ham radio close. He takes it with him everywhere, from walks, family gatherings, vacations, holidays, and even social gatherings.

“On Saturdays, I’ll hear check-ins from just about every part of the world,” Scott shared with CBS Sacramento.

He has been in this hobby for over four decades and has communicated with people from as far as South Africa and the International Space Station.

Amateur or “ham” radio enthusiasts trace their roots as far back as the discovery of radio.

Flickr - FolsomNatural
Source:
Flickr - FolsomNatural

When the first transatlantic broadcast was made in 1901, mankind’s fascination with the radio exploded. People started setting up their own transmitters and receivers in hopes that they could communicate with people from miles away.

After the frequencies got clogged up and interfered with official radio business such as military, weather, and commercial telecommunications, ham radio enthusiasts were given their own regulated hobby space.

Flickr - Jeff Keyzer
Source:
Flickr - Jeff Keyzer

The joy of amateur radio communication comes in different forms.

Some enjoy the challenge of building up their devices. Others delve into the almost philosophical aspect of breaking barriers and distances. But most of them are united by one thing. Just like any hobby, it’s an avenue for them to meet like-minded individuals that turn into lifelong friends.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

Scott made friends with a lot of people in this hobby. But it was a surprise for him when he received a phone call. It was difficult for him to recognize the voice on the other end because the voice was a bit “garbled”.

“It was all kind of skewed and everything. I thought it was a prank call at first and so then after we finally established, he said ‘You are an amateur radio operator,’ and I said ‘Yeah’, then it all started coming together,” Scott explained to the news outlet.

500 miles away from Myrtle Point, Oregon, his ham radio friend Skip Kritcher dialed Scott’s number by mistake.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

He was on the floor and in need of help.

“I couldn’t see the numbers too good on the cell phone and I wound up pushing the button and calling Bill,” Kritcher told CBS.

Fortunately, Scott’s wife Sharon quickly realized what was happening.

She is a retired nurse of 60 years, and with how Kritcher was speaking, she knew he was having a stroke.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

“The speech that he had was slurred and my husband couldn’t seem to keep him on task, he was skipping all over and confused,” she explained.

As soon as the call ended, the Scotts quickly called 911. They’ve been to Kritcher’s house before so they knew how to direct the rescuers.

Sharon Scott shared that the EMTs told her that Kritcher would’ve died within a couple of hours if not for the couple’s quick thinking.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

As they look back on the events of that day, it’s hard not to think about how they became friends in the first place.

“It’s pretty awesome, they are great people you know. I’m just glad I called them,” Kritcher said.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Sacramento

As people may have different reasons to love the hobby, Scott and Kritcher have found new reasons to love it even more.

Watch how a ham radio enthusiast got saved by a fellow operator 500 miles away in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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