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Gilroy Fiber Optic Cable Cut

April 9, 2009

SARES participation

In the early morning of April 9, vandals damaged part of the critical fiber-optic backbone for Southern Santa Clara County, creating a phone outage that affected not only normal phone service, but ATMs, cash registers, cell phones, alarm systems and Internet service.

Santa Clara County put out a call for emergency communication assistance and the Sunnyvale Office of Emergency Services (OES) answered. Under the direction of Lt. John Gienger, volunteer amateur radio operators trained in emergency communications through ongoing participation with the OES sponsored Sunnyvale Amateur Radio Emergency Services (SARES) organization provided emergency communications through the day and into the night at strategic points in the County. Sunnyvale supplied the largest number of amateur radio responders of any city in the North County, providing communication to schools, fire stations, key public access intersections, Cal Fire Command Posts and St. Louise Hospital. Emergency communications throughout the South Santa Clara County continued uninterrupted thanks to these well trained volunteers and their personal equipment, which they keep at the ready for emergencies.

April 13, 2009 - Letter from Larry Carr, Santa Clara County OES

I would like to thank all the hams who provided support during the phone outage that occurred on Thursday, April 9, 2009. The 43 hams, listed below, delivered critical assistance at a time when most means of communications were either completely interrupted, or severely overloaded.

Your professionalism was apparent, and I commend you all!

Larry Carr
Chief Radio Officer, RACES
Santa Clara County OES

Ralf Erickson WA6CQA
Andreas Ott K6OTT
Howard Krawetz N6HM
Jordan Makower WA2BRV
Tom Root KF6NEW
Phil Stewart K6PHL
Robert Stodieck KI6GDF
Bill Young K6VWO

April 13, 2009 - Letter from City of Gilroy

I would also like to thank each of you for your efforts to help the City of Gilroy respond to the events of April 9, 2009. This particular emergency situation underscores that our reliance on technology should be balanced with maintaining the very types of capabilities that you provided to us. Communication is an obvious key to adequately responding to any emergency and the efforts of the Mutual Aid Communicators and the Gilroy Police VIP's provided the necessary communication and public visibility in this instance and demonstrated just how important your training and skill is to our community. Thank you very much for your dedication and expertise.

Thomas J. Haglund
City Administrator/Director of Emergency Services
City of Gilroy

April 10, 2009 - Letter from Gilroy Police Chief

I echo Pat's comments! We truly appreciated all of your help during this challenging event! Each of you played a key role in a successful operation. I feel better knowing we have dedicated volunteers like you that will come to our aid in time of need! Thank you!

Chief (Denise) Turner

April 10, 2009 - Letter from Gilroy EC

On behalf of the City of Gilroy OES and Myself, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to all those that pulled together and made yesterday very successful.

I especially want to thank all the Mutual Aid Communicators that responded to South County. In particular from here in Gilroy's the five MACs that responded as field operators to help staff critical points throughout the City of Gilroy to bolster our emergency services capability, the one MAC that staffed Saint Louse Hospital radio room, and lastly the one that staffed our radio room to run our resource net to track all those on assignment.

You ALL did a super job. You may not think you did much, but you provided the additional safety margin we were looking for...just in case.

To all those at County ARES/RACES, DEC, ADECs, the ECs, and all the MACs that volunteered to assist and go on assignment, THANK YOU. All of our training and practice can through.

Patrick Moore
EC - Gilroy