Amanda and Barry Glickman realized emergency communications service was lacking on Cortes Island a few years back.
From their time at sea they had experience in the field, so they decided they could help expand the network of people trained to provide emergency communications.
“We believe in this issue,” says Amanda.
They started by training local amateur radio operators but understood there was a lack of sufficient infrastructure, and that for an emergency system to function properly the region would need to have to train other operators, beyond Cortes.
“We went off to various communities and taught courses,” says Barry. “We now have exercises that cover the whole region.”
This training has expanded throughout the communities of the Strathcona Regional District, including Campbell River, Tahsis, Gold River, Zeballos and Sayward.
Early on, with no financial support, the couple taught many courses at their own expense. Typically, Barry and Amanda volunteered a couple of thousand hours each year.
Eventually, enough people were trained to set up volunteer communications teams in the SRD, and funding was leveraged to cover some expenses and provide emergency equipment.
“When people realized it could work, money started coming in,” Barry says.