5 Stories About How Two-Way Radios Have Saved Lives

Two-way radios aren't just a great way to communicated with your friends and co-workers, they're also a way to stay safe in times of danger. Two-way radios have saved lives on a number of occasions, and not just when they're in the hands of trained medical professionals. Here are 5 inspiring stories about radios saving lives.

  • In Telluride, Colorado, the backcountry skiing community set up one specific two-way radio channel for all skiers to use on the dangerous Bear Creek trails. Because out-of-town skiers often go off the trail and get lost in this rough terrain, these radio channels help to call for help in the case of an avalanche or other disaster.
  • During the chaos at shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, so many people tried to call for help or contact loved ones that the lines were flooded and cell phones didn't work. Even those who were able to contact emergency personnel were so frantic, 911 dispatchers couldn't get a clear grasp on the situation. Those school officials who were trained in emergency preparedness and had two-way radios on hand, however, were able to contact emergency officials, clearly state the problem and get help.
  • After a monsoon flood in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, officials in flood-prone regions nearby decided to establish two-way radio channels and radio facilities to provide communication during other possible disasters.  
  • Every year, the American Radio Relay League hosts a national Field Day to teach amateur radio leagues how to test their equipment and practice strategies for emergency communication.
  • During the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, phone lines were so congested that people weren't able to use their cell phones to contact family or emergency personnel. Instead, those with two-way radios could bypass the phone lines completely and quickly call for help.