After many years of dedicated service to amateur radio and the local community, it is time to say farewell and good luck to Glen Caine N6HEW as he hangs up his EMCOMM hat and moves his family to New Mexico.
Glen has been married to his high school sweetheart Vicki KA6MDM for 51 years and they have two grown adopted daughters Heather and Holly. In 2011 he retired from the County of Fresno after 27 years as an electrician where he worked for 10 years at Valley Medical Center and 17 years at the Fresno County Jail.
He first moved to Fresno in 1971. He obtained his Novice amateur radio license in 1981 with the callsign KA6GDS; upgraded to General in 1991 and then Advanced Class operator in 1984 with the callsign N6HEW.
Glen’s first amateur radio Emergency Communications (EMCOMM) deployment was in the early 1980’s due to the Fresno FMC Factory Fire. Local officials were worried about toxic chemical release. Glen worked communications at a Red Cross shelter as well as the Fresno County OES in the Health Department building on the Fulton Mall.
Glen was a member of Fresno Amateur Radio Club when the during the 1983 Coalinga earthquake. He was with the first HAM operators from the club that arrived at the scene and helped set up communications from the California Highway Patrol’s parking lot using the club’s communication van. He recalls climbing the tower at night and feeling the aftershocks as he worked. This was the experience that sparked the passion for Emergency Communications for Glen.
Soon after the Coalinga event, Glen joined the California State RACES Region 5 and in 1985 he volunteered to become the Fresno County RACES Officer, a position he held for 33 years until his retirement in 2019.
In the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Glen assisted with radio configuration/deployment and assisted the Red Cross in Hollister where the armory and Catholic Church were converted to shelters. He handled logistical traffic to and from the Red Cross Command Center.
During the 1991 dust storm pile-up on I-5, Glen was deployed to the accident site with the Fresno County Communications vehicle where he provided communications with the County OES in Fresno.
Following the 1994 Air National Guard plane crash into apartments on Olive Avenue, he again assisted in supply communications between the Red Cross shelter and the Fresno County OES.
During the 1994 Big Creek fire near Huntington Lake, he helped with communications between the Red Cross shelter in Shaver Lake and the Fresno County OES office.
After the 1995 Arroyo Pasajero Creek bridge collapse due to flooding, he was airlifted by helicopter to Los Gatos Canyon where he manned HF and VHF stations while Pat Fennacy W6YEP utilized his airplane to orbit and relay radio traffic back to Fresno. The National Guard used helicopters to deliver water and supplies to the cut-off residents.
In 2009. Glen worked with Dan Pruitt AE6SX (SK) in merging Fresno County RACES with the ARRL ARES program forming the Fresno County EMCOMM group working with the Red Cross and Salvation Army SATERN programs.
For the past decade Glen, who is sometimes called the “Rainmaker” has also been an indispensable fixture in the CARP EMCOMM group assisting with communications in many walks, runs and bicycle rides including the March of Dimes March for Babies, Hinds Hospice Angel Babies walk, Sanger Blossom Trail Run, California Classic Ride and many other Fresno Cycling Club bicycle rides including the Climb to Kaiser event each year.
When asked his most memorable experience he talked about working at the Red Cross shelter in Watsonville during the Loma Prieta earthquake where he had to live and eat with the displaced residents. However, due to the refrigeration truck being located at his shelter they did enjoy eating steak and fresh meat, while other not so fortunate radio ops located at other shelters ended up only having rice and beans.
Nowadays Glen’s interest is in public service event communications, digital modes. chasing DX and portable HF operations while camping in the mountains.
When asked what he has enjoyed the most about amateur radio he replied “Serving the public…and DX of course.”
After a lifetime of dedication to the EMCOMM community in Fresno County we say farewell to Glen Caine as he moves on to the next chapter of his life to retire in New Mexico.
From each of us on the CARP Board of Directors, we thank you for all your support to CARP and service to the community.