Ham Radio Hero Helps Saves Friend’s Life From Hundreds of Miles Away

A man's ham radio hobby helped him save his friend's life from 500 miles away.

Bill Scott of Scaramento, California brings his small black ham radio with him everywhere he goes. A ham radio, or amateur radio, is a popular hobby and service that allows people to communicate through a non-commercial exchange of messages.

“On Saturdays, I’ll hear check-ins from just about every part of the world,”Scott told CBS Sacramento. He typically spends hours on the radio every day, taking it on walks, vacations and sometimes even to social gatherings. Having spent 40 years as an amateur radio operator, he has reached people from South Africa all the way to the Space Station. 

Then, this past June, he received a call and recognized the voice on the other end. “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,” explained Scott.

It was his ham radio friend, Skip Kritcher, that lives 500 miles north in Myrtle Point, Oregon. Kritcher dialed Scott’s number by mistake, but he was stuck on the floor and needed help. “I couldn’t see the numbers too good on the cell phone and I wound up pushing the button and calling Bill,” said Kritcher. 

Scott’s wife, Sharon, is a retired nurse of approximately 60 years and realized that Kritcher was having a stroke. “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,” Sharon explained.

The line dropped, and Scott immediately called 9-1-1. The couple had visited Kritcher’s home before, so they knew how to tell first responders to get there.

An EMT told them that he would have passed within a couple of hours had 9-1-1 not been called. “It’s pretty awesome, they are great people you know. I’m just glad I called them,” said Kritcher.

“Just a miracle that he called the wrong number and he got us and we were about to do something to help him,” said Sharon Scott.

Kritcher still has impaired vision, but he continues to communicate with Scott through their ham radios while he is recovering from his stroke.

Image source: CBS Sacramento