TOP TECHS To the Rescue, Again James Campbell and Phil "Fidel" Galindo, two techs working for Comcast Cable in Muskegon, Mich., were driving back to the office in rainy conditions in July when they saw a car that had rolled over in a ditch along the road. Two men were trapped in the vehicle, so Campbell and Galindo stopped their vehicles and extricated the people from the car, which had begun to burn. They then used their fire extinguishers to put out the fire. One grateful wife of one of the trapped men said the two techs saved their lives. A Muskegon Township deputy fire chief indicated that had Campbell and Galindo not responded so promptly, "the outcome could have been far more tragic." The accident victims suffered only minor scrapes and bruises. In September, another quick-thinking Comcast tech, Melvin Smith, saved a young woman from a burning building in Pittsburg when he rescued her from a second floor balcony with the ladder from his truck. "He (Smith) got there well before the emergency people arrived," says Comcast spokesman Tom Meinert. "He did the good deed and then got back in his truck and went to work. I think he was worried about being late for work." "When he got to work, he didn’t tell anyone. The only way we knew anything about it was because a TV station saw the truck drive away. One of the supervisors asked who had been involved in a fire that morning, and then he (Smith) mentioned that he had." Do you know a Top Tech who has gone above and beyond the call of duty? Send your nominations to mrobuck@accessintel.com. PEOPLE TWC Tabs Owen in Memphis John Owen has recently been named president of Time Warner Cable’s Memphis Division. Prior to his new job, Owen was vice president and general manager for the Southern District of TWC’s Raleigh Division. Optovia hires Dale Optovia Corp., a long-haul optical amplifier provider, said that Peter Dale, a former vice president of Cable Business Operations for Ciena Corp., has joined the company as vice president of Cable and Enterprise Sales and Business Development. LETTERS Ham Radio Responses Here are some responses received about a question posed in CT’s Pipeline in regards to ham radio legislation. Says CT Senior Technology Editor Ron Hranac (N0IVN): "Amateur radio operators proved once again that when nothing else works, ham radio still gets through. Hams provided lifeline communications during the first critical days after the storm, passing emergency and health and welfare traffic in and out of the region." Being a ham myself (N3NY), I strongly agree. The recent hurricane that hit Louisiana and Mississippi speaks for itself when amateur radio went into action and is still doing emergency communications in these areas. Joe Gregory
Time Warner Cable I believe that cable operators should formally leverage the use of amateur radio through their internal resources as a means of providing communications for disaster relief. Not only do the "hams" provide these essential services, but they also do so with pride and conviction. As Ron Hranac accurately pointed out, most of the communications systems that the public has come to rely upon require intricate networks to maintain operation. When the going gets tough, they typically fail. The inherent simplicity of some of the amateur radio communications modes is what makes (them) so reliable under the most difficult of circumstances. I believe that the industry should encourage more participation of its members in this exciting hobby and essential public service. Len Muscato, WX2X

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