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"Hams" Go Whole Hog for Pig
Local Radio Club Adds Security, Information to Flying Pig Marathon

Cincinnati, Ohio (April 14) - For the 5th year in a row, members of the Queen City Emergency Net will volunteer their time, services and equipment to the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon. The Net is a group of about 120 ham radio operators who assist the community during times of disaster, and during large-scale events like the Flying Pig Marathon.

"It's a great form of training," said Steve Lewis of the QCEN. Members live all over southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana, with the primary mission to provide emergency communications for the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Red Cross. For example, in the last few years, QCEN has provided support for disaster relief efforts after the Little Duck Creek flash flood (July 2001), the Blue Ash/Montgomery tornado (April 1999), and the Ohio River "Flood of '97" (March 1997).

During large-scale disasters, or during complex events like the Flying Pig, regular channels of communication can be become overloaded, and sometimes existing radio systems can't link different agencies together. QCEN dispatches ham radio operators with handheld, mobile (car-based), or fixed radios to create those links.

"This is why we do this kind of event, like the Marathon," Lewis said. "We get a lot of training out of it." QCEN members train throughout the year, learning Red Cross First Aid/CPR, disaster response techniques, radio "best practices", and how to operate during far-less than optimum conditions. These skills are applied during major community events like the Pig, bike rides and walk-a-thons.

Presenting sponsors of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon are CoActive Marketing Group, Mercy Health Partners and Paycor. Gold sponsors are Asics, the City of Cincinnati, City Dash and Clif Bar. Media sponsors are the Cincinnati Business Courier, the Cincinnati Enquirer, WLWT-TV, WRRM-FM, WYGY-FM, WMOJ-FM and, along with the Downtowner and Runner's World. Supporting sponsors are Alaskan Falls, Cohen, Todd, Kite & Stanford, LLC, Game Day, Michelob Ultra, Pampers, Panera, Running Network, and Zumbiel.

For more information on the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, contact the Marathon office at (513) 721-PIGS or visit the web site at