The American Red Cross of King County awarded Queen Anne Troop 72 Eagle Scout Alexander Beaumont their 2012 “Youth Service in Action” Hero Award at their annual Heroes Breakfast last Tuesday morning at the Washington State Convention Center. Mr. Beaumont organized a system to ensure his (and our) Queen Anne neighborhood possesses adequate methods of emergency communication for three days in the event of a major disaster.
It all started over a float trip, when Mr. Beaumont and his father brainstormed potential Eagle Scout projects with Frank Gaul, chair of the emergency preparedness committee of the Magnolia-Interbay-Queen Anne District Council. Frank needed volunteers to help run emergency radio communications in Queen Anne in the event of a disaster. Mobile and landline phones, the Internet and other traditional communication devices can become disrupted during an emergency making it hard to convey critical information to first responders.
“That he cared enough about his community and about himself to want to contribute in that way– what he got from it was a lot of of experience and what Queen Anne got from it was someone showing them the way as to how they could begin to respond,” observed Mr. Gaul.
Mr. Beaumont jumped in to help and brought along his fellow scouts from Queen Anne’s own Troop 72. He created an instructional video (directed by fellow Troop 72 Eagle Scout Lamar Glover) and helped get the entire troop trained in emergency communications to help transmit messages via ham radio. He also worked with the Seattle Office of Emergency Management in four city-wide drills to practice emergency communications in simulated disaster scenarios. To ensure his neighbors knew about the emergency communications system, he organized booths at community events such as the Queen Anne Farmers Market.
Mr. Beaumont focused on GMRS radio at the very beginning of the project. “I’m interested by them because they are really old school but at the same time, better than a normal cell phone. If towers get knocked out by an earthquake, these radios will still work,” he said. “You’re going back, a little bit, to the dark ages to save everything in front of it.”
Mr. Beaumont will attend San Diego State University in the fall, where he plans to work towards a degree in business/marketing.