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Voice of Vashon extends reach across the Island

Vashon Island Fire & Rescue Assistant Chief Bob Larsen, in the background, works to install the final antenna in Voice of Vashon’s emergency broadcasting network. Assistant Chief Brett Kranjcevich, in the foreground, mans the controls on the fire department’s ladder truck. - Jeff Hoyt Photo
Vashon Island Fire & Rescue Assistant Chief Bob Larsen, in the background, works to install the final antenna in Voice of Vashon’s emergency broadcasting network. Assistant Chief Brett Kranjcevich, in the foreground, mans the controls on the fire department’s ladder truck.
— image credit: Jeff Hoyt Photo

Voice of Vashon’s AM radio station can now be heard across both Vashon and Maury Island, after installation of the station’s third and final radio antenna was completed at the Dockton Fire Station on June 11.

Though some low-lying communities may not receive the Voice of Vashon Standing By signal loud and clear, emergency broadcasting coordinator Jeff Hoyt said he’s glad to have the radio network complete on Vashon and thinks its coverage is commendable.

“It really reinforces the power of community when you see this spirit of enthusiasm and cooperation to get something like this done,” he said.

The third tower, like the second, was put in place with help by the Vashon Island Fire & Rescue ladder truck and staff. But compared to the placement of tower two atop a Heights Water tank, the installation of tower three atop a 50-foot utility pole was a breeze, Hoyt said.

“Screw, twist, hammer, bang bang, and you’re done,” he joked.

Voice of Vashon Standing By is a program of Vashon Park District, which holds the 10-watt station’s “traveler’s information license.”

Funding for the radio network’s three antennas came largely from Vashon Island Rotary Club and fundraisers spearheaded by the philanthropist organization, Hoyt said. The group contributed more than a third of the $40,000 needed to purchase and install the three antennas; the rest came from King County and VashonBePrepared.

Next up, Voice of Vashon hopes to raise enough money to install signs with lights that flash when there is an advisory on Voice of Vashon Standing By — at 1650 AM.

“Otherwise, unless they think to check 1650, they could miss any of a number of urgent messages,” Hoyt said. “So we need to put in those signs to drive listeners.”

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