Rayner honored for keeping eye on the weather

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

David Rayner, or better known over the air waves as (A19D) of Milan, was honored with a plaque by the Ripley County Repeater Association R.C.R.A. (an amateur radio organization) for his outstanding service as severe weather net controller. He is also the weather operations officer for the Ripley County Emergency Management Agency.

Rayner has served as the severe weather net controller for Ripley County and the Tri State area for 17 years, from 1992-2009. He also served four years as an official weather spotter.

What are the duties of someone who is a severe weather net controller? According to information from R.C.R.A., they are to “protect life and property to the best of one’s ability while disseminating information to the proper authorities as quickly and as professionally as possible.”

Rayner has taken his responsibilities seriously and describes what he does as “chasing the weather, drinking lousy coffee or Sprite at 4 a.m., and watching a radar screen until my eyes are ready to fall out.” He does this often while sleeping in the cold because the power is out due to the storm he is monitoring.

Describing weather spotters as people who would drive into storms that no one in their right mind would get close to, Rayner thanks those dedicated people, who are volunteers. “I want to thank every weather spotter from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky that has participated in the severe weather nets on the 146.805 repeater of the Ripley County Repeater Association,” Rayner noted. He says all of these people have been his eyes in the field, the ones that have made his work as net controller easier because they saw the weather first hand.

Rayner gives special acknowledgement to Dan Mulford (KM9X) Ripley County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director; Bill Kaiser (KC9CU), Arnie Brown (N9DLC) both former severe weather net control operators, and Ron Hamilton and Harold Ludeker, who are both deceased. He said he “couldn’t have asked for better mentors and friends.

Another person who has helped Rayner disseminate the weather is Ron Green, general manager of WRBI Radio. He noted that the repeater system for R.C.R.A. is located on the radio’s 350 foot tower.
Rayner accepted the award, but was quick to say it was a lot of people working together to make what he does a success. Marilyn Gray (N9XZF) secretary for R.C.R.A. said he deserved the award for his dedication, “Dave is always on the spot to advise on what is coming into our area and going out into other areas.” She further noted that his work is respected by many with scanners and ham operators, as well as the National Weather Bureau, listening to Rayner on the R.C.R.A. 146.805 repeater for severe weather for Ripley County.

If you want to check out the weather 24-hours a day, just log onto http://www.fallsky.com. You can also check out the Ripley County Repeater Association at http://www.146805.com or the Ripley County Emergency Management Agency at http://www.rcema.com. Rayner is the webmaster for the above mentioned websites along with many others in the county.

David Rayner