QST, November, 1921, pages 23-24:
First Aid by Radio
By R. W. Goddard, 5ZJ
THE press of late August informed the people of the United States of a disastrous flood in New Mexico that wiped out the town of Hatch, partially destroyed other towns, damaged property and crops into the millions of dollars, and made it necessary for thousands of people to flee to the hills for their lives.
About six o'clock the evening of the 17th of August a cloud-burst had occurred over the mountains to the south-west of the Rincon Valley in New Mexico. The next day rumors drifted down the valley that it had caused a destructive flood, washing away towns, farm houses, crops and stock. Immediate action was taken by the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce; a meeting was called and a committee appointed to go up the valley and ascertain the extent of the damage and render aid to the unfortunate victims; a large fund was raised on the spot to carry out this work.
The writer was appointed a member of the committee and as such proposed the utilization of the portable wireless stations of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, 5FY and 5FZ, in connection with his own station, 5ZJ, as a means of rapid communication between the flooded area and the Chamber of Commerce headquarters at Las Cruces. The idea met with immediate favor. By rapid work with the local telephone, Mr. Earl Kiernan, a student at the College and member of the College Radio Club, was reached and obtained to assist. In an hour and a half the two stations were packed in their trailer and rolling behind the writer's flivver towards the stricken area. Two hours later we arrived at Rincon, 41 miles up the valley and on the edge of the flooded section.
The rest of the day was spent in going about observing the extent of the damage and determining the number and needs of the homeless people. The next morning one of the portable stations, 5FY, was set up at Rincon and this information radioed to 5ZJ at Mesilla Park, and from there telephoned to Las Cruces. Food, clothing, blankets, tents, and cots were sent up by truck. The Salvation Army and the Red Cross of El Paso, Texas, also had workers on the ground, all combining forces in a general relief committee so that there would be no duplication of effort. Although the telephone company soon had their lines repaired and in working order, the radio was used to a considerable extent as the cost was negligible and the service good.
At times some difficulty was experienced at 5ZJ in receiving the portable station on account of static. Invariably this would become bad about noon and get worse until sundown, when it would remain about the same until after sunrise the next morning. It would then clear up and practically disappear. This trouble did not bother 5FY at all, the reason probably being the fact the antenna at 5FY was much lower than at 5ZJ (96 foot fan). In fact on the morning of the 20th work was carried on while a thunderstorm raged about 5FY. Had this storm been at 5ZJ, work would have been impossible as sparks a couple of inches long can be drawn from its antenna at such times.
Photographs herewith show 5FY while in use at the last annual College encampment, and a close-up of the portable equipment.