2019 Tulip Time parade medical communications Information #tuliptime2019


For those of you who are helping out with any of the three Tulip Time parades this week:


For Wednesday and Thursday, we will have a private bus pick up our Red Cross volunteers at the D&W Fresh Market grocery store at 50 Douglas Ave, near River St. between 11:00 AM and 11:15 AM.  Please park at the far West side of the D&W parking lot. Our bus will deliver our volunteers to the downtown Red Cross tent (Maple Ave. and 8th Street (Civic Center) .  After the parade, the bus will take our volunteers back to their cars from a predetermined meeting location. You may  also opt to park your own vehicle near Downtown Holland and walk to our location too. Downtown Holland is a construction mess this year and parking may be hard to find.

Wednesday, May 8, is the "Volksparade" or Peoples Parade. The parade begins on 8th St. at Columbia Ave. and continues west to Kollen Park on VanRaalte Ave.

Volunteers will meet at our Red Cross headquarters tent on Maple Ave. and 8th Street (Civic Center) at  11:15 AM. (See Transportation info above) We will assign medical personnel with a radio communicator, and after a briefing, will send teams to their assigned areas in time for pre-parade activities (including the Washing of the Streets) and the arrival of the spectators. The actual parade begins at 2:00 PM and we should be done by 3:30 PM.

Thursday, May 9, is the "Kinderparade" or Children's Parade.  About every youngster and marching band in the Holland area will be in the parade.  Again, we will meet at the Red Cross headquarters tent at the Civic Center at 11:15 AM. (See Transportation  info above)  For this parade only:  If the "Kinderparade" is cancelled due to inclement weather, a make-up parade on Friday, May 10 will be scheduled.  They may not cancel the parade until as late as noon, so plan to come unless it is announced on the local radio.

Saturday, May 11,  is the "Muziekparade" or the Music Parade!  This is the BIG parade with more floats, visiting marching bands and many more spectators than during the week.  It is also a much longer parade that starts at Columbia and 8th Streets and continues down VanRaalte Ave., past Kollen Park, and to the High School at VanRaalte Ave. and 25th St.  We need lots of help on this day!  We will meet all volunteers at Holland High School (Performing Arts Center) between 11:00 AM and 11:30 AM.  We will assign teams and send teams either walking or by school bus to their destination assignments about 12:00.  The bus will pick up Downtown volunteers after the parade by the Civic Center and return them to us at the High School about 4:30 PM.  This year, the parade is super long, so it may take a bit longer.


All volunteers should dress for the weather conditions on the day of the parades.  In the near past, we had hot weather on Wednesday, rain on Thursday, and snow on Saturday!  We have put in for nice weather this year!  We ask our volunteers to wear long pants (no rips), comfortable shoes (no sandals) and a plain polo shirt or a uniform from your hospital, school or fire department.  If inclement weather is anticipated, please dress appropriately.  We will have medical personnel wear a Red Cross (see-through) vest over their clothing for identification. Radio Communicators may wear their radio identification vests, a Red Cross vest, or regular clothing.  Please wear your badge or ID from your organization, or the Red Cross, if you have one.

And minor addition this year, we will be using "call tags". There is a PDF attached, and information is also appended below that explains the call tags. 

And I personally wish to thank everyone for their help,

Tom Bosscher K8TB

Tulip Time Information for Radio Operators                                                          2019      

1. Equipment needed:  Sunblock, sunglasses, rainwear, 2-meter handheld transceiver, ear phones and extra batteries.  Please wear clothing that will present a professional image, along with good, comfortable, heavy soled walking shoes.  NOTE:  Earphones/headphones are absolutely essential due to the noisy environment of a parade.

2. Please make sure your radio and its battery is in good shape. If you charge up your hand-held just once or twice a year, you may have a weak battery. If possible, bring a second handheld.

3. Frequency will be the 147.060 + PL94.8 repeater (hospital). If the 06 repeater should go down, have your HT programmed to the 146.500/147.500, PL 94.8 repeater (Warm Friend).

4. Use tactical call signs (unit numbers that will be assigned to you) only. Do not use your call sign except for signing into net control for the first and last transmission.

5. All traffic (radio messages) will go through net control.  Check in with net control as soon as you reach your assigned area.  There will be a roll-call when all units are in place and before the parade begins. There will be no further roll-calls once the parade starts.

6. Confine radio traffic to medical and emergency or logistical traffic only.

7. When you reach your position of operation, make the nearby police officer aware of your Red Cross team and communications ability.  Please, DO NOT leave your assigned area/block(s) without approval.

8. When responding to an emergency, stay with the person needing medical help.  Let the second EMT go for any items that are needed.  The communications capability for the lead EMT is critical.  If you call for additional medical help, grab the Red Cross flag and stand by the curb and hold it out so the incoming medical help can see your location.

9. Give your location by landmarks, and if at all possible, by street numbers, and whether you are on the north, south, east or west side of the road..  For example, “in front of the building at 158 8th Ave” or, “in front of the Warm Friend building, but on the south side of 8th”, etc.

10. Per the emergency managers, do not use codes like “Priority Three” or “Code One”. Use clear language. Do not pass along patient or lost people names on the radio.

11. When the beginning of the parade has reached your position, let Net Control know that fact and do the same when the end of the parade passes.  When the end of the parade passes, wait a few minutes for the crowd to disperse, then start walking the parade route, letting Net Control know you are walking in. If you are passing a bleacher area, assist the first aid team from that area with monitoring the people exiting the bleachers.  This is a common place for “falling type” accidents. Lend assistance to people in need.

12. Do not talk directly to other units on the radio without permission from net control.


We will be using "Call Tags". They are listed below and are rather self-explanatory.  While the traffic volume on the repeater is very low, the use of these tags helps the net control to judge priorities.


When calling in, use your tactical call sign, followed by the call tag.  Example: "Team Delta, medical".



  Call Tag                                                                                             Use


Question                             Use when you have a question for the net control or the whole net.

Answer                                Use when you have the definitive answer to a question.

Info                                        Use when information needs to be transmitted rapidly.

Priority                                 Use to report an important but non-life-threatening situation.

Medical                                Use to report a minor medical incident.

Emergency                          Only use to report an ongoing life or property threatening or damaging incident.

Your Tactical Call Sign       When used alone, this notifies the net control station of non-priority traffic.

Announcement                  Use to let net control know you have an announcement of general interest for the net.

Contact                                Use to let net control know of your desire to make contact with a station on the net.

Relay                                     Use when you heard another station the net control did not.


Weather related Call Tags

Damaging winds                               Funnel Cloud                      Tornado

Hail                                                     Road Debris