California Man Helps Save Friend’s Life After Unlikely Call on His Ham Radio from 500 Miles Away

by Megan Molseed

Wrong numbers can really be a pain. However, sometimes, the wrong number ends up leading the caller to the right people. This was the case of an Oregon man who found himself confused while using his ham radio to call for help earlier this summer.

When California resident Bill Scott first received an unexpected and distressing call from an old friend on his ham radio this summer, he didn’t know what to think.

“I thought it was a prank call at first,” the San Joaquin County resident told a CBS station as he recalled the life-saving events that fateful summer day.

A Regular Day and An Unusual Call

It was a regular June day when the longtime ham radio operator received the unexpected call. On the other end of the radio was Bill Scott’s buddy, Skip Kritcher who lived in Oregon. The two friends lived just over 500 miles away from each other. And, both were amateur ham radio enthusiasts.

At first, noted Scott, he thought his buddy had just mistakenly dialed his number. However, the more his friend spoke over the amateur radio, the more clear it became to Bill Scott and his wife, Sharon, that this was much more than a social visit.

And, thanks to the keen ear of Bill Scott’s wife, Sharon, the direness of the ham radio call didn’t go unnoticed.

“The speech that he had was slurred and my husband couldn’t seem to keep him on task,” Sharon recalled of the worrisome call.

“He was skipping all over and confused,” Sharon continued.

Thankfully, Sharon, who is a retired nurse, quickly figured out what was going on.

Skip was suffering a stroke. What’s more, the Oregon man was calling for help when he accidentally got ahold of his buddy, more than 500 miles down the coast in California. However, it soon became clear that this wrong number would be one that would end up saving Skip Kritcher’s life.

A Ham Radio Misdial Saves Oregon Man’s Life

This is when Bill and Sharon sprang into action. Bill Scott kept Skip on the line over the ham radio while he and Sharon called for help.

Thankfully, despite their distance, the California couple was able to call and make sure emergency services were dispatched to Skip’s Oregan residence.

Kritcher’s friends and family have no doubt that the call saved the Oregon man’s life.

“She said that the EMT told her that he would’ve died within a couple of hours,” said Sharon of a conversation she had with one of Skip Kritcher’s family members.

Since the stroke, Skip Kritcher is recovering from the terrifying ordeal. And, the Oregan man still keeps in regular contact with his California friends.

“Just a miracle that he called the wrong number and he got us,” said Sharon Scott. “And we were able to do something to help him.”