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Date Posted: 06:41:04 06/07/13 Fri
Author: Tom Lacko
Subject: Re: KDKA
In reply to: Wondering 's message, "KDKA" on 09:37:35 06/03/13 Mon

When I worked in engineering for KDKA AM in 1979 I got to work with the late, great Al Goetz. He was an engineer at KD for years. He told us the story about the time the EBS alert came in on the teletype and the code word on the teletype MATCHED the word on the envelope next to the teletype which meant, this was NOT a test. (Old timers in radio would be familiar with the EBS envelope that we could look at but never open, unless there was a national emergency.) The message, in essence, meant the US was under attack and he was supposed to open the envelope to get additional instructions and broadcast the alert tones on the air and state this is NOT a test and to stand by for additional information, which he would have been fed from the teletype. Al was panicked! He had this vision of people committing suicide knowing the US was under attack and if this was a mistake he would have felt responsible. So, Al waited.. and waited hoping-- praying for a correction message to come on the teletype. I believe he started calling management staff asking should I REALLY proceed with this (I think this happened on a weekend, which is why management were not on site.) Finally, Al started working his way in to the studio to do what he was supposed to do and just as he approached the door to the studio the teletype bell started dinging frantically. Al ran back to the teletype and saw orders to ignore the previous alert as it was sent in error. Al was so relieved! I think he had to go home and get an underwear change!! Al was such a funny man and to hear him tell this story used to make me laugh out loud! I'm sure I've left out some facts to this-- my memory is starting to fade with time. Perhaps someone else who worked with Al can help fill in any blanks here a do this story justice.

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