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Allied Health Amateur Radio Equipment

Summary    |    Location    |    Power    |    Staffing    |    Essential    |    Recommended



Amateur radio stations exist at the county EOC, all city EOCs, all hospitals in the county, and at the Medical Health Joint Operations Center. These stations exist to provide communications support in the event of failed or degraded commercial communications systems. Allied health organizations can make their facility ready to support amateur radio communications by installing some basic equipment. The following recommendations for voice and data communications equipment are provided to help build a compatible, effective and efficient communications system.



For maximum efficiency and effectiveness, the ideal location of the radio equipment should meet the following requirements:



Reliable power is essential for emergency communications.



Amateur radio frequencies can only be used when a licensed amateur radio operator is present. But during an emergency, the number of available amateur radio operators can be stretched thin. Agencies can better prepare themselves to be self-supporting by encouraging their staff and residents to become amateur radio operators. Then they won't need to depend on someone being available and able to get to them.  The local city's amateur radio Emergency Coordinator can discuss licensing, on-going training, and other participation options.

Amateur Radio Licensing

Links to several organizations that conduct licensing classes and exams.

ARES/RACES Training Courses

To be effective during an emergency, licensed operators need additional training in emergency communications procedures and techniques.


Essential Equipment

Allied health organizations are encouraged to discuss their needs with their local city's amateur radio Emergency Coordinator before making any purchases.

The most important investment is an antenna on the roof. This makes it possible for an amateur radio operator to attach his/her own radio and hear and be heard by other stations.


Recommended Equipment

The next most important piece of equipment is a radio. Facilities with larger populations, particularly those with amateur radio operators on staff or in residence, can benefit greatly from having the radio on-site, plugged in, and regularly tested by the local, on-site operators. Smaller facilities may choose to hope for an amateur radio operator being available to bringing his/her own radio to plug into the pre-installed antenna. Again, it's best to discuss the specific needs of the facility with the local city's amateur radio Emergency Coordinator.

Note that amateur radio equipment can only legally be used when a licensed amateur radio operator is present. So, it needs to be kept in a secure location (such as a locked cabinet) to prevent unlicensed use.

Sending resource request forms and other messages via an e-mail-like data transmission can dramatically improve efficiency and effectiveness of radio communications. Whether the data equipment should be supplied by the facility or brought by an amateur radio operator that is dispatched to the facility is a subject best discussed with the local city's amateur radio Emergency Coordinator.


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This page was last updated on 28-Dec-2019