Hospital Hams ? Did the Sky Fall ?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by NN4RH, Dec 1, 2012.

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  1. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's been over two years now since the FCC amended Part 97 to make it OK for certain hams to use amateur radio as part of their job.

    Prior to that, it was prohibited to use ham radio where there was a "pecuniary interest"; and that includes hams that work for places like hospitals, the rules prohibiting ham radio being part of their job.

    Use of amateur radio during an actual emergency was already allowed anyway. So the real regulatory issue was participation in drills and excercise, as part of their job.

    This was Proceeding WP 10-72 back in 2010. It was a HUGE controversy at the time, and some of us, including myself, felt that allowing this change would lead to the demise of ham radio as a hobby activity as we know it, that the "whacker" crowd would take over the hobby, that ham radio would be used by businesses of all descriptions as a cheap alternative to the proper Part 90 systems, and all sorts of other dire consequences and abuse of amateur radio.

    What the FCC ended up doing is adding the following paragraph to Part 97:

    ยง 97.113 Prohibited transmissions.
    (a) * * *
    (3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including
    communications on behalf of an employer, with the following exceptions:
    (i) A station licensee or control station operator may participate on behalf of an employer in an
    emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such test or
    drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are not
    government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in
    any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.

    So. After the Report and Order in July 2010, we never heard any more about it. Are there such drills going on? Any known abuse of the rules? Or did the hospitals and others lose interest in ham radio?
  2. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Every hospital and clinic in my area has a radio. Many check into a weekly net.
  3. KC5SAS

    KC5SAS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I work for a 2 hospital system in Baton Rouge. I have been told that there are DStar radios at each o our houspitals but in the 5 years that I have worked there I have never seen the radios or heard of them being used.
  4. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Subscriber QRZ Page

    Can't speak for the whacker doodle wanna be crowd..., but isn't this all supposed to be intended for professional hospital staff, like experienced degreed nurses such as myself?

    Clearly the whacker doodles don't know things such as medical terminology, hospital protocals and such in order to effectively communicate with other hospital and EMS personnel, so how can this possibly be intended for them in the first place, if they have no idea what's going on inside a hospital anyways?

    ...Have these whacker doodles ever worked inside a hospital before? If not they will have no clue whats going on inside of one, regardless of any part 97 regulations or communication authority suggesting otherwise.

    Kind of like giving people authority to build cars at GM, who have never had any experience doing that sort of thing before. Which bolt is supposed to fit inside the required component hole exactly sort of thing? ...How are people on the "outside" with no previous experience supposed to know that sort of thing exactly?

    It's one thing to understand how a radio works, and a completely another thing to understand how a hospital system operates on various levels with one another. I don't quite understand how that could even work.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  5. KR2C

    KR2C Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The only adverse thing that I have seen is that many hospitals in my area seemed to put up repeaters. This takes away from a pair that could otherwise be used by a "regular" ham, and not by a business. However, they did make the repeaters open systems and are available for general use.
  6. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    We've made an effort to get ham radio into the hospitals in this region, and I think it's worked. In our recent SET, we had most of the area hospitals covered. Many hospitals have 2 meter antennas in place. A couple of the biggest ones host ham repeaters that are open for everyone to use - and are operated by the local radio clubs.

    For the most part, hams aren't going to be involved in sending traffic that involves medical terminology - it's going to be logistics, "I need XX number of beds, can you handle it?". The reason we do drills is so that both the hams and the hospital staff have some idea what to expect. Some hospitals do expect all ham volunteers to go through hospital oriented training courses, and many hams in metro areas do. But, in a county with only a handful of hams, that's a bit too much to expect.
  7. W7ND

    W7ND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Supposedly, we just got amateur radio equipment install in our hospital as part of a statewide grant. I am the only licensed amateur who works here, and I doubt anyone would get licensed to run it. We could have local amateurs volunteer to run it if they took yearly HIPAA training. I guess we have to find where they put the damn radio first, because nobody knows where it's at!
  8. W7ND

    W7ND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do the people who work Skywarn or hurricane/severe weather nets have to be meteorologist? You don't need any training, other than yearly HIPAA refreshers in order to pass traffic. I'd rather have the hams in my community that want to help than try to convince some of my disinterested coworkers to get licensed who will never use it.
  9. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rather than buy hospitals amateur radio equipment if hospitals wish to communicate with each other could they not use a telephone ? Every hospital I've entered in Britain has a regiment of computers, so surely those could be used. Hospitals in the UK don't have amateur radio shacks to communicate with other hospitals, why would they need 2 metre equipment ?

    Mel G0GQK
  10. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Do you remember what happened to Joplin, Mo.? It's in case a city has it's normal communication infrastructure damaged to the point where service is interrupted.
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