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Author Topic: Bellevue hospital staff says they wish they had walkie-talkies  (Read 16131 times)
LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2013, 04:53:45 PM »

The issue was never IF ham radio should be used to replace comms when other systems fail
I know you're a reasonable guy, but for a few other vocal posters, it actually is an issue that ham radio is ever used for emergencies. Whether that's because they pop an artery when they see a volunteer wearing a reflective vest, or because it's harder during a national disaster to find a vacant frequency to complain about the skin color of the president, or a different reason, I don't think we'll ever know. I just know some even get angry if amateurs relay a distress message without leaving the shack. I've even seen them try to argue that since a guy who doesn't die after shouting "mayday" on the radio, and the rescue workers, both get a "benefit" it's supposedly "illegal" to send an SOS by amateur radio. Never mind that both the FCC rules and international conventions are full of references to emergency communications, even as part of the fundamental reason for amateur radio to exist.

Ham radio has traditionally been a fallback, but the US government (...) has taken on the position that ham radio should be incorporated into the actual communications infrastructure planning instead of remaining in the background as it traditionally was.
It's not a bad thing to plan and train for emergencies. Amateur radio volunteers are just one of several types of volunteers and mutual aid resources that are called upon in an emergency. For the leaders to know what they can expect of all these different resources, and for the volunteers to know their jobs, they have to train together regularly and be part of the plans. As I've said before, one must leave some room for improvisation if the emergency doesn't fit the plans, and even the best plans in the world don't work without good leadership, but failing to plan really is planning to fail.

It can be really basic stuff, like that the served agency needs to send long lists of supplies and other data, and that the amateurs left the digital rigs at home because they thought bringing an HT would be enough.
The disconnect between the planners who are mandating the changes and uses--and the doers who have to make the system work or lose funding, co-operation of federal agencies, or even more--is the root cause of all the arguing and disagreement. 
I don't think that's the root cause. Unlike you, I don't think these people were ever active in emcomm. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that you'd have to deal with quite a bit of unnecessary red tape, reforms and rollbacks if you were in it long, but that's hopefully something that can be improved with experience.
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KB0OXD
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Posts: 47


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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2013, 12:00:31 PM »

I totally agree. Part 97 says that amateur radio shouldn't be used to replace another radio service, such as public safety. Police, Fire, EMS, hospitals have huge budgets and can buy their own commo gear.

I remember the New Hampshire State Police buying a new multi-million dollar Motorola 800 MHz trunked radio system back in the 90s to replace their old VHF low system. Everything worked great, until the leaves came out in the spring. It was never used and they had to buy another multi-million dollar trunked VHF system a few years later. So much for the communications experts in government...
That's why THEY are the suits & WE are the radio experts

That said though, we should STOP trying to put old brick radios in the hands of ER EMT's & nurses.  The LAST they should be worrying about THEIR PANTS STAYING UP as they wheel a patient off to surgery, evacuate a patient or whatever.  A more modern radio that's about as light as a cellphone would work quite nicely & just as good

Cheers & 73 Grin
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 12:02:33 PM by KB0OXD » Logged

Pat Cook, KB0OXD
Englewood, CO
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2013, 08:54:57 AM »

Just as a personal observation:  Some hospitals have chosen not to utilize Amateur Radio in their EP model, instead hardening their public safety communications equipment and other infrastructure. Both options meet the requirement of the AHJ.

And THAT is what should be done, leaving ham radio as a non-critical standby method of communications--as it has been traditionally!
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K1CJS
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2013, 09:37:45 AM »

The issue was never IF ham radio should be used to replace comms when other systems fail
I know you're a reasonable guy, but for a few other vocal posters, it actually is an issue that ham radio is ever used for emergencies....

If you had included the rest of the sentence and the next together, you would see that I said basically the same as you just did:
Quote from: K1CJS
The issue was never IF ham radio should be used to replace comms when other systems fail--it is, rather, how much the users of 'other systems' should be relying on ham radio as a replacement/fallback system.  Ham radio has traditionally been a fallback, but the US government (pushed, no doubt by some ham radio organizations that shall remain nameless here) has taken on the position that ham radio should be incorporated into the actual communications infrastructure planning instead of remaining in the background as it traditionally was.

Quote from: LA9SXA
It's not a bad thing to plan and train for emergencies. Amateur radio volunteers are just one of several types of volunteers and mutual aid resources that are called upon in an emergency. For the leaders to know what they can expect of all these different resources, and for the volunteers to know their jobs, they have to train together regularly and be part of the plans. As I've said before, one must leave some room for improvisation if the emergency doesn't fit the plans, and even the best plans in the world don't work without good leadership, but failing to plan really is planning to fail.

That would be true if ham radio were to be used as a part of 'official' channels, something that should NOT be being done--but something that these emcomm 'leaders' want to insist on.  Ham radio operators have long had their own training and methods--the National Traffic System for one ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Traffic_System )--but that doesn't fit in with the plans the 'suits' have drawn up.  They want hams to scrap that--a system that most longer time hams actually know and use-- and adopt more cumbersome training, something that may actually hinder efficient comms and message passing probably because those who are doing that planning are unaware of it and the plain fact that it works--and works very well indeed.

Quote
It can be really basic stuff, like that the served agency needs to send long lists of supplies and other data...
That exact kind of thing is one of the reasons that the National Traffic System was set up for.
Quote
...and that the amateurs left the digital rigs at home because they thought bringing an HT would be enough.
The idea that HTs are all that is needed comes from the mindset of those who call emcomm volunteers 'whackers'.  It is not that of hams who knows the actual setups needed to pass messages--and the need of proper communications gear to be able to reach longer distances.  

Digital rigs?  Here again, you're not speaking of what is actually used, but of what some people that have little to no idea of what is needed or what IS actually used.  Digital technology is all well and good--better and clearer communications, for one--but what if the people on the other end of the comm don't have it?  What then?

Quote from: LA9XSA
The disconnect between the planners who are mandating the changes and uses--and the doers who have to make the system work or lose funding, co-operation of federal agencies, or even more--is the root cause of all the arguing and disagreement.
I don't think that's the root cause. Unlike you, I don't think these people were ever active in emcomm. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that you'd have to deal with quite a bit of unnecessary red tape, reforms and rollbacks if you were in it long, but that's hopefully something that can be improved with experience.

That is simply a matter of opinion.  As someone who has been active before 9/11 when most of this started, and actually in on some of the planning and training newly mandated in the USA, I hold to my opinion--see what I wrote concerning the National Traffic System above.  73!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 09:43:39 AM by K1CJS » Logged
K1CJS
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2013, 10:59:22 AM »

It can be really basic stuff, like that the served agency needs to send long lists of supplies and other data...

In my last reply, I missed the word 'long,' but any such 'long' list wasn't traditionally passed on by hams on the NTS.  If such long lists were actually made, they would be passed by other means such as hand carried to a supply depot location.  Such requests through ham radio channels would be of a couple of badly needed items so that their arrival where needed could be expedited as quickly as possible.
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LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2013, 08:47:15 AM »

If you had included the rest of the sentence and the next together, you would see that I said basically the same as you just did:
The reason I quoted that specific part of the sentence, was to point out that although the two of us agree about the "IF" question, as would the vast majority of people, there are a few vocal internet posters who do NOT agree with us about that. It is an issue for them. The post I replied to for example.

On the HOW issue, I don't think our posts said the same thing. Incorporating fallback options in an official plan doesn't suddenly make the plan, or the fallback option, worse - as long as it leaves room for the unexpected. It's not like amateur radio will magically stop working as a fallback option because it's mentioned in an official plan or the volunteers have trained for similar situations before.

If there's needs that the served agencies don't feel are met by the NTS, then either the NTS has to adapt, an alternative system must be used, or the served agency and the volunteers must work to find out how the NTS can meet the agency's needs.

If this has failed, then I don't see it as an argument against building relationships between volunteers and served agencies, or against exercising, but rather that the relationship has to be improved.
but what if the people on the other end of the comm don't have it?  What then?
Precisely the point I was trying to make, I think. If you call for untrained volunteers, and poorly specify what their mission is, this is the sort of thing that can happen.
That is simply a matter of opinion.  As someone who has been active before 9/11 when most of this started, and actually in on some of the planning and training newly mandated in the USA, I hold to my opinion--see what I wrote concerning the National Traffic System above.  73!
Since you're speaking in favor of both emcomm and NTS self-training, and have actually been active in it, I don't think you share the motivation of those posters who are completely against emcomm and training. If that were the case those people would also be discussing HOW relationships with served agencies could be formed and improved, what requirements volunteers can fulfill, which served agencies are better to volunteer for, rather than saying that emcomm shouldn't happen at all (the "IF" question above).

I think I'm closer to understand your position now. Thanks for answering. 73.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2013, 05:21:32 AM »

That is simply a matter of opinion.  As someone who has been active before 9/11 when most of this started, and actually in on some of the planning and training newly mandated in the USA, I hold to my opinion--see what I wrote concerning the National Traffic System above.  73!
Since you're speaking in favor of both emcomm and NTS self-training, and have actually been active in it, I don't think you share the motivation of those posters who are completely against emcomm and training. If that were the case those people would also be discussing HOW relationships with served agencies could be formed and improved, what requirements volunteers can fulfill, which served agencies are better to volunteer for, rather than saying that emcomm shouldn't happen at all (the "IF" question above).

I think I'm closer to understand your position now. Thanks for answering. 73.

Yes, as we discuss, we're both getting to realize the other's opinions.  However, you missed my motivation by a bit.  I'm not 'in favor' of self training, I'm against the elimination and replacement of the previously standardized training that has been traditionally done and accepted by the first responder agencies prior to the 'interoperability' and standardization theories--those theories now being pushed post 9-11 by the suits who have never picked up a mike, used a key, or passed any sort of messaging traffic, just because they think they're new way of doing things is better.

In past times, the FCC in the US was staffed and run by engineers.  Now it's staffed by lawyers and run by politicians--and THOSE are the people who are pushing these new 'revolutionary' ways of...  well, of screwing things up.  It's a shame and a pity.  A shame, because of the many, many more hoops that the communicators have to jump through now to be simply able to volunteer their services, and a pity, because it's thrown a monkey wrench into a system and method that was well thought out and that had matured into complete and comprehensive amateur radio communications system.

The system that was thrown out by those changes was able to do everything that the newer, more convoluted system can do--and more.  It was already standardized--for the amateur service.  But the bureaucrats have done what they usually do--take something and all but destroy it--because they think they're making something better.

Self training is the next step up from no training, and that is something that had no place in emergency communication before and doesn't have any now either.  73.
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2013, 07:10:03 AM »

Oh, I see. By the tone of your previous posts, I thought you meant that official planning and traning shouldn't take place, but that the amateurs should just sit at home training for emergencies with NTS drills and the like, and only get in touch with agencies in need after the actual emergency happens. As you said now, it's not how it should be done even if it's a step up from no training at all.

When Emcomm groups offer their services to served agencies, a part of that relationship should be to offer suggestions for how routines, forms, and procedures can be improved, and how new developments in amateur radio can improve things. Better standards and a higher quality of training is a good thing, and those volunteers who think it's too much effort can volunteer for an agency with lower standards, but it's not good if the new standards actually are worse than the old.
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