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Sunday, 18 July 2010

FCC -Emergency Operation Rule Change

It looks like a victory for common sense, under new guidelines, US amateurs employed by non-governmental agencies, such as hospitals, may now participate and operate in drills sponsored by their employer.

In changes released by the FCC on Wednesday 14th July 2010 they say that they intend to "permit Amateur Radio operators to transmit messages, under certain limited circumstances, during either government-sponsored or non-government sponsored emergency and disaster preparedness drills, regardless of whether the operators are employees of entities participating in the drill"

Previously during drills and real emergencies employees were not permitted to operate emergency amateur radio stations although volunteers from outside an organisation could be called in to help. Some US hospitals already have stations set up to cope when normal communications break down but any employee operating such a station, even when they were off duty was previously operating illegally.

For information see the ARRL website.

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