Hospitals, Emergencies and Ham Radio

Most people on the street are clueless about the meaning of the Amateur Radio service. If they have heard of it, they respond by saying, oh yeah, you mean CB radio right?

Although many of us kick-started our interest in the radio hobby on 11 meters,  nothing is more upsetting to a licensed amateur than that comment. To be classified along with a free-bander illegally running 1500 watts on HF is more than an embarrassment, it’s a personal insult.

Others, who know perhaps a little more about the service will say something like yeah, my grandfather was a ham radio guy back in the 50’s. Then they continue by spinning a short story about watching the tubes glow in Grandpa’s radios when they were small children.

As us “modern” Hams know the reflection of Grandpa’s tubes aren’t much more that a fading memory today. The need breed of Ham Radio operator has a wide variety of choices to investigate within the hobby and recognition of the Amateur Radio service has recently been placed into the limelight again with  H.R. 2160, “The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009”.

As a matter of fact, two hospitals in Mississippi now have Ham Radio Stations. The answer to the question why is simple.

As Larry Wagner stated in the article posted on 1/10/2010 in USA Today, “When all other communication systems go down in an emergency such as a hurricane, ham radio operators are the last ones who are still talking to one another.”

Read the full article here:

http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=delawareonline&sParam=32490121.story

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