Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Air-To-Ground HEAR Frequency in Alabama!

Following a recent audit of the Hospital Emergency Administrative Radio (HEAR) system in Alabama, The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) launched a program to restore the HEAR system to it’s original purpose of providing communications between first responders and hospital trauma facilities.  The HEAR system, originally constructed in the early 1970’s was designed to provide both ambulance-hospital communications as well as hospital-to-hospital systems using VHF radio frequencies in the event of a failure of traditional phone services.

Over the years, cellular phones became the accepted communications tool for day-to-day needs with the frequency of 155.340 MHz used primarily by volunteer fire and rescue first responders to communicate with air ambulances.

As the original HEAR system was revitalized for it’s new role as a backup in the event of phone service disruption (both landline and cellular), it was recognized that a new frequency would be required for air-to-ground communications.  The problem is that an airborne radio can transmit at distances well over 100 miles – not a good thing when you have many hospitals in operating range.  Additionally, in a real emergency, the frequency of 155.340 MHz could be overloaded when called upon to handle both ground rescue personnel/vehicles and air-to-ground radio communications.

The solution is to move all ground-to-air communications to the new frequency of 155.3475 MHz effective January 1, 2013.  The announcement of this change was made by ADPH in their October EMS Newsletter. This may have been missed by many public safety users.  So, we are giving the program an assist by announcing this new requirement along with the news that hospitals operating on 155.340 have ALREADY switched to narrow band. Click here for a current listing of known hospitals with operational radio systems operating on 155.340 MHz. 

If you haven’t already made the switch to narrow band, NOW would be a good time to do it. Be SURE that your radios have the proper access CODE for your local area hospital (See previously mentioned list). As for the new airborne frequency (155.3475), we would suggest that you include the same transmit code as used for 155.340 MHz for access to your local area hospital. If you are operating in the UHF band, the frequency of 453.750 MHz can be used for ground to air communications.  No tone squelch code required.

It’s not to late to get your radios narrow banding using our TEN DOLLAR PER RADIO NARROWBAND PROGRAM.  Additional information is available by clicking here, or by calling us at 205.854.2611.