FCC Adopts Rule to Allow Hospital Use of Amateur Radios during Disaster Drills
Consistent with the blanket waiver request submitted by the
American Hospital Association (AHA), the Federal Communication
Commission has adopted an order which permits the use of HAM
radios during hospital disaster drills. The Commission determined
that amateur radio operators play a critical role during
disasters and that amateur radio operators should be permitted to
participate in disaster drills regardless of whether they are
employed by the entity conducting the drill.
The blanket waiver request was filed by AHA in response to The
Joint Commission’s requirement that hospitals prepare an
emergency operations plan specifying alternative forms of
communication to use during emergencies and establishing back-up
communications links, including amateur radio stations, if
primary communications systems fail.
Due to the adoption of the FCC order, the Commission dismissed
AHA’s blanket waiver as moot.