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.