Bob Famiglio, (Delaware County) who is the Atlantic Vice-Director of the American Radio Relay League (The National Association of Amateur Radio) has brought HB-37 to my attention. There is a serious flaw in the draft as it now stands. By omission, it prohibits the operation of VHF or HF amateur radio equipment in Pennsylvania moving vehicles.
Link to HB-37: https://www.legis.state.pa.us
Amateur Radio, using ARES-RACES, has provided Disaster Communications to millions of citizens since the 1930s. Ham Operators have provided reliable communications out of the affected areas during Hurricane Agnes in 1972, the Johnstown Flood in 1977, Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant melt down, 1999, Flight 93 Crash, Shanksville, 2001, Tropical Storm Henri, 2002, the Quecreek Mine Disaster in 2002, Cambelltown Tornado 2004, dozens of weather and natural disasters on I-80, I-376, I-81, I-95, I-476, I-99, I-76, , and the 2017 PA Turnpike Snow event, where Ham Operators assisted PEMA??in maintaining communications to WPA.??
In order to perform this function, it is imperative that these trained and FCC licensed radio operators are permitted to communicate by radio while operating their vehicles.
Often times, during an incident, cars and trucks provide the only power and antenna platforms available.?? These volunteers, who act as operators and repair technicians, can provide both voice and digital communications completely devoid of any commercial infrastructure such as cell phone towers or the Internet.
Amateur Radio has mutual aid agreements with dozens Fire Companies, PA County Departments of Emergency Services as well as PEMA, CAP, FEMA and the PA State Police, who rely on the back-up communications provided by amateur radio ARES-RACES operators.
For over 20 years, ARES-RACES operators have contributed to the bi-annual drills of the Peach Bottom and Limerick Nuclear Power Plants, plus the drills at the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia International Airports.
I propose that a specific exemption be made in the bill to enable these public service radio operators to to operate their equipment within their vehicles while in motion.
Lloyd Bankson Roach – K3QNT
RACES Officer, Bedford County Department of Emergency Services.
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