Barry Kanne W4TGA:
In the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina communications in and out of the affected area were heavily reliant on amateur radio. Operators had taken up positions in key support areas for the community to keep vital services operating.
Among the locations where stations were either operated or established were the larger hospitals where there was an almost constant flow of patients either being transferred or received from the area hardest hit. Several hospitals in the region were out of service due to lack of power, water or flooding requiring the remaining facilities to take up the slack.
In reviewing the area after the immediate crisis had past, the role of amateur radio was not only recognized, but was emphasized in places that had played a supporting role during the peak of the event. Georgia’s Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Public Health) received a federal grant to establish amateur radio stations at each of the 16 regional coordinating hospitals throughout the state. Thus, the basis of the Georgia Hospital Net was laid.
Starting in 2006, and lead by Georgia ARES, stations were created to meet the special needs of the healthcare facilities. They were complete stations, packaged in a watertight container, containing HF, VHF/UHF radio equipment and supporting power supply and battery systems. The idea was to have a radio station that could be quickly redeployed in the event of a flood or tornado and placed in service with the addition of antennas erected by the team of ARES operators as needed.
In addition to voice communication, digital formatted messaging is becoming a major part of this net. The ability to pass message of greater detail and containing sometimes complex names, makes digital messaging a natural progression for this activity. This program continues today, with the number of radio equipped hospitals now numbering over 30 and growing each year as budgets allow.The stations are offered to the local ARES group to support hospital communications and they end up with a very nicely equipped station for their communication activity. The hospital benefits by having the radio back up and the local amateur community benefits by becoming a closer partner with their hospital.
If you are interested in joining this activity, please contact the Emergency Management person at your local hospital and let them know you want to help. They will be happy to have your support.
The Georgia Hospital Net meets on the first Sunday of each month. The primary frequency currently in use is 7.185 MHz (LSB), but conditions may require that to change. Please contact Ken Reid ([email protected]) who is the Net Manager for this net for specific details, or Barry Kanne W4TGA who is the DEC Public Health for Georgia at barry.kanne(at)gmail.com
Some of the frequencies and digital formats in use for the Georgia Hospital Net are:
80 meters = 3.975 MHz (LSB)
40 meters = 7.185 MHz (LSB)
20 meters = 14.235 (USB)
80 meters = 3.585 MHz (USB)
40 meters = 7.085 MHz (USB)
20 meters = 14.085 MHz (USB)
All frequencies above are subject to +/- 5KHz shift to avoid busy frequencies.
We are using the RTTY/PSK formats for digital messaging via FLDigi software at this time. We may be moving to other formats in the near future. The net control station will announce the format and frequency for the digital portion of the monthly net.
This is a controlled net and you are asked to wait for your region or station to be called before responding to the net control station. On our regular “first Sunday” net, if time permits, the net control station will entertain calls from any station anywhere.
At 2:30 PM there is a less formal D-star net on reflector 30B before each Hospital Net. Please contact Stephan Jonas at k4sdj(at)comcast.net for more information.
Georgia Hospital Net By Region
The Regional Coordinating Hospitals are in Bold
GILMER COUNTY ARES (REP. HAMILTON) A
DADE COUNTY ARES A
NE GEORGIA HEALTH SYSTEM B
FLOYD MEDICAL CENTER C
CARTERSVILLE MEDICAL CENTER C
NW HEALTH DISTRICT EOC – ROME C
POLK MEDICAL CENTER C
TANNER MEDICAL CENTER-CARROLTON C
ROME EOC C
CEDAR TOWN C
CARROL COUNTY ARES C
CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA (CHOA) D
VA ATLANTA D
NEWTON COUNTY D
RED CROSS ATLANTA D
NORTHSIDE CHEROKEE CO D
MERRYVALE ASSISTED LIVING – OXFORD D
ATHENS REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER E
BARRY JONES MEDICAL CENTER E
MORGAN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL E
MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA F
MED CENTER PEACH CO F
HOUSTON MEDICAL CENTER F
SYLVAN GROVE NURSING HOME F
SYLVAN GROVE MEDICAL CENTER F
WARNER ROBBINS HOSPITAL F
PIEDMONT HENRY MEDICAL CENTER F
COLLISEUM MEDICAL CENTER F
COLLISEUM NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL F
SPALDING REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER F
PERRY HOSPTIAL F
MONROE COUNTY HOSPITAL F
THOMASTON HOSPITAL F
MACON CO HOSPITAL F
MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA (GEORGIA REGENTS UNIV) G
DOCTORS HOSP AUGUSTA G
UNIVERSITY HOSP AUGUSTA G
OCONEE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER H
PUTNAM GENERAL H
DODGE COUNTY H
MIDTOWN MEDICAL CENTER – COLUMBUS I
CRISP MEDICAL CENTER – CORDELE I
WEST GEORGIA MEDICAL CENTER – LAGRANGE I
MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY HEALTH – SAVANNAH J
EVANS MEMORIAL J
EFFINGHAM COUNTY J
LIBERTY REGIONAL – HINESVILLE J
SOUTHEAST GEORGIA HEALTH SYSTEM – ST. SIMONS J
CANDLER COUNTY – METTER J
EAST GA REGIONAL MED CNTR J
OPTIM HOSP SCREVEN COUNTY J
BRYAN COUNTY EOC J
PHOEBE PUTNEY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL K
PHOEBE SUMTER K
TIFT REGIONAL MED CENTER L
MAYO – WAYCROSS M
SATILLA CARE M
PIERCE COUNTY NURSING M
BACON COUNTY HOSPITAL M
WELLSTAR KENNESTONE HOSPITAL NRadio gear in most RCHs