Forums for talk and discussion about all things SAR
HI, RESCUER HERE FROM MICHIGANS U.P. JUST AN IDEA FOR COMO BETWEEN TEAM MEMBERS, WE LIKE TO USE F.R.S. RADIOS (WALKIE TALKIES). THEY ARE CHEAPER AND EVERYONE CAN HAVE HAVE ONE, THE RANGE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR A LARGE SEARCH OR COMO ON AN ACCIDENT SITE. WE STILL USE TRUCK MOUNTED AND PORTABLE RADIOS FOR COMO WITH THE SHERIFFS OFFICE DISPATCH. ALSO F.R.S. RADIOS WILL CUT DOWN ON THE CHATTER ON THE MAIN FREQS. AND KEEP THE SCANNER LANDERS GUESSING. STAY SAFE [quote:28tpy4cy] NO GOOD DEED SHALL GO UNPUNISHED [/quote:28tpy4cy]
as a recomendation to various teams: there are a variety of resources available to teams especially with 501c3 status. personally i recommend against FRS as they are readily available to "joe public" and anyone with a scanner can monitor them. every team should have some sort of communications person or access to one that is familiar with how different communications react in different environments (terrain and topography). this should also be the person that works closely with the team commander/leader or board of directors to solicit and make friends with local radio shops to see about donations. give them a little credit such as a link on your website or if you have a marked vehicle/trailer/command post have a little blurb "communications provided by: Nunya Biz Communications" most places will eat that up! also, most places will offer other services such as licensing assistance, portable repeaters, loaner radios, repair etc.. feel free to contact me and i will see what i can do to help.
Your best bet by far is to get an amateur radio license. The infrastructure is already there in most areas and the distances are greater as well. I know it may take a little studying, but it is worth it. The radio equipment is everywhere and easy to use. You will also find that there are many "Hams" that will help during times of need. Amateur radio operators are held to a high standard and have communications net skills already in place. FRS is limited to about a quarter of a mile in the woods and still good for intra squad communications.
Repeaters are easy to aquire and build because of the availability of the equipment.
Find out who your amateur radio emergecy co-ordinator is for your area and talk to them. Be prepared to do some work, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it and it would hold no value.
Our SAR group here has seen the difference between ham and FRS. We have a Ham in a Day class scheduled for late January, so far more than 20 people are going to attend.