Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

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FCC Dismisses RACES Petitions

In an Order released November 29, 1999 (DA No. 99-2654, action by Chief, Public Safety and Private Wireless Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau), the Federal Communications Commission has dismissed RM-9115, an ARRL petition filed March 12, 1997, seeking to permit RACES participants and others to intercommunicate during emergencies, drills, and tests and to expand the time allowed for RACES drills. In that same Order, The FCC also dismissed a petition filed March 19, 1997, by James Cardillo-Lee, KE6VGV, asking for a rule change to permit hams who also are emergency personnel engaged in disaster relief to use the Amateur Service bands while on paid-duty status.

In denying the ARRL's petition for changes in the RACES rules, the FCC said the League failed to demonstrate a separate rulemaking was warranted. The FCC noted that it's currently considering "the necessity of separate licenses for RACES stations" in another proceeding.

[Courtesy The ARRL Letter, Volume 18, Number 47 {December 3, 1999), The American Radio Relay League, and the FCC Daily Digest, Volume 18, Number 228 (November 30, 1999).]

Here is the actual FCC Discussion on these petitions:

RM-9114

Background. On March 10, 1997, Mr. James Cardillo-Lee filed a petition for rule making, RM-9114, requesting that Section 97.113 of the Commission's Rules be amended to permit amateur radio operators who also are emergency personnel engaged in disaster relief to use the amateur service bands when such operators are in a paid duty status. Mr. Cardillo-Lee states that the amateur service rules prohibit an amateur station from transmitting communications where there is a pecuniary interest including transmissions made on behalf of an employer. He also states that the rules contains an exception for school teachers, who are allowed to conduct educational activities on the amateur bands in connection with their employment.

In support of this request, Mr. Cardillo-Lee states that as part of disaster preparedness, law enforcement and other safety personnel are being encouraged to become amateur radio operators and that, from time to time, the need to use amateur service bands in the course of a disaster operation may arise. He states that such use of the amateur bands by paid emergency personnel who are in a duty status at the time could be viewed as making prohibited transmissions on behalf of an employer if there is no immediate threat to life or property. Mr. Cardillo-Lee requests that the Rules be amended to clarify that amateur radio operators who are emergency personal engaged in disaster relief are not prohibited from using the amateur service bands while in a paid duty status. The Commission sought comment on this petition on June 19, 1997. We received no comments on this petition.

Decision. The international Radio Regulations define the amateur service as a radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. In 1993, the Commission amended the amateur service prohibited transmission rule, Section 97.113, to permit greater flexibility for amateur stations while transmitting communications. Specifically, it amended the rule to allow amateur operators more flexibility to provide communications for public service projects as well as to enhance the value of the amateur service in satisfying personal communications needs and expand the benefits derived from the amateur service by the general public. It noted that the vast majority of comments supported its proposal to relax the prohibition against using the amateur service as an alternative to other radio services such as the maritime services, land mobile radio services or the cellular telephone service. The Commission stated that this action would allow licensees to use amateur service frequencies, for example, to facilitate events such as races and parades, to support educational activities, to provide personal communications such as making appointments and ordering food, to collect data for the National Weather Service, and to provide assistance voluntarily even where there are other authorized radio services available.

In that proceeding, the Commission also explicitly declined to devote staff resources to development and maintenance of any list of permitted or prohibited communications under Section 97.113 because such a list would necessitate that it intrude upon the day-to-day functioning of the amateur service to a far greater degree than it desired. Further, it stated that, in view of amateur radio operators' desire to engage in widely diverse types of communications, "thousands of examples" would have to be included on such a list. Instead of providing a list of anecdotal examples of permitted and prohibited communications, the Commission adopted five general standards that an amateur radio station control operator should use when deciding whether his or her station should transmit a certain message. It also decided to rely on the amateur service's traditions of self-regulation and cooperation between licensees, the cornerstones of the amateur service, to determine whether specific communications should be transmitted on amateur service frequencies.

With regard to the specific request that we amend Section 97.113 of the Rules to clarify that amateur radio operators who are emergency personnel engaged in disaster relief are permitted to use the amateur service bands while in a paid duty status, we believe that such clarification is not necessary because these two-way communications are permitted within the existing rules. In this regard, we note that amateur radio operators who also are emergency personnel engaged in disaster relief do not appear to be receiving compensation for transmitting communications. Rather, we believe that these individuals are receiving compensation for services related to their disaster relief duties and in their capacities as emergency personnel, and the fact they also are amateur radio operators is incidental to these functions. Further, we note that under the Rules, if the control operator of an amateur service station, who also is an emergency services provider engaged in disaster relief, questions whether a particular message in support of disaster relief should be transmitted on amateur service frequencies, he or she is under no obligation to transmit the message. If the control operator decides that a particular message is not appropriate for transmission on amateur service frequencies, we note that the message can be transmitted on frequencies allocated to other radio services, because disaster relief organizations are eligible for and have been assigned numerous radio channels in other radio services to meet their communication needs.

We also note that the prohibition against transmitting communications, on a regular basis, which could reasonably be furnished through other radio services, does not appear applicable to disaster relief-related communication because disasters, by definition, are atypical occurrences. We also believe that a rulemaking proceeding based on this petition is not necessary and that such a proceeding would be inconsistent with the Commission's explicit statement that it will not devote staff resources to development and maintenance of any list of permitted or prohibited communications. After review of this petition, we conclude that the amendment it requests is unnecessary and, therefore, does not warrant action by the Commission. For this reason, we will dismiss Mr. Cardillo-Lee's rulemaking petition.

RM-9115

Background. On March 12, 1997, the ARRL filed a petition for rule making, RM-9115, requesting that the amateur service rules be amended with respect to the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES). Specifically, the ARRL requests that Section 97.407 be amended to permit intercommunication between RACES participants and other amateur stations actively providing communications related to an emergency or disaster situation, including drills and tests. In addition, the ARRL requests that the present limitation on training drills and tests of one hour per week be modified so that such drills and tests could be conducted for a maximum of five hours per week.

In support of this proposal, the ARRL states that there are two principal organizations of amateur stations at the national level by which amateur radio stations provide emergency communications on an organized basis. One is RACES, and the other is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). In addition, in some locations, amateur radio operators provide emergency communications independently of RACES or ARES. The ARRL requests amendment of the amateur service rules to permit intercommunication between RACES stations and ARES stations, as well as between RACES stations and other amateur radio stations that are actively engaged in support communications in an emergency or disaster situation, including drills and tests. It states that the rules generally limit intercommunication of RACES stations to other RACES station or to an amateur radio station registered with a civil defense organization. The Commission sought comment on this petition on June 19, 1997.

Comments opposing this petition were received from Mr. Marshall King and Mr. Billy Geer. Mr. King states that RACES is ineffective and it presents serious obstacles to the more structured and highly successful ARES groups because it is not clear who is in charge of communications when multiple groups are providing emergency communications. He also states that RACES is redundant and unnecessary and should be eliminated. Mr. Geer states that a maximum of five hours per week for training drills and tests is excessive.

Decision. One of the fundamental purposes of the amateur service is the recognition and enhancement of the amateur service's value to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications. The importance of allowing amateur stations to participate in providing essential communications when there is an emergency situation or a natural disaster cannot be overstated. Because such communications may be instrumental in saving human lives and protecting property, we believe that an amateur station should be able to communicate with other amateur stations in furtherance of those objectives. Upon review of the record in this matter, we find that the ARRL has failed to demonstrate that commencement of a separate rulemaking proceeding on this issue is warranted, particularly given that the ARRL submitted a similar request that was considered and denied in 1976 when the Commission updated the rules for RACES. The ARRL has not indicated any significant change in circumstances that would warrant a different outcome at this juncture. For this reason, we will dismiss RM-9115.

We note that our decision not to pursue further the ARRL rulemaking requests will not adversely affect the ability of amateur service stations to provide emergency communications. Under the current Rules, a primary, club, or military recreation station has more ability and flexibility than a RACES station to provide emergency communications because a primary, club, or military recreation station can provide emergency communications with any other amateur service station at any time and on any frequency authorized the control operator of the station. In this regard, we note that the ARRL also states that other amateur service emergency organizations can provide vital emergency communication links that are not available to RACES stations. Additionally, we note that the Commission currently is considering the necessity of separate licenses for RACES stations in another proceeding. We conclude that no purpose would be served by initiating a proceeding proposing revisions to Section 97.407 of the Commission's Rules at this time.


FCC Eliminates RACES Station Licenses

In a Report and Order adopted December 22, 1999, and released December 30, 1999, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rule changes that eliminate Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) station licenses. The Commission's comments are as follows:

"Background. The RACES, as it was envisioned when it was authorized in 1952, was to be a temporary service designed to afford radio communication for civil defense purposes. Under our Rules, we permit two types of stations to operate as part of the RACES: (1) a licensed RACES station, and (b) any amateur station that has been properly registered with a civil defense organization. Thus, we observed that to engage in RACES communications, it is not necessary to have a RACES station license with a separate and distinct call sign. For that reason, we proposed to amend our Part 97 Rules to phase out RACES station licenses by not renewing them. We observed that by eliminating the RACES station licenses, we would be taking steps which (a) would eliminate licensing duplication because emergency communications that are now transmitted by RACES stations also may be transmitted by primary, club, or military recreation stations, and (b) would conserve our financial resources. We also observed that no new RACES station licenses have been granted since July 4, 1980. In addition, we proposed to continue the status quo by not issuing any new RACES station licenses.

"Decision. Most of the comment specifically addressing this issue support our proposal to phase out RACES station licenses. In contrast, the elimination of RACES station licenses is opposed by Mr. William R. Slye, Jr. He states that in an emergency situation, it is beneficial to have a continuity of call signs so that a certain call sign is associated with a particular Emergency Operations Center or other emergency facility. He also believes that issuing RACES licenses is not overly burdensome to the Commission because current automation in licensing is available at the Commission. Taking a neutral position, Mr. Martin D. Wade suggests that before we take any further action regarding RACES station license, we should further study the RACES program and its place in Part 97 of our Rules.

"After review of the record, we conclude that we should eliminate RACES station licenses because RACES station licenses are unnecessary for amateur stations and amateur service licenses to provide emergency communications. Additionally, these licenses duplicate the communications that we have authorized primary, club, or military recreation stations to transmit, and not issuing RACES station licenses would conserve our financial resources because, currently, such issuance is not an automated process."

The FCC ordered that effective April 15, 2000, Part 97 of Chapter I of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended accordingly.


FCC Announces Launch of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau

The Federal Communications Commission on September 26, 2006, announced the launch of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. The events of September 11, 2001, and last year’s hurricane season underscored America’s dependence on an effective national telecommunications infrastructure. The new bureau will build on the Commission’s longstanding commitment to meet the needs of public safety by promoting robust, reliable, and resilient communications services in times of emergency.

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is designed to provide an efficient, effective, and responsive organizational structure to address matters related to public safety, homeland security, and emergency management and preparedness. The bureau is responsible for the combined public-safety-related functions that were previously dispersed among the other bureaus and offices.

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is organized into three divisions:

Policy Division – The Policy Division drafts, develops, and administers rules, regulations, and policies, including those pertaining to the 911/Enhanced 911 (E911), Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), operability and interoperability for public-safety communications, communications infrastructure protection, network security, and reliability. In addition, the Policy Division oversees the licensing of spectrum for public-safety entities (e.g., police and fire departments).

Public Communications Outreach & Operations Division – The Public Communications Outreach & Operations Division (PCOOD) is the lead bureau group responsible for coordinating the Commission’s emergency response procedures and operations. The Division coordinates the Commission’s public-safety, homeland-security, national-security, disaster-management, and related functions on a day-to-day basis. During incidents or emergencies PCOOD serves as the lead point of contact for all inter-governmental coordination activities with other Federal departments and agencies. The division will operate the Commission’s Communications Center (COMM-CTR) and High Frequency Direction Finding Capability (HFDFC) facilities.

Communications Systems Analysis Division – The Communications Systems Analysis Division (CSAD) administers the Commission’s information collection requirements (e.g., network outage reports) and performs analyses and studies concerning public safety, homeland security, emergency management and preparedness, disaster management, and national security.


FCC Deletes Frequency Bands and Segments Specified for RACES Stations

In a Report and Order adopted October 6, 2006, and released October 10, 2006, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rule changes that delete frequency bands and segments specified for RACES stations. Further, the Commission dismissed a proposal to delete the restrictions of Section 97.407(c) and (d). In its discussion on the R&O, the Commission made the following comments:

"Background. RACES was established in 1952. It authorizes specific frequency bands for amateur service stations to use for providing civil defense communications in the event that amateur service use of the radio spectrum is suspended due to war or other national emergency. Currently, Section 97.407(b) of our Rules authorizes RACES stations and amateur stations participating in RACES to transmit on certain specified frequency segments during periods of wartime emergency. Section 97.407(b) does not indicate, however, that such authorization is subject to procedures for the use and coordination of the radio spectrum during such emergencies specified in, among other places, Parts 201 and 214 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These procedures specify that during certain periods of wartime emergency, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will serve as the central authority over the Nation's telecommunications facilities, systems and services, and will authorize, modify, or revoke the continuance of all frequency authorizations issued by the Commission. Additionally, these procedures authorize the Director, OSTP to issue policy guidance, rules, regulations, procedures, and directives to assure effective frequency usage during wartime emergency conditions. In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on whether it should amend Section 97.407(b) of our Rules to delete the frequency bands and segments specified therein and to clarify that during certain emergencies the frequency segments available to RACES stations and amateur stations participating in RACES would be authorized pursuant to Part 214 of our Rules, in light of the authority presently granted the Director, OSTP.

"Decision. Based on the record before us, we believe that deleting the frequency bands and segments specified for RACES stations is warranted. We agree with ARRL that, because the Director, OSTP has authority over RACES operations in terms of frequencies to be used, the specification of RACES bands during a wartime emergency is unnecessary and duplicative, and can be eliminated, provided that there is a cross-reference to Part 214 of the Commission’s Rules in Section 97.407. Accordingly, we will revise Section 97.407(b) as proposed.

"Mr. DiGennaro notes that local emergency management agencies look to the amateur service to provide essential communications and facilitate relief actions in times of emergencies. He believes the public interest would be better served if we 'clarify the limitations imposed on an amateur station operating in RACES' and whether such limitations apply to all RACES operation or only when RACES operates after the Presidential War Emergency Powers have been invoked. Specifically, he argues that if the restrictions of Section 97.407(c) and (d) are interpreted to apply to all RACES operation, and not just when the Presidential War Emergency Powers have been invoked, then the rule should be revised because '[t]he current interpretation of the rules creates an environment of isolation between RACES and other amateur emergency entities [that] is not effective or efficient in serving the public interests.' The NPRM did not propose changes to the communications RACES stations may transmit or the stations with which RACES stations may exchange messages. We therefore conclude that this proposal is beyond the scope of this proceeding. Moreover, we note that this proposed rule change would significantly alter the nature of RACES, which was originally envisioned to be a temporary service that would allow only RACES stations to continue radio communication for civil defense purposes when all amateur stations were directed to cease transmitting. In response to Mr. DiGennaro's request for clarification, we confirm that the restrictions of Section 97.407(c) and (d) apply to all RACES operation, and not only when the Presidential War Emergency Powers have been invoked.

"Mr. DiGennaro also requests that we amend Section 97.113 of our Rules, which prohibits '[c]ommunications for hire or for material compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised,' by amateur stations, to clarify that amateur licensees who, by virtue of their employment, are directly involved in facilitating relief and recovery in times of disaster are not prohibited from effecting emergency communications using amateur radio. We conclude that the proposed rule change is not necessary, however, because Section 97.113 does not prohibit amateur radio operators who are emergency personnel engaged in disaster relief from using the amateur service bands while in a paid duty status. These individuals are not receiving compensation for transmitting amateur service communications; rather, they are receiving compensation for services related to their disaster relief duties and in their capacities as emergency personnel."


FCC Issues Public Notice on Amateur Service Communications During Government Disaster Drills

In a public notice ("Amateur Service Communications During Government Disaster Drills") released on October 20, 2009, the FCC stated the following:

Transmissions by amateur stations participating in government disaster drills must comply with all applicable amateur service rules. While the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communications service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications, is one of the underlying principles of the amateur service,1 the amateur service is not an emergency radio service. Rather, it is a voluntary, non-commercial communication service authorized for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by licensed persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.2

State and local government public safety agencies occasionally conduct emergency preparedness or disaster drills that include amateur operations. Some entities, such as hospitals, emergency operations centers, and police, fire, and emergency medical service stations, have expressed interest in having their employees who are amateur station operators participate in these drills by transmitting messages on the entity’s behalf. The Commission’s Rules, however, specifically prohibit amateur stations from transmitting communications “in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer.”3

Given the public interest in facilitating government-sponsored emergency preparedness and disaster drills, we take this opportunity to provide a clear process for requesting a waiver, and the information that we require in order to consider granting such a request.4 Waiver requests should be submitted to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau by the government entity conducting the drill, and must provide the following information: (1) when and where the drill will take place; (2) identification of the amateur licensees expected to transmit amateur communications on behalf of their employers; (3) identification of the employers on whose behalf they will be transmitting; and (4) a brief description of the drill. We emphasize that the filing of a waiver request does not excuse compliance with the rules while that request is pending. The waiver must be requested prior to the drill, and employees may not transmit amateur communications on their employer’s behalf unless the waiver request has been granted.

In an actual emergency, the Commission’s Rules provide that an amateur station may use any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and the immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.5 In those circumstances, rule waiver is not necessary.

For further information regarding matters discussed in this Public Notice, contact William T. Cross of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Mobility Division, at (202) 418-0680, William.Cross@fcc.gov.

By the Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau; Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau; and Chief, Enforcement Bureau.

___________________________________________________________________
1 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.1(a). See also Recommendations of the Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane
Katrina on Communications Networks, Order, EB Docket No. 06-119; WC Docket No. 06-63, 22 FCC Rcd 10541, 10576 ¶ 111 (2007) (noting that the amateur radio community played an important role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other disasters).

2 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.3(a)(4).

3 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.113(a)(3) (emphasis added).

4 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.925

5 See 47 C.F.R. § 97.403. See also Amendment of Part 97 of the Commission’s Rules Governing the Amateur Radio Services, Report and Order, WT Docket No. 04-140, 21 FCC 11643, 11667 ¶ 52 (2006) (clarifying that amateur radio operators who are emergency personnel may use their amateur radio stations while in paid duty status, but not addressing the prohibition against transmitting messages on behalf of an employer).


FCC Amends Rules for Employees in Drills

On July 14, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission adopted and released a Report and Order to amend its Amateur Radio Service Rules to permit amateur radio operators to transmit messages, under certain limited circumstances, during either government-sponsored or non-government sponsored emergency and disaster preparedness drills, regardless of whether the operators are employees of entities participating in the drill. The new Rules became effective September 3, 2010. Although public-safety land-mobile radio systems are the primary means of radio-based communications for emergency responders, the FCC said “experience has shown that amateur radio has played an important role in preparation for, during, and in the aftermath of natural and man-made emergencies and disasters.”

The previous rules provided for amateur radio use during emergencies. At the same time, the Rules prohibited communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer. While there are some exceptions to this prohibition, there is none that would permit amateur station control operators who are employees of public-safety agencies and other entities, such as hospitals, to participate in drills, tests, and exercises in preparation for such emergency situations and transmit messages on behalf of their employers during such drills and tests. Accordingly, the FCC amended its Rules to provide that, under certain limited conditions, amateur radio operators may transmit messages during emergency and disaster preparedness drills and exercises, limited to the duration of such drills and exercises, regardless of whether the operators are employees of entities participating in the drills or exercises.

The new permission for employees of entities participating in the drills or exercises is limited to the duration and scope of the drill, test, or exercise being conducted, and operational testing immediately prior to the drill, test, or exercise. Further, when such operations are conducted in these limited circumstances, the amateur communications are only one component of the overall and more extensive communications activities that are involved with emergency drills and tests. Moreover, under existing Rules, licensed employees may use amateur radio privileges when an emergency has rendered other communications unavailable. The FCC’s decision reflects the practical reality that a large number of agencies and organizations at the state and local levels coordinate with their local volunteer amateur radio operators to conduct emergency drills and exercises in concert with other modes of communication, such as land-mobile radio. This integrative activity is essential to allow for a practiced response on the part of the first-responder community in the event of an emergency. Because some of those drills and exercises include transmission of amateur communications by employees of participating entities, this rule amendment will support the Commission’s ongoing emergency preparedness and response priorities and is therefore consistent with the public interest.

The FCC declined to adopt specific time restrictions other than a limit tied to the duration of the exercise. The Commission found that such matters should be left to the discretion of the sponsoring agencies. However, the amendment does not permit communications unrelated to the drill or exercise being conducted. The Commission declined to specify the timing or duration of government-sponsored emergency drills.

As with government-sponsored emergency drills, the FCC limited the amateur operations in connection with nongovernment sponsored emergency drills to the duration and scope of the drill, test, or exercise being conducted, and operational testing immediately prior to the drill, test, or exercise. Moreover, the Commission requires that nongovernment sponsored drills and tests be limited to no more than one hour per week; except that no more than twice in any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours. This time limitation, “should serve to further ensure the use of amateur radio for bona fide emergency testing. We emphasize that the purpose for any drills we authorize herein must be related to emergency and disaster preparedness. By limiting the purpose in this manner, we further ensure that such drills will be appropriately limited.” (Note that these time limitations for non-government sponsored drills and tests are the same as specified in the FCC’s RACES Rules. However, no time limitations have been imposed on government-sponsored drills and tests that are not conducted under the RACES Rules.)

Final Rules

Part 97 of Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows:

AUTHORITY: 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 303. Interpret or apply 48 Stat. 1064-1068, 1081-1105, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 151-155, 301-609, unless otherwise noted.

1. Section 97.113 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(3), adding new paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (a)(3)(ii), redesignating paragraphs (c) and (d) as new paragraphs (a)(3)(iii) and (a)(3)(iv) respectively, and redesignating paragraphs (e) and (f) as (c) and (d) respectively, to read as follows:

§ 97.113 Prohibited transmissions.

(a) * * *

(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer, with the following exceptions:

(i) A station licensee or control station operator may participate on behalf of an employer in an emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such test or drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are not government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.

(ii) An amateur operator may notify other amateur operators of the availability for sale or trade of apparatus normally used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not conducted on a regular basis.

(iii) A control operator may accept compensation as an incident of a teaching position during periods of time when an amateur station is used by that teacher as a part of classroom instruction at an educational institution.

(iv) The control operator of a club station may accept compensation for the periods of time when the station is transmitting telegraphy practice or information bulletins, provided that the station transmits such telegraphy practice and bulletins for at least 40 hours per week; schedules operations on at least six amateur service MF and HF bands using reasonable measures to maximize coverage; where the schedule of normal operating times and frequencies is published at least 30 days in advance of the actual transmissions; and where the control operator does not accept any direct or indirect compensation for any other service as a control operator.


FCC
Removes References to RACES Station Licenses

In a Report and Order (WT Docket No. 09-209) adopted November 2, 2010, and released November 8, 2010, the FCC amended Part 97 to remove references to RACES station licenses, since it decided in 2000 not to renew RACES station licenses. The new rules will probably become effective early in 2011. Section 97.407 was amended by removing paragraph (d) and its subparagraphs, redesignating paragraph (e) as paragraph (d), and revising paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) to read as follows:

§ 97.407 Radio amateur civil emergency service.

(a) No station may transmit in RACES unless it is an FCC-licensed primary, club, or military recreation station and it is certified by a civil defense organization as registered with that organization. No person may be the control operator of an amateur station transmitting in RACES unless that person holds a FCC-issued amateur operator license and is certified by a civil defense organization as enrolled in that organization.

(b) The frequency bands and segments and emissions authorized to the control operator are available to stations transmitting communications in RACES on a shared basis with the amateur service. In the event of an emergency which necessitates invoking the President's War Emergency Powers under the provisions of section 706 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 606, amateur stations participating in RACES may only transmit on the frequency segments authorized pursuant to part 214 of this chapter.

(c) An amateur station registered with a civil defense organization may only communicate with the following stations upon authorization of the responsible civil defense official for the organization with which the amateur station is registered:

(1) An amateur station registered with the same or another civil defense organization; and

(2) A station in a service regulated by the FCC whenever such communication is authorized by the FCC.

(d) All communications transmitted in RACES must be specifically authorized by the civil defense organization for the area served. Only civil defense communications of the following types may be transmitted:

(1) Messages concerning impending or actual conditions jeopardizing the public safety, or affecting the national defense or security during periods of local, regional, or national civil emergencies;

(2) Messages directly concerning the immediate safety of life of individuals, the immediate protection of property, maintenance of law and order, alleviation of human suffering and need, and the combating of armed attack or sabotage;

(3) Messages directly concerning the accumulation and dissemination of public information or instructions to the civilian population essential to the activities of the civil defense organization or other authorized governmental or relief agencies; and

(4) Communications for RACES training drills and tests necessary to ensure the establishment and maintenance of orderly and efficient operation of the RACES as ordered by the responsible civil defense organization served. Such drills and tests may not exceed a total time of 1 hour per week. With the approval of the chief officer for emergency planning in the applicable State, Commonwealth, District, or territory, however, such tests and drills may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours no more than twice in any calendar year.

 

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