Amateur Radio Seeks Disaster Drill Change

Commenters support changing ham rules to allow government workers to take part in disaster drills
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The Federal Communications Commission has proposed changing its rules to ensure that amateur radio operators can participate in disaster drills even if they are employed by a government agency sponsoring the drill.

Current FCC regulations prohibit such participation without a waiver.

Comments on the proposal (WP Docket 10-72) were due May 24.

It appears many commenters support the proposal, including Boeing and Los Angeles County. The latter wrote: “Disaster drills and training are especially important in the Los Angeles area, which is particularly susceptible to wide-scale emergencies such as earthquakes and wildfires. Amateur radio stations have well-defined supportive roles in disaster relief efforts, and amateur radio licensees should not be prevented from participating in training drills merely because they are employed by a sponsoring agency.”

A ham in Redwood City, Calif., who’s a member of the California Fire Department Community Emergency Response Team agrees with the premise.

Stephen Traynor wrote: “It’s clearly in the public interest to create the exemption and to encourage disaster preparation.”

Reply comments are due June 7.