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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/5/2005 8:15:50 AM EDT
Over the last week we flew several flights in and out of Baton Rouge to evac pediatric and neo-natal patients from the flooded hospitals in NO.

EMS helicopters did the transports from NO hospitals to flight line at BTR airport, then us fixed-wingers took them the rest of the way to the various cities/medical centers that were receiving them.

The BTR airport became a very, very busy place. Especially over the last few days now that the military is fully involved. The controllers working approach control and the tower have done an excellent job keeping us as safe as possible. All types of aircraft to be seen. Like a big airshow and you are in it.

Communications between the NO hospitals sending us the patients and those of us waiting at the airport to receive them was very difficult. Info had to be relayed from flooding NO hospital to the pediatric hospital that was coordiating the evac, then to each flight/medical crew who was on scene at the BTR airport.

Cell phones were working only about 50% of the time and land lines were tied up with all the traffic.

My question for any commo guys out there:

How well will the currently available SAT phones work in a similar environment? Seems like if each flight crew had one and each hospital had one for the ER director or evac coordinator things could have moved much more smoothly.

On one trip we had to come home without a a patient because no one could find our assigned patients. We could have carried two or three that trip but had to return home because pilots were running out of duty time. Big-time waste of assets, both aircraft and medical.

I don't think we will be going back as often now that the NO hospitals seem to be evac'ed. May get to go to other cities in the area to p/u folks that are newly sick and need a higher level of care than what is available locally.

All in all, even though we had a very small part in the relief efforts, it was rewarding to be able to help instead of just watch it all on TV.

Fly safe,

EMSflyer
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:17:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 8:17:41 AM EDT by jkstexas2001]
Iridium phones will work very well.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:23:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:25:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 8:25:47 AM EDT by jkstexas2001]
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:29:43 AM EDT
Does anybody know if the Sat phone system has enough bandwidth to handle a major localized event such as this? They were designed for relatively sparce communication over a large area. Not sure if they could handle the required traffic in a situation like this.

On the other hand, they do have temporary cell towers that may have been able to fill in the gaps if a dry spot and generator were available.

Ed
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:47:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:53:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -brass-:

Originally Posted By TexasEd:
Does anybody know if the Sat phone system has enough bandwidth to handle a major localized event such as this? They were designed for relatively sparce communication over a large area. Not sure if they could handle the required traffic in a situation like this.

On the other hand, they do have temporary cell towers that may have been able to fill in the gaps if a dry spot and generator were available.

Ed



Handheld HAM 2 meter unit. and a Tech license. Nothing gets past the HAMs.



Do you mean one of these?

www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/0777.html

some think its pretty good.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:56:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:09:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:

Originally Posted By -brass-:

Originally Posted By TexasEd:
Does anybody know if the Sat phone system has enough bandwidth to handle a major localized event such as this? They were designed for relatively sparce communication over a large area. Not sure if they could handle the required traffic in a situation like this.

On the other hand, they do have temporary cell towers that may have been able to fill in the gaps if a dry spot and generator were available.

Ed



Handheld HAM 2 meter unit. and a Tech license. Nothing gets past the HAMs.



Do you mean one of these?

www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/0777.html

some think its pretty good.



I prefer the Kenwood TH-F6A, but yeah, same idea.

It isn't my main radio for ARES/RACES though--it's a backup. My main radio for foot deployment is my HTX-202. I carry enough battery to run a 35 watt brick amp if I need to.

Jim
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:11:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:

Originally Posted By -brass-:

Originally Posted By TexasEd:
Does anybody know if the Sat phone system has enough bandwidth to handle a major localized event such as this? They were designed for relatively sparce communication over a large area. Not sure if they could handle the required traffic in a situation like this.

On the other hand, they do have temporary cell towers that may have been able to fill in the gaps if a dry spot and generator were available.

Ed



Handheld HAM 2 meter unit. and a Tech license. Nothing gets past the HAMs.



Do you mean one of these?

www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/0777.html

some think its pretty good.



I prefer the Kenwood TH-F6A, but yeah, same idea.

It isn't my main radio for ARES/RACES though--it's a backup. My main radio for foot deployment is my HTX-202. I carry enough battery to run a 35 watt brick amp if I need to.

Jim



The one I recommended can stay submerged in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. I do not believe (I may be wrong) that the Kenwood can, and that is definetly something you would want to consider in a flooded area.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 11:22:34 AM EDT

You're right, the F6A isn't submergable as far as I know.

Since it's my 'backup' handheld, it stays in a large Ziploc bag in my go bag for any actual deployment.

Jim
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 1:22:18 PM EDT
I think you guys are missing my point A two meter ham tranceiver is not going to work very well if thousands of people in a small area trying to use a limited set of frequencies at the same time.

That's the only reason the cellular system works as well as it does, frequencies are shared among users.

Also, I suspect you'd have rather limited range in an urban landscape with no repeater.

Just my $.02

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:18:53 PM EDT
In your situation, frankly, I'd lean toward ths sat phone. How many sat phone users are in the region?
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 7:39:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 7:43:44 PM EDT by EMSflyer]
So who knows what happens when a bunch of folks in the same area are using SAT phones at the same time?

Is it gonna be the same bandwidth problem like cell phones?

Any of you been someplace overseas, or in some other situation where a high volume of SAT phones were in use?

I would like to recommend a fix for this problem to our program director and the rest of the EMS aviation industry. Maybe we can do a better job next time.

Thanks,

Flyer
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