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Med 1/Med 3 Dutchess County

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nozzlenut83

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At a recent EMS Council meeting a lengthy discussion was held regarding Med 1 & Med 3. The plan originally had UHF base stations at both St Francis and Vassar Bros. The radio at Vassar broke many years ago and was never repaired due to a dispute between the hospital and the county as to who was responsible for it. The radio at St Francis was removed during the recent renovations for what ever reason. The absence of these radios went fairly unnoticed due to the availability of cell phones, but the issue has recently been brought up again.

According to the county comms coordinator Med 1(463.0000 (192.8)/468.0000 (192.8)) and Med 3 (463.0500 (192.8)/468.0500 (192.8)) are installed at both hospitals up to the telephone closets. They said it's up to the hospitals to get the base stations, install them and get them into operation. Representatives from both hospitals seem to want to move forward, but no progress as of yet.

I'm not sure how many agencies still have these freqs available in their radios, but I know some still do. So keep an ear on them. There was no mention of Med 7 which was installed on Clove Mtn and could be used by the county to patch into Med 1 or Med 3 for units on the East side of the county trying to communicate with the Poughkeepsie hospitals.

Reminder: Med 1 is primarily used at Vassar,Med 3 is primarily used at St Francis but both are supposed to be installed at each hospital. They are not on repeaters hospitals transmit on 463.x, mobiles transmit on 468.x. Units call the hospital directly on the Med channel ("Vassar this is Medic xx on Med 1") no contact with the county is needed. They are primarily used for ALS notifications and medical control orders, but BLS units sometimes use them too.
 

radioman2001

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As a general rule the licensing requires access to a minimum of 4 of the Med channels except 9 and 10. My question is how old is the equipment in the closet? Most Med stations that I know of are 25+ years old and wont' meet narrow banding, hense replacement. Med channels were always split simplex, that is no repeater, they are not licensed that way. Also I have never used UHF for hospital contact in Dutchess county for the last 15 years it has always been on the VHF Hospital channels, and more recently cell phone, since the county had to call the ER and tell them to answer the radio anyway. I havn't seen a portable telemetry unit in over 20 years so I doubt that they are being used for that either. The Med channels were a good idea pre-cell phone era and are just a waste of spectrum that could be used for other EMS/Fire related usage.
BTW I installed most of the Med channel systems throughout the mid 70's until 1981 for the entire NYC Metro area when I worked for the drunken bat. It appears an inventory would be needed to address the issues I have raised, and since there is a VHF system the UHF is unnecessary. I know there was some questions brought before the FCC some years ago to allow dispatching and other uses, but it never was resolved.
 

nozzlenut83

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The UHF MED channels don't require the ambulance to contact the county first. You just call the hospital directly. Supposedly the equipment up to the closet is updated. The hospitals need to purchase updated base stations.

I know Arlington Fire and LaGrange Fire still have the UHF MED channels installed in their ambulances and fly cars. Not sure about any of the commercial agencies.

There are no more telemetry units around that I am aware of. Data transmission (12-Lead, etc.) is usually done through the cardiac monitor connected through a cell phone and transmitted to fax machine in the hospital.

It's a nice idea for a back-up but really how useful is the system?? The spectrum could definitely be used better somewhere else.
 

62Truck

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I've seen a Fairview portable with the Med 1 and 3 programmed in it, So that would lead me to think that their mobiles would have it too but you know what happens when you assume. I do keep these freqs programmed in my scanner and radios just in case they come into action. Another good freq to monitor is 155.715 I know Dutchess doesn't hold a license for this freq but some of the neighboring counties do and I know of at least one commercial agency that has that freq programmed into their VHF radios.

I don't want to go too far off topic but another freq for Dutchess you might want to listen to is 154.115 I've seen it labeled in some of the health dept and other varies Depts in Dutchess as M A C C.
 

radioman2001

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When using the VHF you have to call county so they can call (touch tone)up the hospital you want to talk to. While I can't say how the ambulances call the ER on the UHF channels, it appears from the original OP that the system is either not being used properly or is disconnected. As far as the closet equipment (base station) being updated, then the hospitals can just reuse the existing console, that doesn't require narrow banding. Again the system was good in it's time (30+ years ago) but has since been left behind by technology. I suspect the county doesn't want to give up the licenses and so keeps the equipment going in hopes of it being reallocated to something they could use in the future. It wouldn't be a bad idea for the county to petition the FCC to reuse those channels for public safety, since there is such a shortage of UHF frequencies in the lower Hudson valley.
BTW on the subject of county frequencies to listen to, the county has a single 800 mhz conventional frequency licensed at most of their sites, any idea what it's used for? I have yet to hear anything on it.
 

millrad

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Med Channels going strong in CT

Just over the state line, here in Connecticut, the entire EMS system is based on Med Channels.
All ambulances are required to sign on with an RCC on either Med 9 or Med 10, depending on their location.
En route to the hospital, they are assigned a Med Channel to talk directly with the hospital. All ERs have a C-Med base station linked by phone line to the RCC, which then creates a hospital-ambulance radio patch.
Patches are recorded at the RCC and can be reviewed if questions arise about med control orders or other patient care issues.
The med channel system has been basically unchanged since it was created in the 1970s, with the exception that telemetery is done via cell phone and not med radios.
The state has a plan to more than double the number of med channels through narrowbanding plus the use of the old UHF highway callbox channels.

Here's the link:http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/ems/pdf/radio_standards_05_2011.pdf
 

millrad

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All recording is done at the RCC (C-Med dispatch), so the ambulances would have to call into C-Med on a cell phone, then have the call patched to the hospital. This scenario happens now when medics can't get good radio coverage into a med channel, and need medical direction.
It'll be interesting once the med channels are narrowbanded and the coverage areas go down accordingly.
 
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