Med-Center Air query

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DCHarris

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Med-Center Air flew 2 helicopters down to Lancaster, SC this past Saturday night. The RR database list 155.325 with PL of 91.55 as their frequency; is this for dispatch and position reports only? What frequency do they call patient reports in on, or are they on the VIPER system? Thanks for any replies, and sorry if this has been answered before. I normally only stay on the SC forum, being as that is where I live.
 

kg4pbd

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Med-Center Air flew 2 helicopters down to Lancaster, SC this past Saturday night. The RR database list 155.325 with PL of 91.55 as their frequency; is this for dispatch and position reports only? What frequency do they call patient reports in on, or are they on the VIPER system? Thanks for any replies, and sorry if this has been answered before. I normally only stay on the SC forum, being as that is where I live.
Generally you'll find them on the Charlotte TRS.

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=282

Look about half-way down the page under Carolinas Medical Center. They use these talkgroups for in-flight position reports, fuel status, etc. The Landing Zone talkgroups are used typically within Mecklenburg county.
 

jplyler

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Usually the CharMeck TRS talkgroup is used for dispatch, position reports and operational comms. In my experience, the VHF channel is primarily used for Helo-Hospital patient reports and updates. They do from time to time relay patient reports via their TRS talkgroup. The LZ comms depend on the response area. There are a couple of LZ-specific talkgroups on the CharMeck system (under county fire). For responses outside the pilots are given the contact freq and PL to be used.

Jon
 

FRED55

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Charlotte TRS

Generally you'll find them on the Charlotte TRS.

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=282

Look about half-way down the page under Carolinas Medical Center. They use these talkgroups for in-flight position reports, fuel status, etc. The Landing Zone talkgroups are used typically within Mecklenburg county.
I'M NEW WHAT IS Charlotte TRS.THANKS
 

Soundman

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Scanner numbers

Most of the time thy are on
4336 CMC AirCare Flight Watch Helicopters
- Ground Dispatch EMS Dispatch
4368 CMC Helicopter Dispatch 2 EMS Dispatch
 

kg4pbd

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I'M NEW WHAT IS Charlotte TRS.THANKS
Charlotte/Mecklenburg trunked system:

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=282

You'll find all the frequency and talkgroup information there in the database. All the Med Center Air talkgroups including landing zone talkgroups are under "Carolina's Medical Center". Assuming you have a trunktracking scanner you'll be all set. If you can give us information on what scanner you are using we can give you better information on the programming.
 

FRED55

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frequency

Most of the time thy are on
4336 CMC AirCare Flight Watch Helicopters
- Ground Dispatch EMS Dispatch
4368 CMC Helicopter Dispatch 2 EMS Dispatch
LIKE ISALD I'M NEW . 4336 WHAT frequency IS THIS.
 

drew6553

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it is not a frequency but a talk group that functions on the Trunked Radio system which is an 800 mhz system so you need to have a trunktracker scanner and input the frequencies to hear the talkgroups. With a TRS system the talk group will key up on a computer chosen frequency. I might be a tad off in this explanation but I believe this is the basic gist of it.
 

jplyler

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4336 is the talkgroup ID on the CharMeck trunked radio system (TRS), not the actual frequency. I assume you are not up to speed on the trunked system? What type of scanner(s) do you currently use? Do you know if it (or they) support trunking?
 

DCHarris

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Thanks

Thanks for the info. I have a Uniden BCD-396. I have the Charlotte TRS programmed in, but usually only use a RS 800Mhz rubber duck antennae. Sometimes at night I can hear transmissions on the Charlotte system; I guess that particular night I couldn't. I didn't think about plugging the scanner into my old roof-mounted discone antennae; that's one of the things Lyme's Disease will do to you, make you very forgetful. Again, thanks for all the help.
 
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jplyler

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Well then, with the 396 you're good to go. I have one also and love it, awesome radio. Program based on the RR database and you'll have everything you need.

Jon
 

jeffmulter

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DC Harris - I have to offer you some different advice than everyone else, so far, has suggested. My advice is based on past history, as well as your actual monitoring location.

First, I have your location is being near Hwy 21, in the northeast corner of Fairfield County. Is that correct ?

Basically, if you are anywhere in Fairfield County, unless you are using a directional antenna pointed to the north, you should have some problems with monitoring the Charlotte-Mecklenberg system. Richland County and the state Palnet system have three sites in your area - Blythewood being the closest. Between the three sites, about 20 of the 28 frequencies in use on the C-M system are also in use at the 3 sites.

Depending on the amount of traffic on those 3 sites, you would have a fair probability of voice comms on the C-M system being covered up by the 3 sites. Your 396 will still trunktrack the C-M system - if the control frequency isn't being interfered with - but once the scanner switches to the assigned voice frequency, the stronger signals from a local site using the same frequency will cover the C-M comms.

Also, while it cannot hurt to try, the response of the common hobby discones (I use 4) drops off beyond 500 Mhz, despite the claims to be useful through 1,000 MHz. And, if a quality feedline is not used, add even more signal loss to the equation.

Now, there's another reason why I'm discouraging an emphasis on the C-M system, based on your particular question regarding Lancaster County.

I live in Indian Land, just off Hwy 521, and midway between Hwy 160 and Hwy 75. My home is right under the flightpath used by the Med Center Air crews going between CMC Main and Springs Memorial Hospitals. To my best recollection, I have never had an occasion - been here 10 years - when one of the helos was transiting my area that I did not hear comms on 155.325 Mhz.

Depending on how far into the request for flight service they are when you start monitoring, you will hear on 155.325:

- the alerts to advise the crew they are either on stand-by, or have a request to fly (the pilot makes the final determination of whether to fly or not, unless the request is cancelled)

- basic information about the nature of the flight request (MVA, gun shot, burn victim, etc) and / or patient (weight, condition, meds, intubated ?, etc)

- the location of the landing zone or medical facility, as well as any on-location frequencies and P-L tones (Med Center Air uses of the Wulfsberg numberign system for its P-L tones

- while enroute, flightwatch generally only requests position reports from the helos if the requesting agency asks for an update

- if the helo is going to Springs Memorial for a patient pick-up from inside the facility, a county EMS unit is always on-hand to roll the patient to the helo. Lancaster city fire is also on-hand when the hospital helipad is used

- when the helo is returning to CMC with a patient on-board, you'll hear the crew request a doctor to come to the radio for a report. The report will give you a idea of the nature of the incident, as well as the age and condition of the patient on-board. The crew will also indicate how far away from CMC they are - in "minutes."

Again, I have to emphasize that I am referring to CMC comms and Lancaster County. In Mecklenberg County, and neighboring counties where the C-M system is branching out, the C-M trunked system may be the appropriate way to monitoring Med Center Air.

You may also, on occasion, hear low-power Lancaster Co EMS communications on CMC's 155.325 / 91.5 channel. The LCEMS has had the frequency programmed in their radios for as long as I've lived here ... it's their channel 6.

Med Center Air is not the only medical air transport serving Lancaster County. LifeNet, which was previously the separate LifeReach and CareForce helo services out of Columbia, handle a fair number of calls in the county ... particularly the area south of Hwy 9. They are also the go-to service when Med Center Air is unavailable, or weather minimums prevent flying in the Charlotte area. Palnet is the primary comm system for the LifeNet helo-flightwatch communications.

When both Med Center Air and LifeNet are reponding to a location in Lancaster County, also monitor 123.025 MHz ... the pilots will often coordinate their landings and take-offs with each other.

If a Med Center Air helo transports to the Columbia hospitals, also monitor 155.340 and 123.050. The first frequency is for emergency room contacts, and the second is to pass along flightwatch information and requests for flight support.
 

DCHarris

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Thanks again

Thanks again for the additional comments. I live in Fairfield County on Hwy 200 just off Hwy 21, so of course have that programmed in, as well as Chester, Lancaster, Kershaw, and York (conventional and 800) counties. I also have statewide Palmetto 800, as well as what I call Pal 800-Local, which is the towers in Winnsboro, Chester, and Lancaster; I live just about midway between these three towers (I think). I now have 155.325 programmed in; will have to listen for it more. Years ago when I was a paramedic I used to fly part time with Life-Reach. We used to love to fly into another flight service's area, such as carrying a patient to Charlotte or Charleston. Back then, MUSC's BK-117 was often down for repairs, so we flew down to Charleston several times. It was also fun overflying Shaw AFB (with controller permission of course!) and looking down on the F-16's on the ground. One day flying back from Kingstree to Columbia we interrupted some war games Shaw and McEntire (sp?) NG Airbase were having. We had a two-ship formation of 16's at our 9:00 being pursued by another two-ship formation coming in from our 7:00. The first two broke, leader low left in front of us, wingman high right behind us. We were actually looking DOWN on the lead pilot's 16 as he passed less than a quarter mile in front of us; we could actually see the pilot. AWESOME!! I was flying all across the low country 2 days after Hugo hit; I remember the ground was white over Sumter county where all the chicken houses had been destroyed. With all the pine trees down there, you could clearly see the linear wind damage from Hugo's winds vs. the twisted pine trees blown down by all the tornadoes spawned off by the hurricane. Wow, I just realized how much I'm rambling on; sorry, but I've got to tell one more flight story. When I first started flying with Life-Reach most of the ambulance-to-hospital traffic was on 155.340. I don't remember what specific radio we had, but it did not have PL tones on .340 (later it did, thankfully). We would be going to some location, monitoring .340 (from about 1600 ft) and hearing ambulances calling reports to hospitals FROM THREE STATES (SC,NC, and GA). Talk about a headache, trying to sort out the one station/unit we were actually trying to communicate with. I will close now, but thanks so much for letting relive these memories with you.
 

jeffmulter

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I forgot to ask, DC, if the Lancaster incident you referred to in your original post involved some pedestrians being hit by a motor vehicle. I caught something as I was going to bed last Saturday or Sunday night. My mystery Med Center Air "3" was flying one of the patients to CMC, although visible injuries didn't appear to be too severe.

Although I downplayed the usefulness of the discone on 800 Mhz., the discone should be very helpful with the Med Center Air comms on 155.325. Hobbyists tend to either swear by - or swear at - discones. I have one on a Channel Master extendable (to 30 feet) mast outdoors. If the mast is not collapsed due to weather, the discone sits just above the roof line. I am very happy with the performance of the antenna (I primarily concertrate on VHF / UHF during band enhancements).

The other three discones are in the attic, and used for secondary receivers. I have a Stridsberg multicoupler on the outside discone coax line, but used up the 8 available ports when I first bought it.

None of the discones were high-dollar Icom versions. Besides monitoring, the birds - primarily finches and Cardinals - love the large selection of elements (perches, to them) to sit on in the morning and evening. They are almost as entertaining to watch as the birds doing a tightrope act on my random wire antenna for HF.
 

DCHarris

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Lancaster Incident

From what I understand, a pedestrian was struck by a car and had a broken leg. His younger brother spoke with him at the scene, left, then came back and shot two people. I don't know all the details, but I thought that two people, including at least one of the ones shot, died. I know the police were at Springs heli-pad until the second helicopter left; also it sounded like two officers were at the ER for crowd control/screening who was coming into the ER, etc.
The discone I use is old, dating back to the 80's; it extends approximately 10' above my roofline. The coax is just as old, but they do increase my range. I have the coax plugged into a RS-2006, which is rarely used, but I sometimes connnect it onto the BNC adapter I have on my 396. I have used it (the discone) to listen to the space shuttle when it climbs to orbit enroute to the ISS.
 

Grog

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I'm in the flight line from Gaston Memorial Hospital and CMC (about two miles from GMH) and I hear tons of traffic on 155.325. By time they get to me they are usually calling for in a patient update or for a DR to come to the radio. They would have no problem accessing the southpoint Char/Meck tower after leaving GMH, but I guess they might just save that for Mecklenburg County calls only.


If it is a call here in Gaston County, they usually will switch to the "fire command" channel (158.745 repeater although they are usually TXing on just the output direct). There have been several times where there has been some major mis-communications between the helo and the ground crews about who should be on what channel.


If they have a call in Lincoln County, the county fire departments have 155.325 programmed into their HTs for landing zone ops. From my times listening to them, they always seem to do a very good job with setting up a LZ.
 
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Grog

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I snipped (and edited) this from the latest dialcode book, interesting note on the bases they list. It's a jpeg so feel free to right click and save.

 

jeffmulter

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I would love to see someone confirm those base locations. That info just doesn't look correct to me. Grace Hospital (Morganton) is generally about the farthest to the west that I ever hear CMC fly helos ... MAMA takes over from that point. Has the daytime facility near Fred T. Foard H.S. in Newton been closed ?

Similar questions about Rock Hill Airport. Although the location (I presume any TCA over RH Apt is well above the 2000 ASL the helos might fly) might make for easier transit to the south, I've never heard the helos going to RH Apt. Any transits to Lancaster that I've monitored have always been along a southern flight path from Ballyntine, then parallel Hwy 521.

Any insight would be appreciated !
 

qball

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Jeff,

Medcenter was stationing a helicopter at RH for at least a month prior to get SCDHEC approval. They were finally asked to leave until they got their SC license. To my understanding, they now have a SC license and have a bird permanently stationed in RH during daylight hours. I will ask more questions....
 
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