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Search & Rescue Agency Questions

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angel1rescue

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Hello Everyone
My Name is Keith, I am the Chief of a newly founded Charity/Search & Rescue Organization called Angel 1 Rescue, we are a registered not for profit corporation.
If this is the wrong spot for this post I am very sorry. I have been reading through some of the forums and you all seem to be very good at what you do with radios, and I have some questions that I'm just not finding the answers to, and I'm sure you guys will know
We are looking for the best option for communications

Originally we were going to use the MARCS system, but I can't justify 3000 dollars a radio with 250 dollars a year for service to the board, they are not having it.

Next option, we thought about using FRS radios, we have come to the conclusion that this is a terrible idea because we need more range than they offer, we also thought GMRS but you need a license for each person, and we already have UHF/VHF radios that we would like to use.

We next thought about programming our mobile and portable radios to the FRS frequency, with further investigation we have found that this also is a very bad idea.

We next considered using the MURS channels, bad idea as well, because our portables put out 5 watts, and our mobiles run 50 watts, and our radios are not type 95.

We have all of the local fire departments, and EMS agencies programed into our radios for interoperability right now.

We do not want a base station, the only way we are going to have a base station is in our command ambulance which is always mobile.

What we are moreless looking for is a way to talk portable to portable or portable to mobile, or mobile to mobile. The problem being is that we will never be stationary, for now we cover northwest Ohio, and southeast Michigan , and this is the problem that I have run into is we can get a channel like a fire department but we are limited to a certain area.

Honestly at this point I'm open to just about any ideas you guys have, (putting up a tower right now with a base station is just not possible right now)
 

KB7MIB

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a) Is anyone in your organization experienced with writing grant requests? You may be able to get a grant to purchase radios for MARCS.
b) Look into a radio system owned by a radio shop that may have coverage where you expect to need it.
 

KB7MIB

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c) Contact the public safety frequency coordinator and ask if there are any simplex frequencies available that your group can license for. (And don't forget 155.1600 is a nationwide SAR channel as well.)
 

KB7MIB

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This thread will probably be moved out of the Amateur Radio forum and into a more appropriate one, such as your state forum, possibly.
Other commentors will probably correct and/or add on to the 3 options I presented to you. Good luck!
 
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SteveC0625

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What we are moreless looking for is a way to talk portable to portable or portable to mobile, or mobile to mobile. The problem being is that we will never be stationary, for now we cover northwest Ohio, and southeast Michigan , and this is the problem that I have run into is we can get a channel like a fire department but we are limited to a certain area.

Honestly at this point I'm open to just about any ideas you guys have, (putting up a tower right now with a base station is just not possible right now)
I did some poking around in the FCC's license database. There are any number of SAR groups that have Part 90 PW licenses that do not include the traditional Fixed Base. Some of them have portable repeater authorizations and many have low power authorizations as well.

As others have suggested, you need to talk to the frequency coordinator for Ohio and get some guidance based on the type of equipment you want to use in the field and what other agencies you might want to communicate with. 155.1600 is a very common SAR frequency around the country. You could apply for mobile, portable, and maybe a mobile repeater license on 155.1600 and probably get it with no problems for your entire region or state. I saw a number of SAR agencies with "entire state of" locations for their portables and mobiles.
 

Drachen_Fire

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How do you page out? Do you use cell text, alpha pagers, or are you looking at voice pagers.

The $3000 you mentioned, is that for the radio itself? It appears that MARCS is an 800MHz system, comprised of both trunked and conventional channels. XTS 800MHz equipment can be had for $600 or less each on ebay right now.

Getting licensed in Part 90 and just putting a mobile repeater in that ambulance would do a great job of helping on-scene communications. SAR is mostly area-concentrated, so wide-area coverage wouldn't be an absolute necessity.
 

angel1rescue

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We page out with texcom through your cellphone, MARCS is 800MHz, digital, P25, but its ohios and they require a fee per radio, per year.
I think there is actually like a total of 5 or 6 SAR channels, but I was unaware that you could a license, I thought they were FEMA only.
I know of a private ambulance service thats uses something called smart link, but I know nothing about it
 

Drachen_Fire

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