Using ham repeater autopatch to dial 9-1-1

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DaveNF2G

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Three rules apply universally:

Licensed ham operator.

Permission of the club or operator to use the autopatch (usually waived for emergencies, but you might not know the code to bring up the patch).

Identify before sending signals to the controller.
 

nd5y

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Remember the E911 location the call taker will see is wherever the autopatch phone line is located. You will have to tell them where you are and they will likely have no idea what a phone patch is and not understand how you can be someplace else talking to them on a radio.
 
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kc4jgc

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What Dave and Tom said above is true. With the prevalence of cell phones these days not many repeaters have autopatch much less emergency autodial. The rules may vary a bit; procedure is basically:

--"KC4JGC to the patch" (if the repeater is busy, I would break in by saying "BREAK KC4JGC EMERGENCY TRAFFIC"

-- Enter the appropriate code to dial the desired agency. (if you broke into a conversation wait for a station to turn the repeater over to you before you dial).

-- When the operator answers, identify yourself and say that you're calling via amateur radio. What I usually said is "This is KC4JGC calling via amateur radio, how copy?" after the operator says he/she can understand you, go into the nature of the emergency. When finishing the call identify before terminating the patch. "KC4JGC terminating patch with Norfolk Police". Then terminate the patch.
 

mancow

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And when the dispatcher doesn't realize it's a semi duplex system and talks continuously you will eventually give up and die.
 

n5ims

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Often a repeater with an autopatch will have easy access to 911 without dialing a special autopatch access code. In many cases, the access code to this feature is 911 (or *911). This code will open the autopatch and dial 911 for you so no additional dialing is necessary. Be aware that this may connect you to the 911 center where the repeater is located, not necessarily where you are located. Be prepared to give the operator specific information where you need emergency services sent to so they can transfer the call as necessary.

Some repeaters have a series of codes to connect you directly to the various emergency services contacts in the area so you can get help more directly and quickly.

For example (from W3YA Features)
Emergency Autopatch - 911 Access

Key-up, and enter the emergency number ( 911 ). Un-key, and the voice will read back “Centre County Emergency 911 access” after which the repeater will dial the number. You may also dial ( 2 * 911 ).

Other Emergency Autopatch Numbers

The 85 repeater can dial the following emergency services by entering the 900 series codes as listed. Simply key in the three-digit number to access these services

910 – Huntingdon County Emergency Dispatch Center

911 – Centre County 911 Emergency Dispatch Center

912 – Pennsylvania State Police, Rockview Division

913 - Centre County Non-Emergency police assistance

914 – Penn State Campus Police
For specifics in your area, you may want to do an internet search for repeaters in your area since codes in one area may not necessarily be the same in another one. This would be especially true for the alternate emergency services center access codes.
 

N0IU

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If you personally do not have a cell phone, you would probably be just as well off asking if anyone listening to the repeater has a cell phone and report an emergency. This would be a lot easier than locating a repeater that has a phone patch!
 

w2xq

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I can't think of a repeater around here that still has an autopatch...
 

AgentCOPP1

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I would just like to note that if you are in an emergency, all normal operating procedures are suspended if you or someone else's life is in danger. I mean unless you are just calling 911 to report a buglary or something (non-life threatening) then you don't really need to worry about rules.
 

pb_lonny

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My friend just bought an Android phone for under $50. He can call 911 anywhere from that phone, even if he isn't signed up with a cellular service provider.
This is the way with all mobile phones these days (as far as I am aware)
 

kc4jgc

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And when the dispatcher doesn't realize it's a semi duplex system and talks continuously you will eventually give up and die.
Maybe it's that way in Kansas; here in southeast Virginia the public safety dispatchers know it's semi duplex the moment we say "calling via amateur radio". Of course, the other indication is silence followed by a microphone opening. :p
 

robertmac

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But not everyone has a cell phone. And cell phones do not work ALL the time. And not everyone monitors all the time. Nice to have redundancy built into any system.
 
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DaveNF2G

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I would just like to note that if you are in an emergency, all normal operating procedures are suspended if you or someone else's life is in danger. I mean unless you are just calling 911 to report a buglary or something (non-life threatening) then you don't really need to worry about rules.
Why do people insist on polluting every thread about emergency communications with this garbage? What you say is not correct. At best, it is incomplete. If you intend to use an emergency autopatch on a ham repeater, no matter what the situation, if you cannot give a legitimate callsign for identification, be prepared for a control operator to follow the regulations and shut down the patch.
 

LtDoc

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I was wondering when someone would think/say that. The idea that 'all bet's are off' during an emergency isn't true at all. If anything, things get more strict. An emergency is not a 'free ride'...
- 'Doc
 

Kingmobileaudio

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Keep in mind that the repeater mite not work with 911. We have to call dispatch phone number.

LRC Autopatch

Lincoln Repeater Club Inc.

AUTO PATCH

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when using the auto patch;

This is an open auto patch. This means anyone may use it. Your continued financial support keeps this feature on the air.

The auto patch does not operate between the hours of midnight and 6am. The patch is turned off automatically and there is no means to over-ride the system by a repeater user.

911 calls wont work through the auto patch. In an emergency, you can call the Lincoln Police or Lancaster County Sheriff at 402-441-6000 through the auto patch. The auto patch will allow calls anywhere in the United States by dialing a 10 digit number. In the future, we hope to develop some phone features like 511 for road information.

It is often helpful to tell the person on the other end of the call that you are using an auto patch. If necessary, explain you are using a radio to make the call and that they have to wait until you are done talking in order to hear them.

Our auto patch is limited to a 3 minute call only. You will hear audible warning beeps indicating the call will be disconnected soon. If you do not hang up the call yourself by the end of 3 minutes, your call will be disconnected automatically and may cut off your conversation.

Everything you or the other party says is transmitted over the air and through the repeater for everyone to hear. With this in mind, please be aware of the content of the call. You are responsible to insure there are no obscenities transmitted over the air by the person on the phone. If you feel that this may be a challenge, don't make the call until that person understands the importance of keeping it clean.



For those familiar with auto patch operations, in simple terms; *85 up and # down.



If you are interested in operating the auto patch, the instructions are pretty easy to follow.

Identify your station and indicate you are accessing the auto patch.

Transmit * 8 5 (star eight five) to bring up the auto patch.

The repeater will announce, "Please Identify ".

Please identify your station.

The repeater will pause for a period then announce, "Auto patch ready. Use area code please".

At this point, enter the 10 digit telephone number you wish to dial.

The repeater will then announce, "Please identify".

Please identify your station.

After your party answers, you can then carry on a telephone conversation using your radio.

To end your call, transmit # (pound) to hang up.

The repeater will then announce, "Telephone off [the date and time] patch [patch number] complete".

Identify your station and you are done!
 
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