The Hospital Radio Network (HRN) is a group of Oklahoma amateur radio operators that work to link Oklahoma Hospitals using amateur radio (hams). The hams can design, and build technical systems to connect local hospitals to our infrastructure. While they bring radios, headsets, and connection tools, the most important part of our service is the amateur radio operator. These people hail from various professions and are trained and skilled critical thinkers used to solving problems on the fly. They tend to work well with others and can capitalize on the group’s strengths to keep moving forward.
The HRN has a number of programs that can be used at hospitals to solve the communications needs of each facility.
The first entry to the HRN is usually our voice network. This voice network is used during times of need and is tested on a monthly basis. Participating amateur radio operators can either staff an existing radio station at a given hospital, or bring their own “Go-Kits” to operate from the parking lot of a hospital without any permanent station.
Typically hospitals provide the operators with a radio or other communications method for the ham to communicate with the hospitals. Hospitals can provide a working amateur radio station, or provide roof-top access for our teams to install connections for a “Go-Kit” or a system in the hospital.
Winlink Email System / National Traffic System (NTS)
To expand the reach of the voice network across the whole state of Oklahoma, or to interface with contacts around the globe, HRN members can send and receive messages using the Winlink email system. This digital network lets hams pass messages between hospitals in the state, or connect a hospital to another resource using the public email network; without access to the local Internet. Local connections to the Winlink system are made using AREDN, VHF, or HF connections.
Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN)
The Oklahoma Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) has nodes throughout central Oklahoma that hospitals use to pass digital traffic in this closed network. Hospitals provide space on their roofs for us to make direct connections to this network. This network has the ability to pass data via ethernet that can be used to send messages, emails, voice, video, and more. Currently, this network has dedicated servers providing web servers, file transfer servers (FTP), email, voice telephones (PBX), fax telephones (PBX), direct messaging (Team Talk 5), Winlink, airplane flight tracking (Flight Aware), and more.
Amateur radio operators get involved with HRN to practice their communications skills and test out their gear. This project is also a great way for hams to provide a service back to the community in a time of need.
Hospitals use this service to enhance their emergency communication preparations.
- While we tend to think of emergencies such as tornados, floods, fires, and other natural disasters, simple telecommunications failures can also cause the daily routine to be upset.
- Hospitals also have multiple campuses and lost communication between these properties could result in chaos for a single hospital.
- Catastrophes that involve a widespread event would require multiple hospitals to coordinate incoming patients with area first responders.
- Even larger events would require communication between local hospitals and state, or federal partners.
- Hospitals that need to evacuate due to weather, mechanical failure, or any other reason can use our teams to provide communications between the main site, the bugout site, and places in between.
- And other cases as they appear…
Hospitals – Get Involved
If you are an Oklahoma-based hospital worker and would like to learn how you can integrate your hospital into the HRN, please contact Lavone Anderson KG5GWO via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amateur Radio Operators – Get Involved
If you are an Oklahoma-based amateur radio operator and would like to learn how you can get involved with the HRN to activate your local hospital, please contact Lavone Anderson KG5GWO via email at email@example.com. We are looking for all types of volunteers. We need technical people to design, build, or remodel stations in hospitals. We need operators that can perform the net control duties during the monthly tests and throughout a time of need. We need operators that are willing to travel to hospitals to staff their stations. And, we need hams to deploy with their “Go-Kits” to hospitals that don’t have a permanent station.
2022 Presentation Video
Hospitals Expressing Interest
- Saints (15 facilities)
- Mercy (Multiple locations)
- Region 3 MRC (23 hospitals in the Southwestern quarter of the state)
- J. D. McCarty Center
- Norman (three locations)
Oklahoma “tested” AREDN Parts List
Here’s a link to a Word document that has pieces and parts that we have used on the Oklahoma AREDN network.