QRZ Logbook

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why call for "emergency traffic"?

There are all sorts of nets on local repeaters, from SKYWARN nets to formal traffic nets to roundtable BS sessions.

I've called all sorts of nets since I got my ticket. One of the first net's I ever called was a technical net on English Mountain's 146.730 repeater in the mid-90s. From there I got to calling some of the nets on the Radio Amateur Club of Knoxville's (RACK) repeater, then I was calling nets for the local ARES/RACES group, then for yet another now-defunct radio club (a midnight "night owl net"), and all of this was at the same time!!! And then I began calling nets for SKYWARN.

One thing was always constant, with the exception of the SKYWARN nets, and that was all the other nets I was calling had the call for emergency traffic at the beginning of the net (also known as the preamble).

For example, this would be the beginning of a preamble used for a typical net on any given repeater in the area:
Calling the (NET NAME) net.
Calling the (NET NAME) net.
This is (YOUR NAME) in (LOCATION) and I'll be the net control for tonight's net.
This net meets every (DAY OF WEEK) at

Now, this is going to sound like me being a grammar nazi, but over the last few years I began to ponder the need for asking for emergency traffic. I mean, seriously, if there's an emergency, who's going to wait around until it's asked for? And when is an emergency ever scheduled for that particular time of the net???

And if there was a bona fide emergency, who's going to tell them "wait until emergency traffic is called for!"?

Again, seriously, if there's a legitimate emergency, you stop what you're doing (unless you're already calling an emergency net) and take that traffic first priority.

If I were still calling non-emergency nets (or really any nets for that matter, as I haven't called a SKYWARN net in any official capacity in about 4 years) I would say this for my preamble:
Calling the (NET NAME) net.
This is (YOUR NAME) in (LOCATION) and I'll be the net control for tonight's net.
This net meets every (DAY OF WEEK) at (TIME) on the (REPEATER NAME/FREQUENCY).

If there is any emergency traffic during this net, please alert the net control with your callsign and announce the word "Break" twice, at which time all net activity will be suspended in order to handle the emergency traffic.

That should suffice, don't you think?