Mountains Community Hospital is proud to announce that they have received the gift of a new high-frequency (HF) two-way radio and a new vertical antenna on the roof. This new backup radio system for emergency communications was made possible by donations from the Mountain Top Amateur Radio Association (MTARA).

The system now allows the hospital staff to communicate with other hospitals and state/national agencies via voice and email during emergency periods when the hospital is without internet and phone service. The new communications capability can reach throughout the entire western US and adds to their already operational VHF and UHF radio capability which reaches throughout southern California. The radio system will be operated by County Emergency Communications Service (ECS) volunteers and members of the MTARA, who are licensed by the FCC to operate this advanced equipment.

MTARA and the County Emergency Communications Service (ECS) have provided emergency communications equipment and installation for fire stations in Lake Arrowhead, Crestline, Running Springs and Green Valley Lake, the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station, Rim of the World School District and the Lake Arrowhead Presbyterian Church, which is now an approved Red Cross shelter.

Special thanks to MCH facilities personnel, David Daniels, who spent time on the roof of the hospital, to make some connection changes on the roof, install a bracket, and run a cable into the radio room. As a result of his preparations, local ham operators were able to connect the cables to ensure that MCH is fully connected and capable of communicating with other hospitals in the wake of a disaster.

MCH is now one of the very few hospitals to have this full-suite of intra-hospital and intra-agency communications capability. This significantly helps MCH support the mountain community in a crisis situation. We are grateful to MTARA, ECS and our local ham club at www.MTARA.club, for their donation of this potentially lifesaving equipment.