Emer­gency chan­nels

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

MOST driv­ers on the road knows the im­por­tance of keep­ing clear emer­gency chan­nels. such as 35.

Usu­ally it’s the grey no­mads clog­ging the air­waves but this can have dire con­se­quences.

Vol­un­teer group SEQuest is po­litely call­ing on all driv­ers to be mind­ful of which UHF chan­nels they find them­selves on.

Founder Shane Barnes said the pri­mary job of the group was keep an ear open to catch any emer­gency calls com­ing from land or sea.

“We find some driv­ers on chan­nel 40 who want to carry on a con­ver­sa­tion tend to drop down to UHF chan­nel 35,” he said.

“Most peo­ple aren’t aware and find them­selves on it by ac­ci­dent but it is the emer­gency chan­nel which means they are also talk­ing onto chan­nel 5, jam­ming the re­peaters.

While fix­ing the is­sue is all about ed­u­ca­tion, the fines for clog­ging an emer­gency chan­nel can be pretty hefty.

Us­ing emer­gency chan­nel for non-emer­gency pur­poses can lead to a fine of up to $165,000 or two years im­pris­on­ment un­der the Ra­dio Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Act.

In­ter­fer­ence in an emer­gency call it­self can lead to a max­i­mum penalty of five years im­pris­on­ment or $550,000.

So steer clear of the chan­nels and help SEQuest help you.

Shane, who has been in the emer­gency ser­vices for years, founded the group in 2009.

He and his team of 15 vol­un­teers are lo­cated through­out Queens­land cov­er­ing key ar­eas along ma­jor high­ways, to keep watch over the air­waves and alert the au­thor­i­ties to any calls for as­sis­tance.

“We have had calls for trucks that have caught fire, break­downs on ma­jor roads, we once had a call up about a lady giv­ing birth on the side of the road,” Shane said.

PHOTO: SEQUEST FACE­BOOK

CHAN­NEL OPEN: SEQuest is a vol­un­teer group keep­ing an ear open for emer­gen­cies.

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