NNY Hospital and Emergency Net

The purpose of the NNYHEN is to provide alternate communication paths and modes among North Country Hospitals and Emergency Operations Centers. Many hospitals have included the NNYHEN in their emergency preparedness plans. A preparedness drill for the NNYHEN is held at 6:15 PM the first Tuesday in January, April, July, and October on the Whiteface repeater (Frequency 145.110 MHz, PL 100.0).

During the net a formal message is sent to Hospital Emergency Coordinators or their designee using the latest Radiogram Form. The NNYHEN uses both voice and digital message formats. All stations are requested to write down the message, to deliver it as addressed, and to request acknowledgment of the delivery by the addressee. The message can be delivered in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, hand delivery, telephone, or e-mail. Other message formats are available including the ICS and HICS forms.

Individual radio operators have dedicated assignments at each hospital amateur radio station and are responsible for maintaining a working relationship with their hospital and the local EOC. In the event of an emergency situation where communications are disrupted, RACES/ARES radio operators are prepared to provide reliable radio communications between hospitals, county officials, and emergency sites. When the NNYHEN system is activated RACES/ARES volunteers would be called to manage communications to meet the individual needs of your hospital.

Net History

During the 1998 ice storm, communications were crippled in the North Country of New York and Vermont. Several local ham radio operators from the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) collaborated with their county officials to help maintain essential contact in places where communications were needed. Hospitals and county Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) were the focus of this assistance. The effort was so successful a permanent relationship was established between St. Lawrence County Emergency Services and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service/ Amateur Radio Emergency Service (RACES/ARES) radio operators.

The local RACES/ARES operators in St. Lawrence County reached out to their counterparts in neighboring counties and formed a communications network for the North Country. The effort grew into an area beyond St Lawrence County and now includes much of Northern New York and Burlington VT. We provide emergency communications for North Country hospitals and EOCs.

The benefit of the Northern New York Hospital and Emergency Net (NNYHEN) resulted in numerous grants for funding over the years which allowed us to purchase a variety of necessary equipment. Each hospital has an on-site VHF radio and antenna. Digital communications require a computer.

The NNYHEN involves stations from Burlington Vermont and the northern counties of New York. The owners and operators of the Whiteface Mountain VHF Repeater agreed to the use of their repeater to transmit over a large area. Today there are 16 stations that actively participate in the NNYHEN which operates quarterly to train operators and test the functionality of the system.

Location Roster

Location Facility County
Burlington, VT UVM Medical Center Chittenden
Plattsburgh, NY Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Clinton
Elizabethtown, NY Elizabethtown Community Hospital Essex
Lake Placid, NY Adirondack Medical Center Essex
Lake Placid, NY Elderwood Care Center Essex
Saranac Lake, NY Adirondack Medical Center Franklin
Malone, NY Alice Hyde Medical Center Franklin
Tupper Lake, NY AMC - Mercy Skilled Nursing Facility Franklin
Massena, NY Massena Memorial Hospital St Lawrence
Potsdam, NY Canton-Potsdam Hospital St Lawrence
Gouverneur, NY Gouverneur Hospital St Lawrence
Ogdensburg, NY Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center St Lawrence
Plattsburgh, NY Clinton County EOC Clinton
Lewis, NY Essex County EOC Essex
Malone, NY Franklin County EOC Franklin
Canton, NY St. Lawrence County EOC St Lawrence