GMRS Operator Services

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An Open Letter to the Emergency Management Departments of the Several States of the United States - Draft Document

The GMRS Emergency Radio Channel, Frequency, and Privacy Code

The defacto standard for the emergency channel on GMRS is channel 20, 462.675 MHz, using CTCSS 141.3 Hz. This is supported by various web citations, such as:

Personal Radio Services

The Family Radio Service radio usage has become ubiquitous and the license fee for the General Mobile Radio Services, during April 2022, dropped to $35.00 dollars for ten years. Any member of any community should be able to call for help using a FRS radio without license, and any local GMRS radio operator should be able to call the city fire department or the county sheriff for help.

General Mobile Radio Service

The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a land-mobile FM UHF radio service designed for short-distance two-way communication and authorized under part 95 of 47 USC. It requires a license in the United States, but some GMRS compatible equipment can be used license-free in Canada. The US GMRS license is issued for a period of 10 years by the FCC. The United States permits use by adult individuals who possess a valid GMRS license, as well as their immediate family members.[a] Immediate relatives of the GMRS system licensee are entitled to communicate among themselves for personal or business[1] purposes, but employees of the licensee who are not family members are not covered by the license. Non-family members must be licensed separately. GMRS radios are typically handheld portable devices much like Family Radio Service (FRS) radios, and they share a frequency band with FRS near 462 and 467 MHz.

Longer Range Communications
Mobile and base station-style radios are available as well. These are legal for use in this service as long as they are certified for GMRS under USC 47 Part 95. GMRS licensees are allowed to establish repeaters to extend their communications range. GMRS repeaters are permitted to be linked with other GMRS repeaters.

Sharing with FRS

All 22 Family Radio Service (FRS) frequencies are shared with GMRS, and users of the two services may communicate with each other. With the exception of FRS channels 8 through 14, GMRS licensees may use higher power radios with detachable or external antennas.

Communications Chain of Command and Control

  1. Area EMS Departments should have LMRS radio communications with County Sheriff Department.
  2. City Fire Departments should have LMRS radio communications with County Sheriff Department.
  3. County Sheriff Department should have LMRS Stations monitoring an established Frequency shared with a Radio Amateur Frequency.
  4. Radio Amateurs should have GMRS Base Stations monitoring GMRS channel 20.
  5. Each City should have one central GMRS channel 20 repeater mounted on a high tower.
  6. Cities have citizens with GMRS Licenses who own base stations, mobile, and HT units.
    Many citizens desire access to GMRS repeaters but can not afford to construct one.
  7. Cities have citizens with FRS handheld walkie-talkies that can communicate with GMRS stations.

Proposed Plan for the States

The Various States should fund rural counties and cities:
to build GMRS Base Stations at each Fire Department;
to build GMRS Repeaters in each city;
and publish a state-wide emergency communications plan for winter storms when the power and telephones are down;
and funding for emergency backup power for base stations and repeaters.
And publish information on construction of small backup systems for individuals.

Citizens Call to Action

Citizens should write their city mayor or their county judge, and ask for implementation of this emergency communications plan. For your use in the letter you can copy and paste the following link: