Why it’s important to be an ARRL member

Yesterday a story broke regarding an Ocala resident who blames issues with her insulin pump on a nearby amateur radio operator. While in this instance the operator has not been a league member for several years, the ARRL is working on this this issue.

There are several lessons to be learned from this:

  • If you’re active, it pays to be an ARRL member! The league can get involved early, and help collapse situations before they get to this point. For example, RFI to medical devices are an issue for the FDA. “The medical device manufacturer is obligated to report it to the FDA as specified at 21 CFR Part 803.” That would have involved the manufacturer, who are likely eager to resolve this issue.
  • Be very CAREFUL when speaking to the press. As an example, if you watch the video, you’ll see the amateur asking why he should lose a hobby that he has enjoyed “half my life” juxtaposed with the complainant saying “I could die.”
  • Be INVOLVED in your community. Give them the opportunity to work things out with you, personally, so YOU can help collapse the situation! Don’t ignore complaints – be proactive!
  • Be AWARE of the FCC mandated RF Exposure requirements and BE ABLE TO PRODUCE the calculations for your own station. Check out http://www.arrl.org/rf-exposure and use the references there and GET HELP from the ARRL Field Organization if you need.

There will be further updates on this, but I’d suggest we all keep apprised of what’s going on, and if your membership isn’t current, this would be an excellent time to renew. If you’re a new ham, there’s never been a better time to join!