Amateur radio operators across the country and world play an important role in emergency communications and assistance during emergency issues. In Michigan we are involved in Amateur Radio Emergency Services, RACES and other state and local activities. On many occassions amateur radio operators have provided needed communications during emergency situations in the state of Michigan. We are activly involved with the Homeland Security, National Weather Service and local emergency entities.
A couple of our primary operating bands for emergency services require antennas to be placed at heights that accomodate terrain as well as other structures. Amateur radio operators place their structures for efficiency. Any local restrictions on antennas, towers etc. also restrict our ability to communicate during emergency situations. The Federal Communications Commission has placed restrictions concerning antenna heights already and we as licensed operators abide by those and all rules placed by the FCC. In some local communities antennas and towers are restricted which depreciates the network of radio operators needed for community, state activity. In some areas people would rather see cell phone towers rather than communications towers. When their power goes down amateur radio is the only means left for communications and operators are their to provide it with efficiency due to proficient tower mounted antenna systems.
Amateur radio operators are a branch of our community services during emergency situations. For any local municipality to restrict its efficiency is not in the best interest of the public when amateur radio is needed. I would hope that other legislators jump on board and support this bill.