Rules for the use of the  SCHEART System

The mission of the SCHEART system is to provide an auxiliary communication path for licensed amateur radio operators to support hospitals, county emergency management officials and state agencies during emergencies. It is available to amateur radio operators for legal operation within the FCC Part 97 Rules and Regulations when it is not being used for emergencies or officially sanctioned activities. 

The following rules apply, in all instances. 

  1. Only people with a current FCC Amateur Radio License may use the SCHEART system.
  2. At all times, FCC rules regarding repeater usage will be followed, such as station identification, non-interference, allowed communications and other requirements.
  3. Official use of the networks in support of the South Carolina healthcare system and state and local emergency operations will ALWAYS take precedence over  routine amateur communications.
  4. All operators will stand down for Emergency communications.
  5. During emergencies, only stations responding to the emergency or stations assisting those responding should use the system.
  6. Any use of the SCHEART system or individual repeaters for networks (Controlled Nets) must be approved in advance. Fill out a Contact Us form to make requests. This includes local events where the SCHEART repeater will be used to facilitate communications. Requests for use of a repeater for nets not directly supporting the SCHEART system mission will not be approved. See Policy For the Use of SCHEART System below.
  7. Because the primary mission is emergency communications, keep all transmissions short, no more than 2-3 minutes per transmission so that a breaking station can be heard. 
  8. Always stand by for a breaking station in case it involves an emergency communication. 
  9. Stations should pause for 3-4 seconds after each transmission to allow for urgent traffic to be recognized.
  10. Digital communications, like APRS, may NEVER be used on the SCHEART system at any time unless approved by the Trustee. 
  11. Selling ham equipment is allowed as long as it’s not done on a regular basis or as a business. Selling items OTHER than amateur radio related equipment is not permitted.
  12. Be polite! Do not use any obscene, indecent or profane language at any time. Avoid discussions of questionable subjects including topics such as politics, sex, and religion.
  13. If you encounter any technical issues, you may submit a Trouble Ticket and the issue will be reviewed by the technical staff. Please include as much detail as you can about the issue – date/time it occurred, what happened, which repeater(s) were involved, etc. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for the engineers to investigate and resolve the issue. 

Any violation of the above rules may result in a permanent disqualification from the use of the SCHEART system. Violations of FCC Rules & Regulations may result in a referral to the proper authorities. Also note that there are South Carolina laws regarding interfering with official or emergency communications, which may be criminally punishable.

Policy for the Use of SCHEART System

The SCHEART System was established to support communications between South Carolina Healthcare facilities and County/State Emergency Management organizations. These organizations will always have priority for use of the System. Organizations which are supporting communications in the interest of public safety may be allowed to use individual repeaters to support a specific mission, like the Charleston or Aiken bike rides, if prior authorization is given. Communication for these events provide training opportunities and help assist public safety agencies in safe movement of participants. Requests for use of a repeater for nets not directly supporting emergency operations will not be approved. 

Statewide nets other than the Thursday Healthcare and the Sunday ARES nets are not allowed. When the state ARES/RACES tactical guide was developed, counties were told not to select any of the SCHEART linking repeaters for their local nets. This was to ensure there would not be a conflict when the state needed link the repeater to the statewide system which would conflict with any local traffic. 

If there are any questions about the Policy or for requests, use the Contact Form.