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Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board
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EMS Radio Project

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Two-way radio communication is the primary means by which the emergency medical services (EMS) system becomes a cohesive, efficiently functioning entity, providing prompt response and an optimum level of care to patients. It allows EMS providers in the field to consult with physicians regarding patient care and to communicate with hospital emergency departments allowing hospital personnel to prepare for the needs of incoming patients. It also provides for communication between EMS units, with dispatch centers, with other public safety providers and from hospital to hospital. Two-way radio will continue to be the backbone of EMS communications.

The Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB)updated the Statewide EMS Radio Communications Plan in 2007. This revision was particularly necessary with the advent of the 800MHz system in the metropolitan area and its planned growth throughout the state. The Plan addresses how to most effectively and efficiently incorporate the planned 800 MHz buildout into the existing UHF/VHF system presently in use in Greater Minnesota. A Communications Work Group, formed by the EMSRB, assisted in overseeing the revision of the 2007 Statewide EMS Radio Communications Plan.

Radio communications in 2012 in Minnesota looks a bit different than it did in 2007 when the “EMS Radio Communications Plan--A Radio Planning Guide for Minnesota EMS & Hospitals” was created. The Statewide Radio Board (SRB) and Department of Public Safety Emergency Communications Networks (ECN) have also matured and made improvements to radio plans and created committees and work groups that did not exist in 2007.

In an effort to eliminate duplication and confusion, the Board will be retiring the EMSRB 2007 EMS Radio Communications Plan and EMS radio users will be directed to the Statewide Radio Board plans. This change is supported by the following language passed during the 2012 legislative session.

Minnesota Statutes §144E.103, subdivision 5, provides in relevant part: Communications Equipment: An ambulance service must be equipped with a two-way radio that is programmed and operating according to the most recent version of the "Statewide Radio Board Shared Radio and Communication Plan"…

Additional information related to the "Statewide Radio Board Shared Communications Plan" is available for download from the links below:

  • 2012 Radio Legislation Letter
  • Two-Way Radio Communication Verification Form
  • Minnesota EMS Communications Plan - 1-26-2012

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