The American Red Cross had decided to phase out its Emergency Communications Response Vehicles (ECRVs) that have been a ubiquitous part of its presence at the scene of major disasters over the past decade. According to the ARRL, the move is part of a long-term strategy to move toward more portable communications systems that will be able to be used in any vehicle.
|(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)|
The League says the Red Cross has assured it that the move will in no way decrease its reliance on amateur radio and amateur radio operators as part of its disaster response. It quoted Red Cross Disaster Services Technology Manager Keith Robertory, KG4UIR, as noting that, "(i)n a disaster, amateur radio will be the fastest-deployed radio network because operators already live in the impacted communities." He says local Red Cross chapters should continue and improve existing relationships with local hams.