The Federal Communications Commission today issued a Report & Order that changes Part 97.113 to allow employees to take part in disaster drills and exercises that involve their employers. That, for example, means our hospital drills are back in business and allows employees of public safety and other organizations to participate in our events. Both government-sponsored and privately-sponsored (ARES, for example) drills are covered by the rule, as amended.
Here is the new wording:
§ 97.113 Prohibited transmissions.
(a) * * *
(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer, with the following exceptions:
(i) A station licensee or control station operator may participate on behalf of an employer in an emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such test or drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are not government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.
That wording works for our purposes and I appreciate the Commission’s relatively speedy action on this important issue.
I have attached a copy of the R&O so you can read the discussion if you like.
Thank you to everyone who supported this important rule change.