Thursday 11th May meeting: Emergency Services Communications – a perspective from recent history


Peter Butcher is with us on Thursday 11th May for the next club meeting.
Venue: Woodford Park, Woodley as usual.

In his own words:

“Communications between the Emergency Services, Police, Fire and
Ambulance have always been a problem. Complete inter-operability has been an elusive goal since the 1960s, so what has changed?
Three disasters; The East Coast Floods, the Isle of Wight Air Crash and Lockerbie prompted the Home office to take action and a set of
frequencies was allocated for the Emergency Services to allow
inter-operable communications. Planning rules were established and the question arose as to how many radio sites would be needed for a network to cover England and Wales.

A contract was awarded to Racal Radio in 1993 to calculate that number and I worked on that report as a Consultant, having recently retired from the Racal Radio Group.

The paper describes that work in detail, showing how time consuming and difficult propagation predictions were in those days and how two
different methods; manual calculation and early computer-aided
prediction gave sensibly the same results.
How that information was used and where we are now gives an interesting insight to government. After some long winded correspondence, the Home Office gave me permission to re-publish my historic report and added their version of today’s position.
Basically this paper is an historic archive of how things were and how
much, or little, things have changed!
Peter Butcher.
April 2017”

A big thankyou to George M0GXB for helping organise this one.

Refreshments to be served – or perhaps more accurately to be made
available. Audience participation may be required to make them happen.
There will be many, many biscuits. Some of them in date.

Looking forward to seeing you there.