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[aprssig] Emergency Locate: Avoid putting "EMERGENCY" (all caps) in beacons please!

Andrew P. andrewemt at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 10 05:10:20 UTC 2012


Thanks for mentioning this, Curt. YAAC also recognizes the string "EMERGENCY" and puts a flashing pointer around the reporting station, and it beeps, too. I've seen quite a few stations reporting bogus emergencies for no apparent reason. Thankfully, the local guy in my area who forwards emergency response reports as APRS objects carefully mangles the spelling of "emergency" to keep from tripping those alarms.

However, it does appear that a few people use emergency status in Mic-E position reports, again without any apparent reason. Please only do that if it is a real emergency, and try to provide some info about the emergency if at all possible, to aid responders.

Andrew Pavlin, KA2DDO
author of YAAC
------Original Message------
From: Curt WE7U
To: aprssig at tapr.org
Sent: Dec 9, 2012 11:37 PM
Subject: [aprssig] Emergency Locate: Avoid putting "EMERGENCY" (all caps) in beacons please!



This occurs periodically, someone putting the string "EMERGENCY" into their APRS beacon.  I saw another one today.

Here's a comment section straight out of the Xastir sources:

-------------------------------------------
   // Check for "EMERGENCY" anywhere in the line.
   // APRS+SA also supports any of these in the TO: field:
   //
   //      EMERGENCY
   //      ALARM
   //      ALERT
   //      WARNING
   //      WXALARM
   //      EM
-------------------------------------------

Though the comment doesn't say so explicity, Xastir's code checks for the other named strings in the TO fields just like APRS+SA does.

The end result is:  If you put the string "EMERGENCY" in all caps in your APRS packets, loads of Xastir and APRS+SA stations will center the map on your location.  Some of those may try to get you some help, via hams or via emergency vehicles.

The one today caused me to send a message to the NWAPRS list today to get some help for a ham down in Oregon.  Luckily it wasn't needed, but I'd rather send help unnecessarily than miss sending it when needed.

Please use mixed or lower-case if putting the word "EMERGENCY" into your beacons.  Thanks!

-- 
Curt, WE7U.        http://wetnet.net/~we7u
Closed-minded about open (-source)...

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