Barrett Supplies HF Equipment to Medical Service in Chile
Monday, October 14, 2019 | Comments

Barrett Communications supplied a contract to the Urgent Medical Attention Service in Chile to strengthen and secure communications between hospitals and ambulances in the Aysen region.

In December 2017, the town of Villa Santa Lucia in Patagonia, Chile, was hit by a mudslide that enveloped one-third of the town. The Barrett-authorized dealer in Chile, Skytel Telecomunicaciones, quickly assisted the local Urgent Medical Attention Service (SAMU).

Skytel equipped two ambulances with Barrett high-frequency (HF) radio communications equipment as part of the team deployed to Villa Santa Lucia. SAMU recognized the benefits of HF radio communications in these remote locations and determined to upgrade its network to include additional HF systems.

“One of the major challenges faced by SAMU was that as soon as their ambulances left a major town, their existing communications systems could not be used,” said Diego Del Gallego, Barrett Communications operations manager – Latin America. “HF now enables them to maintain communications along the entire journey, which, in some cases, can be covering many hundreds of kilometers.”

The HF network provided by Barrett covers the remote and isolated region of Aysen, which extends across 100,000 square kilometers, and the SAMU system maintains communications between the fleet of 15 ambulances, two regional hospitals and the major Health Ministry office in Chile’s capital city, Santiago.

The Barrett HF transceiver, in mobile vehicle configuration, together with its auto-tuning antenna, was integrated into the entire ambulance fleet. The HF base station was installed in the hospital and in the Santiago office. The HF base stations have been loaded with the HF email system and vehicle tracking software. This enables voice, email and data communications coverage and real-time tracking of the ambulance team by office radio operators. The technology includes digital voice and automatic link establishment (ALE) options that automate many of the radio functions.

“The station in Santiago is of great importance in the coordination of emergency relief efforts, as in the Santa Lucia mudslide, where in the future, the Santiago station will be used to monitor and provide communications when overseeing the entire emergency plan across the region,” said Del Gallego.

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