Requests for Medical Treatment, and Accidents or Illnesses Requiring Medical Attention are normally the most important Radio Traffic on GOBA.

Bicyclists on GOBA are accustomed to seeing amateur radio volunteers on GOBA.  Most know to report an accident or other medical emergency to the nearest radio operator.   Amateur radio operators who receive such a report, or who observe an ill or injured rider should contact net control to request a response from the GOBA medical crew.  A good location report is essential.  However, amateur radio operators working on GOBA should not normally leave their assigned location unless advised to do so by the net control station.

In reporting a medical emergency, amateur radio operators should use whatever operating procedures are established by the net control operator for reporting a medical emergency.   In case of doubt, your call sign and the word “medical” will usually alert the net control station that you have a medical emergency to report.

It is sometimes critical to obtain and report accurate information about the medical situation in order to assure a prompt and appropriate response from the Ambulances that accompany GOBA.  Wherever possible the following information should be ascertained:

Information Needed: When reporting a “Medical” please do not just report “rider down” when calling for support. Many riders who “go down” will often shake it off and return to their ride so it helps to know the rider is truly in need of medical care. The responding crews need to have as much information about the emergency as possible. This helps them run through treatment protocols for that type of emergency on their way to the scene and to know what equipment will be immediately needed upon their arrival.

In addition to supplying an exact location and rider number, is the rider
1. an adult or a child?
2. responsive or unresponsive?
3. breathing or not breathing?
4. experiencing serious bleeding?
5. injured about the head, chest or abdomen?
6. injured about the arms or legs?

IMPORTANT: To comply with new privacy laws, the rider’s name can be obtained, but DO NOT TRANSMIT it over the air. Give the rider number only. Responding ambulance crews and key GOBA staff have rider lists that can be used to find the name for contacting family members, receiving hospital, etc.

Amateur radio operators will learn of GOBA riders needing medical attention in several ways:

Ill or Injured Riders sometimes approach Amateur Radio Operators directly with a request for treatment.
GOBA riders will report an Ill or Injured Rider to an Amateur Radio Operator and request that aid be provided
Bicycle Mobile Amateur Radio operators who are unable to hit the repeater will transmit information about a medical emergency on the repeater output and ask that the traffic be relayed to net control by a ham who is able to reach the repeater or otherwise make a report to net control.  In areas of weak repeater coverage, local amateur radio operators may be asked to listen on the repeater “input” for bike mobile stations attempting to hit the repeater.
Sometimes Amateur Radio Volunteers will observe an incident
in which a GOBA rider is injured, or will notice a GOBA rider who is


REMEMBER: Most Amateur Radio Operators who are not trained medical professionals should not attempt to evaluate the medical condition of an ill or injured rider. Instead, they should report available information about the rider to Net Control and attempt to respond to any questions posed by the EMTs in the squad while they are traveling to the location of the rider requiring attention.

In reporting a medical situation on GOBA hams should call net control and indicate that they are reporting a situation requiring medical attention: E.g., “W8HI MEDICAL”.

Net Control will normally give the highest priority to a report of an ill or injured rider. Amateurs with other traffic should standby until the ambulance has responded to the site of the rider in trouble and provided net control with a report of the disposition of the situation.


You should also know that volunteer Doctors and Nurses, riding on GOBA as part of their vacations, conduct a free medical clinic each morning and afternoon in Camp, at the Medical Mobile Camper, at times posted. Riders receiving treatment from a squad, but not in need of transport to a hospital, are frequently instructed to report to this clinic for follow-up treatment.

Original content by Jeff Ferriell, K8ZDA.
Revised by Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ.