Belgium Emergency Amateur Radio Service is part of the UBA and consists of more than 300 members throughout Belgium who wish to serve their fellow citizens with their passion and knowledge of radio.
The predecessor of B-EARS, the "Emergency Radio Network", had been in operation at the request of the Red Cross since 1962. It became B-EARS in 2009 and has expanded thanks to the new possibilities offered by the legislation applicable to radio amateurs.
This also immediately explains the purpose of BEARS: to provide a basic radio communication service to and only at the request of official agencies, if their general communication is no longer available for any reason.
In addition, we set up a directed radio network with a network manager: NET CONTROL from a central point, such as a Crisis Center or an OPerational Command Post.
To make and maintain a deployable organization, it is necessary for B-EARS members to train. They also need to stay informed about how their partners (health care providers, firefighters, police, civil protection, ...) communicate and work together.
The transmission of messages is done in a formal and standardized way to exclude as much as possible maximum misunderstandings.
There are different procedures to establish communication and operation with our equipment and knowledge.
This is why we offer training courses that, in many cases, can also be taken online, interactively and at your own pace. In addition, we regularly organize exercises at provincial or national level, with or without our partners.
The organization of B-EARS is structured on the basis of the organization by province and region in the image of the organization of our country.
And that too: What has been mentioned above applies in Belgium, but also proves its usefulness in case of natural disasters abroad, in which Belgian amateurs (from Belgium) act as intermediaries in a larger international group via the EMergency COMMunication IARU. Radio amateurs often provide the first vital communication to and from the affected areas so that human lives can be saved.
The basic form is analog telephony in FM simplex or by repeater.
In addition, we also use digital modes such as DMR and WINLINK.
Shortwave SSB, FT8 and even satellite connection satellite connection via QO100 can be used for long distance long distance connections.
After more than 40 years, a refurbishment of this agreement became necessary because in the meantime our society, telecommunications and regulations have evolved. Among others, we can mention the following. The federalization of Belgium: The national Belgian Red Cross has been federalized, now there are two entities, the "Het Rode Kruis Vlaanderen", the Belgian Red Cross - French-speaking Community, each of them assuming their own territory. They are now two autonomous organizations. Regulations concerning amateur radio: the legislation concerning the use of transmitting devices has also strongly evolved, including the new law of 1979, modified by many Royal Decrees. Among which, emergency communications are mentioned. In 2006, a Royal Decree modified the emergency and intervention plans so that the municipalities and the provincial authorities ensure these. All of this has meant that emergency communications have had to be updated.
UBA members interested in this kind of activity can volunteer with B-EARS, the Belgian Emergency Amateur Radio Service.
B-EARS wants to be the successor of the Emergency Network by working with other actors.
For this reason, collaboration with the authorities in accordance with the new structures of the Belgian State, both federal and regional and community, is privileged.
In this context, the role of the Governor of each Province and of his Security Office including a representative of each discipline (D1 to D5) as well as his Emergency Planner is privileged because, the latter is better able to appreciate at its true value what radio amateurs like us within the B-EARS can bring.
The technical skills and know-how of radio amateurs in crisis situations are then appreciated at their true value.