Radio Network

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Radio Network

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La Chamoniarde is in charge of the Mont Blanc Security Alert (SAMB) radio network. It manages subscriptions to the Great Radio Network of the Alps ( Grand Réseau Radio des Alpes).

SAMB SECURITE ALERTE MONT BLANC

SECURITE ALERTE MONT BLANC

In 1985, the SAMB radio network was created by the Chamonix Mountain Rescue Society (SCSM which later changed its name and became La Chamoniarde), in order to facilitate emergency communication between all entities taking part in rescue operations and mountain professionals (ski patrols, PGHM, mountain guides and leaders, helicopter pilots etc.). It is today recognized as an essential communication tool in the field of mountain rescuing in the Mont Blanc range.


As the owner of the network, La Chamoniarde is responsible for the maintenance of signal towers, and manages subscriptions to the network.


The network reception platform is located in the Chamonix PGHM office. A PGHM officer supervises and receives calls to identify each alert caller. It controls access to the network and reduces the risk of communication abuse and nuisance that may occur. 


SAMB signal towers at located at the top of Aiguille du Midi ( Mont Blanc range), on Mont Buet ( Aiguilles Rouge range) and Mont Joly ( Val Montjoie).

Download our Radio network information brochure.

EMERGENCY BEACON

La Chamoniarde officially provides emergency beacons that are implemented in mountain huts for mountaineers and climbers in distress to alert the mountain rescue teams (PGHM or SDIS) during hut closure periods. 

REGISTRATION

SAMB is a radio network for mountain professionals and leisure users. 

To join one must have :

  • A licence from the French radio frequency agency (Agence Nationale des Fréquences). This frequency is used to communicate with other professionals, without using the rescue radio frequency. 
  • Members of the National mountain guide association (SNGM) and independent mountain association members (SIM) must submit a copy of their professional liability insurance (SNGM or SIM card) to be able to use the radio frequency.
  • Certified mountain leaders must submit a professional liability insurance certificate (SNAM or UNAM, or SIM).
  • A type-approved radio.


Yearly membership fee to join the network is 15, 50€ per radio (free for mountain guides who are SNGM or SIM members). 

To register, download and fill out the registration form. Payment and documents must be sent by regular mail to La Chamoniarde, 190 place du Triangle de l’Amitié, 74400 Chamonix.

GRAND RESEAU RADIO DES ALPES /GRA

GRAND RESEAU RADIO DES ALPES

In 2012, 5 great emergency radio networks in the Alps (SAMB, Vanoise, Dauphiné, Oisans and Ecrins,) merged to form the Grand Réseau Radio des Alpes (G.R.A). Membership management was assigned to La Chamoniarde.


G.R.A signal tower Sites e top of Aiguille du Midi ( Mont Blanc range), on Mont Buet ( Aiguilles Rouge range) and Mont Joly ( Val Montjoie).


Download our Radio network information brochure.

REGISTRATION

This emergency radio network is reserved for the use of mountain professionals and individual users. 

Conditions to be able to register:


  • A licence from the French radio frequency agency (Agence Nationale des Fréquences). This frequency is used to communicate with other professionals, outside the rescue radio frequency
  • Members of the National mountain guide association (SNGM) and independent mountain association members (SIM) must submit a copy of their professional liability insurance (SNGM or SIM card). Certified mountain leaders must submit a professional liability insurance certificate (SNAM or UNAM, or SIM).
  • A type-approved radio.


The 2017 membership fee to join the network is 65€ per radio. 

All necessary information to register are available on the G.R.A instructions. 


Download the registration form from our website. Payment form and ust be sent by regular mail to La Chamoniarde , Maison de la Montagne, 190 pl de l’église, 74400 Chamonix. 


Contact the specific network office directly to registre to one or two radio networks (emergency radio network for Mercantour is not included in the G.R.A)

OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

  • S.A.M.B
  • Vanoise
  • Dauphiné
  • Oisans/Ecrins
  • Ubaye


EMERGENCY FREQUENCY/ CANAL E

EMERGENCY FREQUENCY

The Emergency radio frequency covers the Mont Blanc regions of Haute Savoie, Swiss Wallis region and Aosta valley. This inter-connected network despatches emergency calls to rescue central offices in Annecy/Meythet and Chamonix (France) – Sierre (Switzerland) – Aosta (Italy).


Contact the SDIS 74 office directly to join this network. Refer to the “Canal Emergency” brochure.

History

The demand for Radio communication 

The history shows that the increasing number of mountain rescues soon necessitated a specific communication device in order for rescuers to exchange information and coordinate their actions on terrain. The first communication device used an 80 MHz frequency, and was assigned by the French Ministry of Internal Affairs. The 400 MHz remote control station was installed at the top of Aiguille du Midi. Then, a voice dispensing station was transferring alerts through specialized frequencies to the various administration offices (District administration, hospital, fire department). In 1985, the radio installations were destroyed by a fire that occurred in the infrastructures at the top of Aiguille du Midi.


Network implementation

Established in 1987, the Mont Blanc Safety Alert Network (SAMB) started a collaboration with the local company Savoie Electronique . Signal towers were installed at the top of Aiguille du Midi and Grand Montets, along with 9 emergency beacons in the nearby mountain huts. Equipment and operations were financed by the General Board , The local mountain rescue society “Société Chamoniarde de Secours”( S.C.S.M). The district administration of Haute Savoie provided the S.C.S.M with a 150 MHz frequency. Chamonix PGHM , St Gervais, the Drop Zone heli base in Les Bois, the Chamonix and Sallanches hospitals were equipped with radio base stations. A few years later and in order to improve the radio network in the upper area of the Chamonix valley, the Grands Montets signal tower was removed in 1992 and relocated on Mount Buet, just below the peak ( attached to the district of Vallorcine). 


Network broadening

In 1989 the nearby town administration of Val Montjoie financed the radio network broadening, and a signal tower was installed at the top of Mont Joly, complementing the 13 emergency beacons in mountain huts attached to the administration of St Gervais, Les Contamines, Passy and Sallanches. In 1991, the SDIS 74 transmission department took over the network maintenance, in exchange of the equipment ownership, whereas the Société Chamoniarde kept ownership and remained in charge of maintenance operations for the Chamonix valley network.


SAMB – Emergency

At the end of year 2000, the Emergency radio network became fully operational In the Aosta Valley, the Swiss Wallis county and Haute Savoie, thus completing the needs for radio network around the Mont Blanc region. Modifications were made on emergency beacons in mountain huts to allow a dual-frequency transmission, and alert the SAMB- Emergency network. A constructive decision from SDIS 74 handed over the equipment and maintenance assignments of its signal towers and emergency beacons to La Chamoniarde, and granted a 10-year period subsidies to finance the modernize the SAMB radio network. The Emergency alert network aims at covering rescue on the large Haute Savoie district scale, whereas alerts received by the SAMB have dealt with mountain rescue operations in the Mont Blanc range.