Two Children Caught With Radios In Catskills Interfering With Hatzolah Life Saving


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Two children were busted with radios in the Catskills on Sunday, after they were interfering with Hatzolah emergency operations.

The two children were in possession of radios which are manufactured in China, and cost as little as $30. They were interfering with Hatzolah for the past two weeks in the Woodridge area, until they were tracked down by Hatzolah members. They immediately had their radios confiscated.

YWN spoke with Catskills Hatzalah who said there will be a zero-tolerance for this totally reckless behavior.

“We are pleading with parents to confiscate ALL radios with Hatzolah frequencies from children, and imploring parents not to buy these devices for them. This is Pikuach Nefashos, and this will not be tolerated whatsoever”, a Catskills Hatzalah Coordinator told YWN.

Sources confirm to YWN that the FCC has recently been notified about this issue, following multiple reports of interference in Lakewood, NY, Monsey, Kiryas Joel and other areas. Federal law prohibits radio broadcasts without a license issued by the FCC. Anyone found operating a radio station without FCC authorization can be subject to a variety of enforcement actions, including seizure of equipment, fines and other criminal penalties including arrest.

Authorized exceptions

Years ago, radio communication equipment was very expensive, with Hatzolah radios costing in the range of $1000 – $2000 per radio. Thanks to electronics made in China, radios capable of transmitting on every frequency – including that of Hatzolah – can now be purchased for as low as $30! Children who once upon a time had “scanners”, now have devices capable of transmitting over the Hatzolah radio frequency. This has already caused interference during life threatening emergencies when members on scenes have been unable to communicate with their dispatcher to relay vital information in which seconds can make a difference in saving a life.

(Chaim Shapiro – YWN)


  1. Given the potential risk to life, it is unclear why the parents haven’t been charged in these cases to make an example and establish a strong deterrence. Everyone know it is a violation of federal law under the FCC regulations to interfere with radio communications of first responders with violators subject to five years in prison and fines in excess of $100,000. The local police and Hatzalah need to work closely with FCC authorities to publicly expose the offenders and prosecute them (to the extent juvenile laws allow charging parents). Otherwise, this could become a more widespread and tragic game risking yidden and the public at large.

  2. “Thanks to electronics made in CHINA, radios capable of transmitting on every frequency – including that of Hatzolah – can now be purchased for as low as $30!”

    Is Yeshiva World a supporter of China?

  3. This is not a NEW issue. There were several indiviiduals indicted over the past several years for attempting to disrupt police communications during periods of civil unrest. There have also been indictments under a different statute for interfering with radio communications between air traffic controllers and planes in the air. Enforcement has been mixed at best and the relevant agencies are often understaffed or politically unwilling to pursue violations with a local U.S. attorney.

  4. GH: Under what provisions of the law do you want to prosecute the parents? Please state the law you think the parent is violating to be charged under.

  5. To iacisramma:

    Most STATES have parental liability laws under which parents can be held liable under both civil and criminal laws for the actions of their children until the “age of majority”, typically 18 years. As you will note, I caveated my posting by saying that given this is FEDERAL offense, to the extent federal laws allow holding parents liable for the actiions of a juvenile child. I really don’t know how the federal/FCC laws could be applied here but hopefully they would. Otherwise, this could become a real problem with little recourse for federal prosecutors other than to try to charge children as adults (again, I’m not if this could be done).

  6. As a Ham radio opperater i am conserned that a emergency service are using a band that is used by Ham operaters also part of the band is used for GMRS between 462.5625 and 467.7250 in fact the FCC should be looking at the EMS radios to see if they are out of frequentys

  7. @dark113 – You are no Ham radio operator. You lie like a rug.

    Any Ham knows that the “2 meter” amateur radio band is a portion of the VHF (very high frequency) Spectrum, comprising of frequencies stretching from 144.000 MHz to 148.000 MHz.

    Hatzolah is in the 160.000 range. If anything…. it is used for transit.

    Why the need to fabricate?

    Besides, Hatzolah has a license on this frequency for many decades. Don’t you think teh FCC knows just a tad better than you? maybe?

    Go eat you ham. Faker.

  8. “They were interfering with Hatzolah for the past two weeks in the Woodridge area, until they were tracked down by Hatzolah members.”

    TWO WEEKS? Why is it suddenly a news story when they can report they caught 2 kids and had the radios confiscated? A warning about the use of such radios should have been issued 2 weeks ago.

  9. FNA, you may be right or wrong, I am clueless about such things. But is it really necessary to be so rude? Your anger is out of control, is it because you can take out other frustrations on anonymous posters while hiding behind a nom de plume?

    Who are the kids here? Can we please disagree & debate respectfully?


  10. Such interference I 1st became involved in during the Detroit Race Riots in 1967. at that time, the Federal government was not allowed to use volunteers. Military however was another matter. That somewhat changed with regard to Amateur radio frequencies, however it ends there. By allocation of the frequency the FCC cannot use trained Amateur Auxiliary volunteers EXCEPT on their frequencies. As they are self policing. Without astounding you with facts that only an Einstein would understand. 3 things impede catching someone that interferes with public safety communications such as this.. #1 VHF-UHF is line of site. It takes time to get military satellites into position and available for radio direction finding. They can easily track a signal to 2-3 feet. #2. the violator must be transmitting illegally at the time. #3 once a position is determined, Federal law enforcement has to physically go to that location and inspect etc.. Logistically that can be a problem if the signal is for instance, moving on a highway. Sometimes interference is NOT malicious, but accidental.. Like a sparking sodium vapor street light. The last president during his 8 tear term, has cut the budget and man power that resolve these issues. I recall 50% of the manpower gone now. By law, a local cop, state trooper or even the FBI cannot investigate these infractions but only the FCC- sole jurisdiction in these matters. That includes those goofy Ham Radio operators, that some astound scientists at MIT with their creativity and knowledge. Finally, there are counter measures any active para-emergency group can take of which I will not divulge, as neither would they. -Loose lips sinks ships thing…

  11. I recall a similar problem in Lakewood several years ago where Hatzallah confiscated the radios from the kids and returned them to the parents (most of whom were clueless about FCC rules) and used the return of the radios as a “teaching moment” about the risks. The word got around quickly but perhaps there needs to be some higher level education through the schools and mosdos.

  12. have they not heard of tone squelch or ctcss . how stupid. or were the radio set up with the tone in thenm. there is a lot more to this than is being told.

  13. Coffee_addict, yes, these broad-spectrum devices can interfere with police frequencies too. It’s illegal, of course, and if you get caught you can get in big trouble, but physically there’s no way to prevent it.

    ygr and Joseph: Digital, spread spectrum, encryption, all of these things provide security so people listening on the frequency won’t hear any secret information, but they don’t prevent interference. If some kid is broadcasting on the frequency all you can do is find him and arrest him, you can’t prevent it from happening.

  14. Those $30 radio’s are just that.. simply put even thought they are 2 radio bands, and cover thousands of frequencies. There are other bands that would eliminate any infringement by these radios which are sold by the thousands. There is another band on the high side of under 1 GHZ that requires complex knowledge of communications to pirate a radio there. Far more secure from the $30 throw-a-ways. That reduces this kind of threat about 90%. It does not however, reduce rogue use. But many of today’s equipment has self identification. A feature found on radio’s last 20 years actually. You kind of get what you pay for. Tone squelch and CTCSS is mid last century technology, and I detected in the VIDEO attached to the news article a community repeater depicted and by law requires such a guard. Those children were using radio equipment that was set up to access that service. plain and simple.

  15. isn’t this lashon hara
    Imagine if the families of these kids needed shiduchim and now YWN is broadcasting it all around the news ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????