National Public Safety Information Bureau

Press Releases

Radio Reemerges as a Tool for Vaccine Distribution

AM radio technology is being leveraged at vaccine inoculation centers.

Zeeland - MI, January 06, 2021

Emergency health officials have begun employing a license-free radio technology called InfOspot at drive-thru vaccination point across the country to get safety and procedural information to motorists queueing in cars. This frees staff for other requirements and also gets critical information to drivers without risking exposure. The radio method additionally ensures that all people in line for treatment receive the same, approved instructions upon arrival.

As 2021 dawns, health officials in ten states are rolling out InfOspot systems to PODs (Points of Distribution). In Tennessee; one health district plans to run nine different radio signals simultaneously at various drive-thru locations.

The InfOspot system is based on a design submitted by Hennepin County, Minnesota, emergency officials. It features a 27-foot portable, quick-erect antenna on a tripod stand and electronics nestled in a weatherproof double-door rack case. Central Valley Health District in North Dakota was first in line for the first production model in 2020.

Prior to the introduction of vaccines, safety officials utilized the InfOspot system at virus testing sites. For example, in New York State, lines have snaked for miles with broadcasts approaching sites at Rochester, Albany and Jones Beach. On the other coast, parking lots at Dodger Stadium have gone into extra innings to accommodate the demand, utilizing radio to inform worried patients arriving for tests. Mid-country, three Mount Carmel hospital campuses in Ohio have added similar technology in the Columbus area.

InfOspot custom packages have also been discovered by community churches, schools and event managers. It’s a remarkable acknowledgment that this 100-year-old medium continues to be the most universal means of getting audio programming into cars. Although it remains affordable and easy to use, the technology has been updated with a new outdoor range extender antenna / tuner. It’s ironic that the medium that first brought us together in 1920 continues to demonstrate that it is also remarkably good at communicating with us separately. As testament, thousands of stations have begun popping up at community gatherings during the pandemic.

In the words of NexTech High School principal Dan McMinn of Grand Rapids, Michigan: "…Our seniors were able to have their moment in the sun. NexTech was able to share the [graduation] ceremony with families unable to attend in a traditional manner.”

Designed to operate under FCC Part 15 Rules, InfOspot is capable of up to 100 milliwatts of power, yielding a range of up to 1/2 mile when mounted 20 feet above ground. And InfOspot offers unprecedented flexibility when compared to higher powered, licensed systems:

  • Frequency agility, 540-1700 kHz.
  • No FCC license required (Part 15 compliant).
  • An outdoor antenna / tuner that may be mounted at any height above ground, due to its exclusive coaxial transmitter-to-antenna linkage.

If you would like to inquire about InfOspot for your jurisdiction, let Information Station Specialists know via email as soon as possible to reserve your place in line. Companion tools also available are portable signs to direct drivers to the special radio frequencies, specific treatment areas, parking areas, etc. Information Station Specialists has been in business since 1983 and is the USA’s best known source of emergency advisory radio systems and related services.


Bill Baker
616.772.2300 x102