CB Band Emergency Channels

Australia has two CB bands, one on the 27MHz or HF band, and the other on the 476/477MHz or UHF band. Both of these bands are covered by a Class Licence, which means that no individual licence is needed to operate on the CB bands. However, it does NOT mean that you can operate on any channel you like!

The Radiocommunications (Citizen Band Radio Station) Class Licence 2015 details certain channels on the HF and UHF CB bands that are reserved for specific purposes. These include call channels, data only channels, and emergency channels.

UHF 5 and 35, HF 9

 The Class Licence stipulates that the following channels are reserved for emergency use only:

  • HF Band: Channel 9 (27.065 MHz);
  • UHF Band: Channel 5 (476.5250 MHz) AND Channel 35 (477.2750 MHz)

Operation on these channels for any purpose other than emergencies could render the user liable to the following penalties under FEDERAL legislation:

  • For individuals, a $420 on-the-spot fine, or up to 2 years prison; or
  • For others, up to $315,000 court imposed penalty.

If an emergency call is blocked or interfered with due to the misuse of the emergency channels, the penalties increase:

  • For individuals, up to 5 years prison; or
  • For others, up to $1,050,000 court imposed penalty

Want to know more? Visit our National Website to see more details about the Class Licence and the emergency channels.

Triple-Zero (000)

 The CB Emergency Channels are not a replacement for 000! In Australia Triple Zero (000) is the primary emergency call service number - if you have access to a telephone you should use it to call for help rather than your CB.

If you are using a mobile telephone you can also use the digital mobile emergency number of One One Two (112). This redirects to the Triple Zero (000) service but allows you to make contact as long as you have a signal from any mobile telephone provider (even if you have no signal from your own provider there may still be a signal from another provider that you aren't aware of!). 112 also works even if you have no SIM card inserted or the SIM card is damaged. Many mobile telephone handsets will also bypass keypad lock once 112 is dialed (check your phone user manual and your service provider to confirm this number is available).

Although originally restricted to the GSM digital networks, the enhanced features that were only available using 112 are now available on most, if not all mobile phone networks. The same features are usually also available using Triple-Zero (000). Calling 112 does NOT connect you via a satellite and will still only offer you a connection if there is a signal from any of the mobile phone providers!

Calling for help using a telephone is very simple:

  • Dial Triple Zero (000), or if hearing impaired one zero six (106) for Teletext access, from a safe location
  • An operator will ask “Police, Fire or Ambulance”. Tell the operator which service you require. If you are using a mobile or satellite telephone the operator will ask for your location, so they can connect you to the correct service. (NOTE: If you require Rescue you should ask for Police as they will then activate the relevant rescue unit.)
  • You will be connected to the nominated emergency service operator who will take details of the incident. If using a fixed telephone the address that you are calling from will be displayed on the operators screen, however they may still need to clarify your location
  • Stay on the line and speak slowly and clearly. Answer all of the operators questions including full address and nearest cross street, nature of the emergency, etc. In rural areas you need to give full addresses and distances from landmarks or roads.
  • If possible wait outside at a prearranged location to help guide emergency services to the location. If travelling on a freeway/motorway or rural road advise the operator of the direction of travel and the last exit or town passed.
  • If a person is unable to speak English they should call Triple Zero (000) from a fixed line phone and say ‘Police’, ‘Fire’ or ‘Ambulance’. Once connected to the nominated emergency service stay on the line and a translator will be organised (the address of the caller will also be displayed to the operator so help can be dispatched quickly).

* Triple-zero logo © Copyright Emergency Management Australia, reproduced with permission, Fire & Rescue NSW on behalf of the Triple Zero Awareness Work Group.