Wisconsin Broadcaster Emergency Personnel ID Card Program
In December 2006, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association reached an agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Justice to issue Broadcaster Emergency Personnel ID cards. These cards will be issued to Wisconsin radio and TV station transmitter engineers, to aid them in crossing police lines in times of disaster to keep the transmitter on the air. For areas involved in MSRC, these ID cards can also be used by the engineers reporting to the local Emergency Operation Center (EOC) during times of disaster, as requested by local officials.
In the post-Katrina days, one of the greatest challenges for broadcast engineers was restricted travel denying them access to their broadcast transmitters. Gulf Coast broadcasters have recommended to all states to pursue a state-issued broadcaster ID card to avert this happening to others. Through first-person testimonials heard at the annual EAS Summit in Washington, DC attended by your WBA President, Vice President, and State EAS Chairman, we were convinced that this is a worthwhile pursuit. After a lengthy development process with Wisconsin DOJ, an agreement has now been signed to issue these ID cards. DOJ will be doing statewide training for all law enforcement agencies, to ensure that the ID cards will be recognized by all officers in the state. In the event there is a question in the field, a DOJ phone number is listed on the card for any officer to call for clarification.
Station managers should note that these ID cards grew out of the need to keep broadcast transmitters on the air in times of disaster, and for MSRC personnel reporting to the local EOC. Specifically, these cards are not to be used by news-gathering crews or personnel. Such use would constitute a misuse of this program, and would jeopardize the program for all stations in the state. If there are any questions on the intended use of these cards, please contact WBA.
Process to acquire ID Cards:
-Follow instructions on How to Request ID Cards page. Download the form from that page, type in information, print form, Station Manager must sign form, send to WBA by U.S. Mail.
-Then follow instructions on How to Email Photos page. Download the form, fill in information, email JPEG photos and completed form to WBA at address provided on form. Attach form as Word document or paste text into body of email.
-Station will receive completed ID cards via U.S. Mail.
ONCE YOU RECEIVE YOUR ID CARD PLEASE NOTE:
If you leave employment of Station, the Broadcasters ID card MUST BE RETURNED to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) and the WBA will notify the Department of Justice.