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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Alpha Ambulance, Inc. ) File No. EB-02-SJ-031
) NAL/Acct. No. 200232680007
San Juan, Puerto Rico ) FRN 0005-9491-93
Adopted: December 20, 2002 Released: December 23,
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) to Alpha Ambulance, Inc. (``Alpha'') for willful
violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, (``Act'')1 and Section 1.903(a) of the Commission's
Rules (``Rules'').2 The noted violation involves Alpha's
operation of radio transmission equipment without Commission
2. On June 21, 2002, the Commission's San Juan, Puerto
Rico Resident Agent Office (``San Juan Office'') issued a
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to Alpha
for a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000).3 Alpha filed a response to the NAL on July 16,
3. On April 23, 2002, the San Juan Office received, from
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Medical Emergency Services, a
complaint of interference affecting the frequency pair
463.100/468.100 MHz. The Commission has assigned these
frequencies to the Public Safety Radio Pool and authorized
their use solely for communications between medical
facilities, vehicles and personnel involving treatment and
transport of patients in the rendition or delivery of medical
services.4 The complaint alleged that Alpha was causing
interference to ongoing emergency medical communications.
Commission records showed no license issued to Alpha for
operation on these frequencies.
4. On May 6, 2002, an agent from the San Juan Office used
direction finding techniques to locate radio transmissions on
the frequency 468.100 MHz. The agent determined that the
source of the transmissions on this frequency was a one-story
building located at 1720 Eduardo Conde Avenue. A sign
identified the building as the business offices of ``Alpha
Ambulance.'' Using direction finding techniques, the agent
also determined that Alpha's ambulances were transmitting on
the 463.100/468.100 MHz frequency pair.
5. On May 7, 2002, the agent went to the offices of Alpha
and interviewed Ms. Milagros Montero. Ms. Montero stated that
she and her daughter owned Alpha and admitted that Alpha
operated radio transmission equipment on the 463.100/468.100
MHz frequency pair. When the agent asked to see the FCC
license for the radio station, Ms. Montero provided a copy of
a license issued to First Aid Ambulance, Inc. (``First Aid'')
for the frequency pair 463.100/468.100 MHz, call sign KNIG648,
which had expired on April 8, 2001. Ms. Montero stated that
First Aid had been owned by her ex-husband, his mother and his
sister, that First Aid had dissolved about three years ago,
and that Alpha had operated the radio equipment since that
time. Ms. Montero was unable to produce any authorization for
Alpha to operate on the frequency pair 463.100/468.100 MHz.
6. On June 21, 2002, the San Juan Office issued an NAL to
Alpha for a $10,000 forfeiture for operating radio
transmitting equipment without Commission authorization in
willful violation of Section 301 of the Act and Section
1.903(a) of the Rules. In its July 16, 2002, response to the
NAL, Alpha does not deny the violation. However, Alpha
asserts that it cannot afford to pay the proposed $10,000
forfeiture and submits tax returns for 1998, 1999 and 2000 and
a balance sheet for 2001 in support of this assertion.
7. The forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in
accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, (``Act''),5 Section 1.80 of the Rules,6 and
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of
Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture
Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd
303 (1999) (``Policy Statement''). In examining Alpha's
response, Section 503(b) of the Act requires that the
Commission take into account the nature, circumstances, extent
and gravity of the violation and, with respect to the
violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior
offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as justice
8. Section 301 of the Act provides that no person shall
use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of radio
communications or signals within the United States, except
under and in accordance with the Act and the rules and with a
license granted under the provisions of the Act. Section
1.903(a) of the Rules provides that stations in the Wireless
Radio Services must be operated only with a valid Commission
authorization. Alpha does not deny that it operated radio
transmission equipment on the frequency pair 463.100/468.100
MHz, which are assigned to the Public Safety Radio Pool for
communications between medical facilities, vehicles and
personnel involving treatment and transport of patients in the
rendition or delivery of medical services, without Commission
authorization. Accordingly, we conclude that Alpha willfully
violated Section 301 of the Act and Section 1.903(a) of the
9. Alpha asserts that it cannot afford to pay the $10,000
forfeiture proposed in the NAL and provides its tax returns
for 1998, 1999, and 2000 and its balance sheet for 2001 in
support of this assertion. The Commission has repeatedly held
that a company's gross revenues are the best indicator of its
ability to pay a forfeiture.8 After considering the financial
information submitted by Alpha, we conclude that its gross
revenues are sufficient to enable it to pay a $10,000
10. We have examined Alpha's response to the NAL pursuant
to the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with the
Policy Statement as well. As a result of our review, we
conclude that Alpha willfully violated Section 301 of the Act
and Section 1.903(a) of the Rules, and we find no basis for
rescission or reduction of the $10,000 forfeiture proposed for
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503 of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of
the Rules,9 Alpha Ambulance, Inc. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for
willful violation of Section 301 of the Act and Section
1.903(a) of the Rules.
12. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner
provided for in Section 1.80 of the Rules within 30 days of
the release of this Order. If the forfeiture is not paid
within the period specified, the case may be referred to the
Department of Justice for collection pursuant to Section
504(a) of the Act.10 Payment may be made by mailing a check
or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The
payment should reference NAL/Acct. No. 200232680007 and FRN
0005-9491-93. Requests for full payment under an installment
plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables
Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by first class mail and certified mail return receipt
requested to Alpha Ambulance, Inc., P.O. Box 19313, Fernandez
Juncos Station, Santurce, Puerto Rico 00910.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.903(a).
3 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200232680006 (Enf. Bur., San Juan Office, released June 21,
2002). On July 2, 2002, the San Juan Office issued an erratum to
correct the NAL/Acct. No. to 200232680007. Erratum, NAL/Acct.
No. to 200232680007 (Enf. Bur., San Juan Office, released July 2,
4 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.20(c)(3) and (d)(76).
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
6 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
8 See Long Distance Direct, Inc., 15 FCC Rcd 3297, 3305
(2000); PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088,
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
10 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
11 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.