After we transmit a radiogram’s message number, the precedence is next. “Precedence” is the word we use to describe how urgent a message is. It also determines which messages get sent first. Possibilities include “routine,” “welfare,” “priority” and “emergency.” Definitions of each appear in ARRL Form FSD-3. Experienced traffic handlers know that the precedence always immediately follows the message number, so we don’t introduce it, we just say it. For example, we don’t say, “number one five, precedence routine.” We instead say, “number one five, routine.” Next week, we’ll cover handling instructions.
(This is the third in a series of short traffic-handling columns I submitted to the Kosciusko County ARES newsletter.)