The term "break" in amateur radio communications has been misused and mislead by newcomers and old-timers alike. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines the word break, in this application, to mean an interruption or to interrupt. In all uses of the term it means just that, to interrupt an ongoing radio communication.
If some one says that “break” can only be use during emergency and written in anyform of document are all need to look into the history…
Things do change, of course. But here is how it was used in the days when amateur radio was almost exclusively AM operation. Because AM is a carrier, and non-VOX, it was handled differently. I am going back to the 1950s now with the way it was then…..
There were two common usages of the BREAK term. Neither designated an emergency.
The first was: Two (or more) stations were in communication and an additional station wanted to join. When one station release the PTT, before the next could pick it up, the desiring station would say "Break." The response would be (if they heard him) "We have a breaker on the frequency." This procedure was in place LONG before there WAS a CB radio. CBers adopted it from hams.
The second was: If a station wanted a very short response from the other station. For example, he might ask a question and seek an immediate answer. So he might say, "Andy, you going to be at the meeting tonight? Break." That word "break" meant for Andy to respond to that question only (Andy did NOT answer with the word "break" to start his transmission) and then turn it back to the guy asking the question. In other words, it meant a short break in the transmission.
If someone have some urgent traffic or emergency during someone is having QSO he will said “break” when someone release the PTT and the other party will reply breaker go ahead than the person who said the word “Break” or ‘Break..break” he might say I have an emergency traffic…. I need some assistance..so and so……. Now the word “Break” is a term used for this kind of QSO it means just to interrupt an ongoing QSO…..it does not mean “Emergency”
The word break can be used to terminate a message with one station and start a message with another during the same transmission. An example of this usage is when two station having QSO,
9M2AU : 9M2PV ….9M2AU HAVE YOU PUT UP your 80m dipole Break.
9M2PV : “ Well not yet I don’t have anyone to help me..”
9M2AU : ..9M2PV ….9M2AU Ok Andy I will ask someone to help you.
The other way, and you hear this on some nets, is when NCS is speaking to one station, and, without unkeying, desires to direct his next comments to another station, he may indicate the end of the comments to the one, with the word "break." He is talking to ABC and now wants to talk to XYZ. He says "ABC, break with you. XYZ ..please call DEF….."
From just about all of the above, you can see that the word "break" is used as a break, interruption, or redirection, in the communications in progress.
CBers corrupted it with the "breakity broke, breakity broke" crap, but in general it was used the same way.
CBers also pushed the idea of the word "Break" to indicate an emergency. This has been adopted by some amateur radio nets, and even some non-net communications.
Now those CBers after some years upgrade to become Hams…..after the OLD hams SK they took over and that's how the word “Break” have been miss used as to indicate emergency in the Ham world.
As far as I know if someone having Emergency the international standard does not says…"break”
If we go through and make some study on “How to make a distress call” you will see PAN-PAN and MAYDAY
Pan-Pan: derived from "Possible Assistance Needed"
Mayday: derived from the French "venez m'aider" which means "Come Help Me"
Pan-pan is used to signify that there is urgency on board a boat, ship, aircraft or other vehicle but that is for the time being at least. It means that there is no immediate danger to anyone's life or to the vessel itself. This is referred to as a state of urgency.
A Mayday situation is one in which a vessel, vehicle, aircraft, or person is in grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance. It is used to signal any life-threatening emergency to and by groups, such as pilots, police forces, fire-fighters, and transportation organizations.
Pan-pan informs potential rescuers (including emergency services and other crafts in the area) that a safety problem exists whereas Mayday will call upon them to drop all other activities and immediately initiate a rescue attempt.
Correct Usage of Pan-Pan and Mayday
Pan-Pan: The correct usage is "Pan-Pan, Pan-Pan, Pan-Pan", followed by the intended recipient of the message, either "All Stations, All Stations, All Stations" or a specific station, "Auckland Coast Guard Radio, Auckland Coast Guard Radio, Auckland Coast Guard Radio", the identification of the craft, its position, the nature of the problem and the type of assistance or advice required, if any.
Mayday: The recommended distress call format includes the word MAYDAY spoken three times "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday", followed by the vessel's name or call sign, also spoken three times, then MAYDAY and the name or call sign again. Vital information, including the position, nature of the emergency, assistance required and the number of people on board should follow.
Now I hope most of hams will understand why now we can see Hams used the word BREAK to indicate EMERGENCY….and if we go through the history than we will notice that ...The CBers pushed the idea of the word "Break" to indicate an emergency. This has been adopted by some amateurs, and the bad things was it was written in some of the articles. I suggest listen on the ATC 8.942Mhz sometimes you will hear the ATC says "break".."break" Malaysian two niner zero report position.....and so on...and they dont use "break" for calling emergency if the aircraft in distress the pilot will call Pan..Pan or Mayday.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word break, in this application, to mean an interruption or to interrupt. In all uses of the term it means just that, to interrupt an ongoing radio communication.