Communications 2008: Radios, Regulations and Rebanding

Barry Furey cites recent events that will shape the future of fire service communications, from funding opportunities to upgraded hardware and software.


It has been almost 85 years since the fire service first used radio communications. In this period that has spanned two centuries, significant improvements in technology have made for more reliable systems and devices that have decreased dispatch and response time while increasing firefighter...


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While there are still significant issues to be overcome, we have come a long way from the watchman's rattles and trumpets that were the earliest cornerstones of how we were alerted to alarms and received orders on the fireground. Future generations of firefighters will no doubt look back at our current technology and view it as being similarly primitive.

BARRY FUREY, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is director of the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center in North Carolina. During his 35-year public safety career, he has managed 911 centers and served as a volunteer fire officer in three other states. In 2002, Furey chaired the Association of Public-safety Communications Officials (APCO) International conference in Nashville, TN, and in 2005 he received an APCO life membership for his continued work in emergency communications.