Thread: Being nice on the radio.....
11-30-2009, 04:20 AM #1
Being nice on the radio.....
Hello everyone. I did some searching on the web and could not find what I was looking for…
I am a 911 dispatcher for law enforcement, fire and EMS and a volunteer firefighter. I was also told that we could not use what we call “niceties” on the radio because we would get in trouble by the FCC. We are not allowed to say things such as please, thank you, sorry, and so forth on the radio. Obviously, I know using profane language would be a violation of some fort, but can you actually get in trouble for being nice on the radio? We have officers that always say “thank you” on the radio for running tags, giving case numbers and so forth, but we get in trouble if we say “you’re welcome” back to them. Is my agency just being paranoid or are they correct?
11-30-2009, 04:42 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
That seems pretty nuts.
Maybe (and thats a pretty darn big maybe) if the "youre welcome" is so overly sarcastic.....but even then I think that is crazyness.
We are vollie, and our dispatch is run by a neighboring career department, so I always keep in mind that they are doing us a big favor by running dispatch for us. I always try to be pleasant, and use please, thank you, and often "Have a nice night" when we are back in quarters form a call.
When I worked for EMS it was routine to wish dispatch a good day/good night when we reported off from a shift."They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
11-30-2009, 05:30 AM #3
I did not know that the folks in Vicksburg abandoned being nice.
Number #1 Rule: You must follow the established protocols and procedures the agency has adopted.
Number #2: See Number #1
Having said that, here is the way I see it.
Communications must be limited to serving the prescribed purpose.
User must use plain English, in a direct non-emotional tone.
User must state only what is needed and nothing more or less.
User must be precise and to the point when transmitting.
User must conduct themself in a professional manner.
But there is nothing wrong with this...
Dispatcher: Dispatch to IC. Subject has been notified.
IC: IC did copy. Thank you ma'am.
IC: IC to Dispatch. Please show all units clear from scene at 24th & Broadway.
Dispatch: Dispatch was OK... have a good evening Sir.
Some people just have to take us into the relm of political correctness to the 10th degree. The Twilight Zone... one big fantastic utopia.
By the way, it is not being nice... it is being respectful and the FCC does not regulate that. Of course you can respectfully cuss out your boss for that matter. That could cost you about $8000 for each occurance since the FCC does regulate 4 letter words.
Just follow the rules and you'll be fine. Be nice when you see these people in person since you can't be nice on the radio.
This one might actually get by...
Dispatcher: Dispatch to Engine 10... Respond to Scene, IC is One Delta Ten Tango
Engine 10: Engine 10 en route to scene... IC is 1D10T.
11-30-2009, 08:09 AM #4
Whoever told you that is wrong and either lying or misinformed. And its the stupidest thing I've heard all week... granted its only Monday. Please be nice. I do it all the time.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
11-30-2009, 08:21 AM #5
All of our FFs take turns dispatching, and "please", "thank you", "good night", etc, are heard commonly. Been that way for at least the 18 years I've been there. I've even heard the "MFer" dropped over an open mike (accidentally??) a couple of times and we've never been fined or even contacted by the FCC.
11-30-2009, 09:19 AM #6
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
It may be a department SOP. The only reason I can possibly think of is to minimize traffic and keep the channel open. No FCC reg that I've ever heard of.
11-30-2009, 09:33 AM #7
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
A students Perspective.
Ok.. well, a 40 year old volunteer student that is...
It states in both the Firefighter fundementals and the EMT-B study guide that pleasantries should not be used on radio communications.
That being said, I always say please and thank you as does everyone else I hear on the radio.
11-30-2009, 09:44 AM #8
- Join Date
- Dec 2001
- Lusby, MD
We hear comments similar to the samples that Palidin gave all of the time, especially on the police side. Just seems like common courtesy and respect to me.
The only issue may be with extremely busy dispatch centers where there literally isn't time for these transmissions. Other than that, unless it gets ridiculous and hampers the communication, what's the harm?
11-30-2009, 09:57 AM #9
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
Same Here. No harm done. A lot of People listen in on our radio, and those who do will say that we're "busy" and we are, to the tune of 135,000 Incidents per year. Yet we're kinda "Laid Back" (Well, Most Of Us Are) and use little "Nice Touch" things..... My usual is "Thanks"......
BTW, I am not aware of a single complaint in regard to this"style" of opertion......Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
In memory of
Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
IACOJ Budget Analyst
I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.
11-30-2009, 10:15 AM #10
It's common around here.
I prefer short and to the point messages. However, a "thanks" or "good job" are okay.
After a fire, which is a pretty busy time for our police dispatch office, it's not uncommon for the IC to clear the scene and give the dispatcher a "good job today" over the air.
As for it being an FCC violation. That's rubbish.
.I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.
"The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."
"When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."
11-30-2009, 11:07 AM #11
11-30-2009, 11:18 AM #12
11-30-2009, 11:41 AM #13
My EMT text book said "courtesy is understood", which is to say, you don't have to say please and thank you; everybody knows you mean it.“I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
― Hunter S. Thompson
11-30-2009, 11:41 AM #14
There is NO FCC rule about saying please, thank you, etc on the radio.
You could ask for a cite - but that would bring us to the employee-employer relationship.
The employer can make the rule that you say K after every transmission. As an employee it is your responsibility to make it so K.
If they say no pleasentries, than don't be polite K.
Personally, I think it rapidly falls to a level where the niceties start to sound like we are the local village idiots.
We have one Fire Chief that answers every test page - "recieved the page, thanks 911 and have a good day" in a voice that has gotten to be legend around here - laughed at by most.
We used to have a dispatcher that told EMS crews to "Be safe out there guys" and "have a nice day" so often, and in such a voice, that you wanted to crawl through the microphone and choke her until all signs of life left her body - then take the body and bury it in conc.... Uh, you get the idea.
Oh, and the ones that say "thanks for your help"..... Like I am helping 911 to answer the call? I never saw them on the scene. Aren't they there to assist the caller and assist the responders? What help have I provided them? But I digress...
Oh... I forgot. K.
11-30-2009, 12:09 PM #15
- Join Date
- Sep 1999
- I don't know but I here laughing.
The two things that drives me nuts over the radio:
"Engine, truck or what ever on scene, whats you pleasure."
"Let me know what you need." No !#&% Sherlock. I am not going to keep it a secret.
On the county channel at work last night I actually heard, "don't kill yourself getting here, nothing to save"
As far as thank you and please, they are putting a end to it.This space for rent
11-30-2009, 12:11 PM #16
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
That is just crazy. We actually do it all the time. Then again we know the dispatchers and work with them as well. It sure makes thing a whole lot better if we all just get along.
11-30-2009, 01:31 PM #17
- Join Date
- May 2006
We do it here and I don't see anything wrong with it... The dispatchers love to take it little far on the 630 morning station radio test, but at the end of a 12 hour shift who could blame them.
We get Thanks, Thank you, Good Morning, Happy Thanksgiving along with every hoilday, even have few that like to push the limits and try to talk like my Batt. Chief that is very happy with a high pitched voice when he talks on the radio. It's a good thing that he is last on the mobile radio test. LOL
11-30-2009, 01:40 PM #18
Like most others have said we also say thanks, please, etc on the radio.
Especially when calling for a med channel with the hospital or clearing the med we will say thanks have a good night, etc. (To the country EMS dispatch that is, not the ER)------------------------------------
These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
11-30-2009, 02:00 PM #19
Well- I might be the minority here. I like to clean, short and precise messages on the radio. Its best to be direct, clear and not say the little fancy things on the air.
Also- Do not try to be funny, it doesn't sound as good on the other end as you might think.
Also a radio tip- The moment you do not try to "show off", you will be amazed how clear and professional you sounds on the air. Especially during size up. Don't show off and you'll sound 10 times better, promise.
If you sound professional, people will treat you as such.
11-30-2009, 02:25 PM #20
I thought I had enough sense to use Mutual aid, and call for help if I needed it!
Or expadite. What better way to get people to drive way beyond what they should by
using that word.
11-30-2009, 02:36 PM #21
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
- Memphis Tn,USA-now
Though it's best to keep the messages short and to the pont so you can clear the airwaves for the next urgent/important transmission,I see nothing wrong with "Thank you""Please" and "You're Welcome" being sent.
Yes,it's "understood" that you are using your manners as Mom taught you but it is always a good idea to be polite especially to a dispatcher when you have had run after run after run.You might make her/him mad and end up with a few "accidental" tones in the middle of the night by mistake.
When I ran a grocery boat here in Memphis and the towboats I ran in Paducah KY and Granite City Ill,as I'd pull away from a customer vessel,I'd always call over the radio "Charlie E to the "Big Towboat",we're clear off your stern now.Y'all have a good safe trip on up and we'll see you downstream next week."
Just being neighborly about it,even if the crew and or captain were total (Richards) about anything that went wrong.
11-30-2009, 02:41 PM #22
I always try to avoid saying that word. Even if its someone else asking something like "tell the ambulance to expedite!" I will give the ambulance a situation update, but not say "PD requesting you expedite." Because I know I'm just as bad. If I'm on the responding end of the radio and someone is screaming panicing EXPEDITE EXPEDITE, I'm going to push it down whether I know better or not.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
11-30-2009, 02:45 PM #23
12-01-2009, 01:05 AM #24
I agree with all of you, keep it professional, and I do. My problem was that my agency is telling new people that it is a FCC violation to say niceties and that it will cost the agency thousands of dollars if we are caught saying them. I was told this from day one and although I never believed it I could never find the info that showed it was not true.
One time an officer was transporting a prisoner to a neighboring county. He advised me he was transporting and asked me to call the neighboring county to notify him that he was on the way. When I told him that I made the call he said “thank you” and I said “10-4, you’re welcome, be safe.” For this I “got in trouble” and was told that I was going to get the agency in trouble if I keep that up.
Sometimes on slow nights the officers will get a little lose on the radio, but nothing serious.
12-01-2009, 01:19 AM #25
You are being flat out lied to. Or, you're being talked by some moron that doesn't know what he's talking about.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
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