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  1. #1
    TowerLadders Forever
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Thoughts on Portable Radios

    After reading another thread in this forum(see protective hoods) it got me to thinking about communications on the fire ground. How do most feel about all members having radios or at least all positions on the truck having radios as opposed to each member being issued a radio. To me it would be the best situation. In my vol. dept. only the officers have radios,which they keep them personally with them, so if they don't respond to an alarm we don't have a portable radio and there have been many times when all were unavailable to respond, so left without any radios. My thoughts are more for safety and being more aware of what is going on, on the fire scene,hearing what everyone else is doing,so as not to prematurely vent or open a nozzle when it should not be done. Interested on everyone's thoughts?


  2. #2
    BucksEng91
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    Wow! Your company officers take their radios with them, so if they're not there, you're short a portable??

    No disrespect intended towards your department, but how stupid can you get? At least put all the portables on the apparatus, and keep them there. That way, when the LT doesn't show up, whoever is "riding the seat" will have a portable....sheesh!

    I hope the rest of your department's SOPs are more thought out than *that* one!

    Take care, and stay safe!

    ------------------
    J. Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

  3. #3
    ffnbs
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Your department should keep the portables mounted on the apparatus. Obviously if the apparatus is on scene you or whomever as a member of the attack team can have a means of communication, which in my opinion is vital. On my department, though we are small, each firefighter is issued their own prep.

  4. #4
    Looper
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We have 2-3 portables on each apparatus. Each officer (& some FF) have a radio, either hand held or mounted in thier POV.

    The only problem we've run into with having the portables on the truck is making sure that the first crew doesn't take all of the radios with them. We've had incidents where a crew was formed, from personnel arriving by POV, and they then had run all over trying to find a truck that still had a radio on it.

    [This message has been edited by Looper (edited 01-07-2001).]

  5. #5
    TowerLadders Forever
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Great to read everyone's thoughts, to be totally honest I don't know of any dept in my area that keeps portables in their rigs. That sounds like a great idea, but then how would the officers be able walk around town without having portables to look cool. LOL I realize that chief officers should always have their own portable. My goal is that all members be issued a portable much like Pass alarms.

  6. #6
    RescueJay
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    In my volly dept. all the officers are issued radios that they keep with them. This is ok when they are in town and respond to all calls.We also have 2 radios in the apparatus. It is my opinion that all officers when in town should have them as well as chief officers. There should also be 2-4 on all apparatus.

    Exp.Captain J.Manes
    Colonia N.J.

  7. #7
    firecadetak
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    In my department, all of our officers carry portable radios, along with some of our engineers, and then one to two portables on each piece of apparatus. We have approx. 45 career and 100+ volunteers so it would be quite expensive to supply portables and chargers to everybody

    [This message has been edited by firecadetak (edited 01-21-2001).]

  8. #8
    BucksEng91
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    Look, not to beat this to death, and I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but the practice of giving company-level officers their own portables, while the apparatus has none, is going to get someone hurt or killed.

    I liked the post about "...being able to walk around town and look cool..." with a portable. Alright, we're all "wackers" to one degree or another, but unless as a company officer you're willing to run every single call, your silly attempt at coolness is going to have serious consequences when your engine company pulls up first in at a working fire, and sends people inside without portables.

    ------------------
    J. Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

  9. #9
    cmjones
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    At my vol. fire department, all personnel get portable radios. The officers get mobiles for their POV's also if we have extras to give out.

  10. #10
    rumlfire
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We are also guilty of having our officers carry portables. I guess somebody thought it was a good idea to have the officers carry radios instead of pagers. But I have to agree with everybody else in saying that they belong in the station or on the trucks. They do not help anyone when they are sitting at home in the charger instead of at an incident.

  11. #11
    BayRidge60
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    My department is a small volunteer company, only 48 members. We have 1 Chief, 4 Assistants, and 2 Captains. Each line officer is issued a portable radio. Each piece of apparatus has at least 2 spare portables mounted on it. This system has worked very well for us, and is the system used in many companies in my area.

    ------------------
    Glenn Ralston
    Firefighter/EMT-D
    Bay Ridge Fire-Rescue
    byrdg60@netscape.net

  12. #12
    hanger44
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our dept. allows our officers to carry personal portables on them. We also leave three on our pump and one in our rescue. This allows the officer to communicate while responding to the hall (or scene), or to the dispatch when not in station. We are also used by our neighbours to the east to supply air. Therefore we need to be able to communicate with them. If your officers only need them to "look cool", then they must have no other worries.

  13. #13
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Our officers have assigned UHF portable radios, and low band Mobiles. The officers all respond direct to scene for medicals, and most respond direct to scene for fire calls. For the most part, the radios live in their POVs, and they carry regular and/or alpha-numeric pagers with them.

    All our apparatus have at least one portable -- the Rescue and Ladder 2, and the main attack Engine-Tank carries 5. Adding a few more each year, so eventually we'll be at the point of one SCBA, one Portable.

  14. #14
    WTFDFF10
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our officers are the only ones that are issued radios. Each of our rigs has at least one portable.

    Does your dept. issue pagers to each member? If the pagers are set to "monitor" at least each member can hear what's going on, they just won't be able to talk back.

    Either way, it seems like each interior crew should have at least one radio for operational as well as safety reasons.

  15. #15
    Halligan84
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I personally think anyone operating inside the fire building should have the ability to communicate outside. Where I work everyone carries a radio. My volunteer company carries 3 on the engines (enough for 2 crews and the driver to get them), 5 on the truck (one for each riding position) and 3 on the rescue (3 crews). We keep portables in the command vehicles for the chief or duty officers use.

  16. #16
    9C7
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    Our officers also carry portables. But each officer (and career FFs) are issued their own radios. There are at least one--if not two- portables in each apparatus.



    ------------------
    Stay Safe.
    You asked for my opinion, now you have it. Any similarity to another opinion, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  17. #17
    MFFJoe
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We are a combination paid/vol. dept. Each engine, ladder, rescue company and ambulance has a portable for each person assigned. CO's scan Dispatch and talkaround frequencies on working incidents and FF's stay on talkaround (unless an emergency, mayday, etc.). Supervisors (BC's, staff, etc.) have their own assigned portables.

  18. #18
    HHoffman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    You may want to check, but I think the OSHA regulations state the crews inside need to be in contact with the IC. Each crew of two should have one portable radio.

    My department has one portable for eack man on the shift. We hand it off to the members of the next shift in the morning. We also have a few spares.

    ------------------
    Henry C. Hoffman Jr.

  19. #19
    Ohiofiremed57
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    HHoffman...I would like to know that OSHA standard that you are refering to.
    On the dept that I am on the Chief strongly discourages any members other than officers to cary, use, or even look at a portable radio. YES... even an interior crew. Many times I have been on the initial attack crew w/out an officer and have had to back-out to advise other crews of changing conditions. I find this rather disturbing, as well as it makes me question my safety and that of others. I have purchased my own personal prep. and I was told by my Chief that if I was "caught" using it, I would be terminated. Kinda makes ya wonder huh... I need some hard facts, stats or something to sway this idiotic way of thinking.

    MAC

    ------------------
    The few, the proud, the INSANE!

  20. #20
    Firelover
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    In our department, our permanent guys have a radio, but all of the vehicle have their own.... I think this is a good way to keep an eye on where your portables is going.



    ------------------
    Joel

    If you sent us to HELL, WE'D PUT IT OUT!!

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