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Thread: personal radios

  1. #1
    dfwscotty
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question personal radios

    We currently carry our own personal radios. We are getting ready to buy new radios but some of the powers that, be outside the department, think that we can do without individual radios. I want to send some thoughts other than my own, up the chain from the safety point of view and need your input. I'll take any thoughts, pro or con, would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    firecadetak
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Currently in our dept, all of our officers and then a few of the drivers carry portable radios. I think the biggest advantage it gives for us is
    A) lets everybody know that someone is enroute to grab the engine.
    B) First person onscene can give a size up for the rest of responders as kind of a "heads up"


  3. #3
    tc1chief
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I'll sum it up in one phrase "ON SCENE ACOUNTABILITY"... I went through the same thing a couple of years ago with our county government. The just couldnt seem to understand why we needed handheld radios. I explained that during working fires and when incident comand was in use that the incident comander needed to do acountability checks atleast every 10 to 15 minutes with the inside crews. I also told them that if we didnt have them that it would be inpossibe to talk with the dispatch during an emergency operation because I was not going to sit in the engine. All oficers in my department have handheld radios and they are worth their weight in gold twice fold.

  4. #4
    cfr3504
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our dept would be lost with out portable radios. We are an all volunteer department, or members usually respond from home. If we didn't have radios, first we wouldn't know we had a call, and we wouldn't know who is anyone was responding to the station. Also we generally let the dispatcher know that people are en route to the station, so that they will not have to continue to page the call out. Also, on a scene, it's a real benefit for everyone to have a radio for accountablity and also to communicate to command and other on scene personel where resources are needed.

  5. #5
    Davidjb
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Only Officers and EMS personnel have radios in my dept. Everyone is issued a pager. I don't feel that everyone needs a radio, this would cause way too much radio traffic. We do keep 2 portables on each truck for the attack crew.

    ------------------
    David Brooks,
    Lieutenant, NRFR
    Newmarket Fire & Rescue
    Newmarket, New Hampshire
    www.NewmarketNH.com/fire
    (All opinions are my own)

  6. #6
    nomad1085
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    In our Dept (Vollie), all officers have low band and high band portable radios. We operate on low band, but the trucks have repeaters for high band portables to boost the range onto low band. We are looking into getting portable radios for all interior firefighters for the same reasons you mention. I'm not involved in the decision, but It is a deffinate safety plus. Not every firefighter need to announce his or her arrival or enroute. First on scene, if it's not an officer can give a size-up, and for interior operations, nothing beats having a portable. Without it, you can not communicate with the pump operator, which is somewhat important in a fire.

    Good Luck,
    Matt

  7. #7
    hfdfao
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    If you can get a hold of someone from providence RI, get a copy of their safety and radio procedures. I have one and if I can find it(no mean feat) I will send it along. They issue a radio to each riding position specifically for FF safety. In fact their sop stipulates the radios shall be worn at all times when on duty, and that they are for emergency purposes, not so everyone can talk.

    My department is in the process of switching to a County wide trunking system(not the best for the fire service, but the 1st 24 radios were free). We now have 3 radios on each piece, and all 8 of our line officers are issued a radio as well. Pretty much everyone on the fireground has a radio when they need it.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

    Dave LeBlanc

    ------------------
    In Memory of those who have passed before us, may their loss not be in vain........

    djleblanc@capecod.net

  8. #8
    fire69dawg
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    What it boils down to is FF Safety. The only people who carry radios on our department are the chiefs. We are currently in the process of finishing up a SOG for any other personnel to carry their own radio. There are a few of us that are more active than others and we have each purchased our own. I purchased mine because if I get caught inside, I want to be able to call someone. We have station owned portables, but not nearly enough. I am a strong believer in each member having their own portable. To me spending $200 or losing my life, I'll spend the money. Another good thing is that you know if your radio battery is gonna be good or not. At our station you cannot rely on the battery always lasting, since they don't get used as much.

  9. #9
    fyrefyghter10
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    at my station the 3 chiefs and the capt and lt. only carry portables and since we dont respond right to the scene we are always guessing if we'll have a driver or not but our only concern for a driver in day-time hours (workdays)

    ------------------
    Brian Cirard

  10. #10
    MFFJoe
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    In my department (combination) all seats have a radio. The staff officers carry their own issued radios. The reason is for safety. If you need proof of this look for LODD info, especially involving multiple firefighters. Radio issues are often involved. Regarding the worry of excessive radio traffic: buy radios that have a scan feature. On working incidents, keep the fireground on a tactical channel and the IC can scan both the tactical and dispatch channels. This is my opinion, of course, but it works well in my department.

  11. #11
    NKF
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I know in many areas it is not possible to have every person on the fireground to have radios however, I think that it is the most important tool that we could have. We will spend thousands of dollars on thermal imagers, lights for our apparatus, tools that if we are lucky we will use them once a year. Radios are a safety tool that should be used every call and that everyone should and must have. The posts here state that mainly the officers have them. Who is it who goes into the most dangerous areas of a building? The fire fighters! I understand that officers must communicate to command but when something bad or urgent occurs who needs to know? EVERYONE Spend your $$ on safety items first. You are asking for trouble if you can not communicate and we all know that this is something that can be corrected.

  12. #12
    oldE6man
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    In Washington DC, we have recently switched to a trunked 800 MHz system. ALL on-duty fire suppression positions have a portable radio (about 265) plus each EMS crew and supervisor has a portable (another 40). It is a great safety feature, but we are still getting used to having so many radios.

    Security of the radios during the entire 24 hour shift is a big concern.

  13. #13
    Tindog18
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Its not a matter of everyone on the fireground having a radio, but more water supply personal, each member on interior crews,line officers and obviously the OICs. I our department all officers past and present keep their portables. A possible suggestion would be keep them to only the minimal amount of channels nessesary so someone is not buffing another company or area PD. Also all EMS personel have their own portables to keep status reports on patients. Best of luck and be safe.

  14. #14
    Tindog18
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Its not a matter of everyone on the fireground having a radio, but more water supply personal, each member on interior crews,line officers and obviously the OICs. I our department all officers past and present keep their portables. A possible suggestion would be keep them to only the minimal amount of channels nessesary so someone is not buffing another company or area PD. Also all EMS personel have their own portables to keep status reports on patients. Best of luck and be safe.

  15. #15
    LtStick
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    In the department I belong to all line Officers carry portable radios. We are a volunteer Department so they allow us to know which officers are responding and allows them to give orders to the first in units and keep in contact with crews operating on calls. I wouldn't give them up for the world. We would be lost without them.

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