1. #1
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    Default interior attack communications

    I would like to hear what your departments are teaching for interior crew communications with hand helds. Obviously integrated comm. would be best but not an option for us just yet, plus it sounds like some of them don't work to well. We are teaching radio to the ear and get rid of the clip on mic. Now that we do have a T.I.C the hands of our crew leaders are full and this is proving to be difficult. I am sure there is some curve for getting used to having both but a free hand would be nice. We have gotten rid of the clip on mic due to the fact that it sometimes gets knocked off the collar and then the crew leader can't hear evacuation orders and such. We use Motorola. Any Ideas on ear pieces or better use of clip on mics, what is your policy?
    Communication seems to be the common denominator in every LODD report I read about. Thanks for the help!

    FDNY We Salute You

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    In our department, every attack team takes a radio with them. Normally, the number two man on the team has the radio. This leaves the nozzlemen to do his thing.

    We use Motorola HT1000s with mics that have speakers built into them. The radio itself is either clipped onto the SCBA waist belt or into the radio pocket. We use MSA's new MMR system with a Black Rhino Harnesses. They have this chest clip that connects the left and right shoulder straps at about the armpit level. We have found that this chest clip is a great spot to clip the mic. It can be found very easy when needed; the speaker is close enough that hearing is not a problem; and it is right next to the exhale portion of the mask, which makes communications a little easier to understand.

    All of us have radio clips located overtop of the radio pocket, but often, this same chest strap along with the shoulder strap, gets in the way. Also, if you want to take the radio out of your pocket they can be a pain also.

    With the radio on your belt or in your radio pocket, and the mic clipped up high where you can get to it, we have found that it leaves your hands free to do other, often pretty important, things. Also, with the mic cord free of the chest strap, it can be passed to other members to use, IE, if the nozzlemen wants to make a report, etc, etc. We have not had any problems with the mic comming off of the chest strap, they seam to hold on pretty good and release easily when needed.

    I am not sure of the model of mic we have, but I could track it down if your interested.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    Have you tried carrying the radio in a case with a leather strap,called the FDNY radio strap? We have used them since the days of the first handie talkies with speaker mics, and they work well. Both over the coat as well as under
    FTM - PTB

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    We use MT1000's w/ clip mike's for tactical ops. I've used these with the radio clipped to the belt of my turnout pants and the mike cable run inside my coat clipped to the collar, puts it in a good position, if it comes loose you don't have the michrophone hanging the full cable length to tangle. Only drawback is you can't really change channels if you need to, so you better have it set to your fireground freq. beforehand.

    Be Safe, Frank

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    We use the Motorola MT 2000 with a clip-on mic. It may look pretty dumb but I clip the mic to my helmet chin strap near my ear so I can hear every transmission.

    BE SAFE
    Before Everything, Stop And First Evaluate
    BE SAFE
    Before Everything, Stop And First Evaluate

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    Jeff, that sounds like a pretty good idea. One question though, during an incident, have you ever had the cord from the speaker/mic to the radio get stuck on something?

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    I use a Motorola MTS 2000 with a 30" remote mic/antenna carried in a NYFD strap. I put the strap on before I put on my coat and run the mic between the top of my zipper and the collar flap. I then clip the mic to the SCBA strap or my collar. The actual handset is low enough that comes out below the bottom of my coat and can easily be used to change tac channels, adjust volume etc. As for the mic, there is usually only enough cord sticking out that if it does get disconnected, it only fall 2 to 3 inches from its original position, and can still be heard easily. NYFD straps can found at www.radiotech.com and cost about $50.00. Be able to give the model # of your radio

    Stay Safe, Never Forget

    [ 10-20-2001: Message edited by: PTHarper ]

    [ 10-21-2001: Message edited by: PTHarper ]
    "Honor Above Thyself"

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    NOTE: THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY ME IN THIS FORUM DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

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    Sounds like the speaker mic is the way a lot of you are going. I think there are some good ideas here that will help. Sounds like the key is finding a place to put the mic where it can't come off or where if it does that it can't fall very far. Thanks for the suggestions.

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    If your bunker coat has a snap on the chest area ( to secure gloves I think) it can be of use. I place the radio in one of my large pants pockets. It does not interfere with my SCBA belt and can be easily pulled out to change channels, even in heavy smoke conditions. I then clip the mic/speaker cord in the snap. Then place the clip on mic on my mask neckstrap or helmet strap like some other guys have suggested. Then when you catch your cord in something, it won't fall because the chest snap reatains the cord. Somebody showed me this and I've used it ever since. Good luck.

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    engine117,
    I can't remember any major problem with my cord catching on an obstruction. A couple of minor inconveniences maybe but not enough to lock in my memory.

    John M has a good idea about the cord running under his SCBA chest strap. We are using Drager and they don't utilize chest straps.

    By the way, what state is your Greensburg in?
    BE SAFE
    Before Everything, Stop And First Evaluate

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    At a minimum our first handline crew carries a radio with them. We are currently using MT1000 radio's with the speaker/mic and Scott 2.2 SCBA's. We carry the radio in a radio pocket on the right side of the chest with a mic strap on the left lapel area of the coat. This setup has been poor at best. The mic is very easy to knock off of the strap for starters. And in a low/no visibitity situation it can be difficult to find and reattach to something so that you don't become entangled in it. Also, the clearity of transmissions with the facepiece on is very poor. It is acceptable in a controlled enviroment and at rest, but when you are working hard and out of breath not to mention in an excited state, the communications are barely capabile of getting one word statements over the radio. This maybe all that you need to get out in a Mayday, but more info would be nice.

    These problems are not nessecarily problems with the individual components but they are not working well together for us. The positives of having a radio still are great for us, but we continue to work with and train to try to get a better system for us.

    And we have spec'ed new SCBA recently and we are hopefully going to try some integratted communications.

    Thanks,
    R.J.

    P.S. does anyone currently have MSA's with radio interfaces? If so how do they work?

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    Again great ideas on the speaker mic, but is there anyone out there who is required by SOP, Chief, or Training Officer to put the radio to your ear and leave it there? We need first try radio contact with crews and engines at all times. Is this more of a state of mind issue, to listen to your radio at all times?

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    An SOG that would require your firefighters to keep the speaker/mic at their ear? Better start putting away money for the lawyer that proves you caused hearing damage because of your guideline.
    Crews get busy. Command gets busy. You will never achieve consistent first-time communications like you want, and by requiring it, you are setting yourself up to fail. If you want your department members or your particular crews to do be more be more quick on the radio then; TRAIN, TRAIN, and TRAIN!
    "Honor Above Thyself"

    Patrick Harper

    NOTE: THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY ME IN THIS FORUM DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

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    I have a Motorola HT1250 and i keep the radio itself in the inside pocket of my jacket and clip the mike on the inside of the collar halfway between the regulator and earflaps.Usually we don't have to change channels. if i'm outdoors than the radio is in it's pocket on the front of my jacket.

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    We use the motorola ht1000 radio and this is what I found works best. Our coats have a radio pocket on the right side chest area and the radio is secured inside with the velcro flap closed. I purchased a speaker mic retractable holder which is installed under the coat collar on the left side. The mic has a male clip that attaches to a female clip with a stainless steel cord that retracts. When I need to use the mic I just pull it away from my collar, push and talk, then let it go and it retracts against my chest. It works great and can be installed after you put on SCBA's. I think the manufacturers name is streetwise or something like that. I will look on the clip and get the name and re-post soon.

    Look in the shop section of firehouse.com and go under flashlight accessories. The product is called gear keeper and can be used for radios, flashlights, and other similar types of gear.

    [ 11-02-2001: Message edited by: stephen ]
    "Fire Prevention is our Intention"

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    Just looking around on forums and the Interior Attack Communications posting really caught my attention.
    I am a supplier of communications equipment as well as having spent 10 years in the fire department and am now on a heavy rescue squad.
    We use a Combination Ear Speaker/Mic system that allows crystal clear, two-way communications through the ear and does not in any way interfere with the S.C.B.A. or the facepiece. The system also features a Mushroom style P-T-T Button that can easily be placed just about anywhere. What makes this system really different is the alteration to the radio coil cord that allows the user to RAPIDLY & EASILY switch from their lapel mic to the ear speaker/mic system in seconds.
    The other system that I have is called "TEAM TALK". It is a mask mounted system that connects to the right side voicemitter on the Scott AV2000 facepiece. It requires no tools or alterations to connect and can be switched between users within 10 seconds.
    Please drop me an E-mail if you would like me to send you more information on these products.
    My E-mail is: safetysolutions3@aol.com


    STAY SAFE,
    Danny Pohan
    Ridgefield Park Rescue Squad safetysolutions3@aol.com[/EMAIL]

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    Brothers, I am a new training officer for an engine/rescue co.If anyone has up to date training meterials to donate please contact me at trmull71@hotmail.com. We are a volunteer co with very little to spare for training materials. Thanks brothers, T.

  18. #18
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    nullI have a New York Strap that I wear under or over my gear. The SMA clips to the chest strap of my MSA without a problem.
    These are my opinions and not necessarily the views of my employer.

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    Is anyone using Tact channels and if so do you have a written SOP or SOG on switching to the tact channel.

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    We are using an 800mhz trunked radio system, and we do have tac(ops) channels for fires/major incidents. The County mutual aid commitee policy is that any fire where M/A companies are commited will require the use of an ops channel. Our dept policy is to switch immediately upon arrival (if a working fire) this avoids having to change channels in the middle of the incident. Its not perfect, but it works out fairly well.

    Dave

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    How well do your radios stand up to being exposed to water, smoke, heat etc? Normally there is a reluctance here to take a radio in on initial attack for fear of damaging it, especially by water. I don't find this particularly safe, but that's what happens.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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    I have had some radios fail after being inside. Usually if you clean them up and let them dry out they are ok. Speaker mics tend to die a quicker and more permanent death, although (knock on wood) I haven't had to replace any in a long time. My Chief feels it more important to have the interior communications, so we accept the risk of damage to the radios.

    Dave

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    A couple weeks ago we had a crinimal fatality/fire. one of the FF dropped the radio in the basement were the victim was at. He didnt realize this until later, so the radio was soaked in blood and water for a couple hours. It works fine now, after some cleaning and drying. Ive dropped radios on the fireground, but they have always held up. For me, a couple thousand dollars doesnt compare to the cost of a FF life. The cost-to-benefit ratio of damage to a radio over the loss of a human life doesnt compare. If I was you I would find some good statistics about LODD and the needd for interior communications and try to be able to use your radios on interior ops. You can find technical reports for free on the national fire academy website that should give you all the info you need.

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    There is an extender for microphones that attaches to your gear up near the collar. search on the web for gearkeeper

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    Thanks for the replies guys, I'll see what happens when I raise the issue next.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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