Who can talk to who, and how ?
Our company is located in a small rural mountains terrain area. We run about 1200 calls per year. We currently have three radios in our ambo's. 1) Low Band 33mhz range. This is the system used by the Fire Dept's. in the county. 2) VHF High band. 155mhz. range. This is used by ambulances. 3) UHF Ultra High Band. Also, used by ambulances. Here is our dilema.........
- If we use the UHF radio, we can talk great to dispatch, but can't talk at all to other mobile or portable units.
- If we use VHF, we can talk unit to unit great, but half the time, dispatch can't hear us, or we can't recieve them.
- If we use the Low Band, it works great. We can talk to Dispatch with not trouble because they have multiple towers. We can also talk unit to unit which is great for coordinating on calls with the FD.
- The powers to be don't want "EMS" using the sacred "Fire" Frequencies. Their reasoning is that it will tie up the channel to much, with things like clearing the hospital, receiving patient info. from dispatch, etc.
I am interested in hearing how other jurisdictions handle communications. Do Fire & EMS go enroute, on scene, etc. on the same channel, do they have separate channels, and if that is the case, how do you handle coordination under the Incident Command System ?
I hope toe develop some information that will either change my mind about how I think it should be. Or give me some ammunition to take to the county meeting to fight for better communications.
Our county has 25 Fire Dept's, some with Ambulances, and 4 independent EMS only services. Everyone runs EMS Calls, 1st resp. or ambulance.
Thanks a bunch for your input....