I was wondering if other towns have the same problem. We are a pretty small town 1.4 square miles 5 fire companies 1 ambulance squad but heres our problem. The other day police starts yelling over the radio to call the FD and Ems to the boat club and he officer didnt say why. So..we had ems responding to the scene when no one knew what even happened yet.All dispatch said was you have a Fire call and some fire companies had hte bright idea of rolling to where the police cars were..So basically we had total radio chaos between Fire and ems all trying to talk on the radios and telling who to go here and what ambulance or boat to go there. Finally it got pretty calm after everyone got staged but for the first few 5-6 minutes everyone didnt knwo where they were going all you heard were apparatus #'s being called out to go here and go there for ht efire dept. and ems go here and go there. Dont bring the boat to this ramp bring it to that one and On and on. So basically everyone was stepping on eachother. NOW the thing I think is pretty messed up is this hasnt only happened once this has happened numerous times at structure fires where the chief is tryin to communicate with other fire units on a scene of a working fire and the ems crews are talking about setting up rehab and triage area..Meanwhile interior crews are yelling for water but the engineer cant hear them due to the first aid talking over them. Its pretty bad..especially at accident scenes. BUT Ems is supposed to communicate with eachother on Another channel but they dont for some reason which gets me annoyed. We have spoken to the mayor a few times but he hasnt really done anything. Its getting to the point where the chief and Ems officer have gotten Nasty with eachother on the radios and have passed comments to eachother off the radio. My opinion is only 1 Ems rig or Officer from Ems keep his/her radio on Fire Ground channel and if FIre needs something from Ems then tell that officer and they'll relay the message to Ems. Either that or We want a PL so that when EMs and Fire talks at the same time Fire Only hears Fire units and EMS only hears EMS units. And If fire needs to talk to ems they can and same goes for EMS...Anyone else have problems like this? hehehe I know sounds pretty bad huh?..
South Amboy, New Jersey
Junior EMS Responder
"EMTS DON'T DIE THEY JUST STABILIZE"
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07-18-2000, 05:38 PM #1Engine58Firehouse.com Guest
Fire-ems ops on the same frequency???
07-18-2000, 05:57 PM #2MetalMedicFirehouse.com Guest
Adding PL's to your radio frequency will not solve this porblem since both EMS and Fire will still be occupying the same airspace which will probably result in even worse results. Radio frequencies are at a premium, so I am surprised EMS doesn't go to their other channel to operate on. I assume you are using the same channel for dispatching the departments as you are using for fireground operations. This alone can cause alot of chaos when you are trying to get the rigs out the door. The first solution that comes to my mind is TRAINING. Having worked as a dispatcher, my observations where than when communications got out of hand, it was usually the result of users not paying attention to the other traffic on the radio and only concerning themselves with their own traffic. Has anyone tried establishing a priority system where certain traffic has the "right-of-way" so to speak in certain situations?
From what you describe, I could see having an interior team being the preferred radio user when they are operating in a fire building. Obviously the Fire Commander would have priority above them in order to resolve the emergency, but since it is a life-safety concern, everyone else should have to wait for the hose team to talk. Now, if you are at an EMS scene where the fire department is in a secondary role, the EMS Command would take priority while the Fire Dept. took the back seat.
Another problem is just poor listening skills and poor radio procedure. Volunteers are prone to this when they don't use radios often. Some think they are like telephones and can't get the hang of "Think-key the mike-talk-pause-unkey the mike." If everyone could just slow down to that point, it might solve a great deal of your troubles.
I do wish you luck. I am sure there is no easy answer to this one.
Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
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