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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000

    Post Tactical Channels

    I am from a small full time dept. We are going to a tach channel for fire ground operations. I am looking for samples of policies on use. If you have any please let me know how I can get a copy.

    Becareful out there

    I am only looking for a copy of a written policy. If you know of a written policy on this please leave me a message.
    Last edited by firefighter/emt; 02-28-2002 at 11:03 AM.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Wheaton IL


    It isn't that involved. For us, when multiple companies arrive at a call where we are going to work the IC has everyone switch to the fireground freq.

    I would like to see it automatic, in our sop's, but most of our IC's are good about switching over.

    An example would be: Ducomm from E631, we are on the scene with a two story frame, smoke from the second floor, investigating, have all companies switch to fireground 830 upon arrival.

    Our dispatchers repeat what the first due said and that's it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001


    My dept is the same way, once IC has been established the call is made for all units to go to fireground. This is repeated by the dispatcher and then we usually do a quick check of all units when they've switched. a good policy is also to make sure all of your portables have the fg freq on the same channel, example all my depts fg freqs are on channel 5 in our portables that way no matter what one u have you'll now what channel to turn to.
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
    New England FOOL
    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

  4. #4
    Senior Member DFDRev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Detroit, MI


    Our dispatchers say something like: "All companies at the fire scene on Main Street switch to your rig-to-rig frequency. All companies at the fire scene on Main Street switch to your rig-to-rig frequency."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000


    We have a written policy, but it takes up a page, mostly listing all the channels, and boils down to this:

    Channel 2 (Fixed-base repeater) while enroute
    Channel 7 (Low-power simplex) when on arrival
    Channel 5 (Low-power simplex) for Traffic Control

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    NorthEast Paid on Call

    Default Tacs

    We have 2 tactical channels and typically use one for fireground and the other for water supply.

    I'll throw out one consideration for you in case you haven't considered it. Are your tacticals going to be recorded by dispatch? We try to get onto the tacs as quick as possible on the "easy" calls but we have decided that for working fires we should stay on primary until the fire is under control. This way we have a recording of those first few critical minutes of an incident if we need it. Hopefully we won't need it and if we do it will all be good things but you never know. If we go to tacs our dispatch hears nothing at all from us because it doesn't go to repeater.

    This hasn't made it to SOG status yet and I'm not sure if it ever will.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Blackwood NJ, USA


    My question is along the same lines of the question about recording transmissions. A local county immediately switches the on location apparatus to a non-repeater channel, leaving the IC only on repeater. I don't see the value in this, on a busy fireground it could be easy for someone to miss a transmission of someone in trouble or reporting critical information. It would seem more important to me to keep the dispatcher listening to the whole scene, rather than just the IC. We use a "tac" channel for drills or more specialized evolutions where we want a clear channel. We remain on the operational channel and apparatus responding to subsequent incidents are switched off to an alternate frequency. Another issue I have is with switching channels for every or working incidents. To me its too easy to have a member end up on a wrong channel when trying to operate a frequency knob or worse, buttons on a portable, etc.. in SCBA.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Nevada, Missouri


    We have a talk-around channel that is the same as our primary dispatch channel but does not have the pl-tone to key the repeater. That way everyone can hear dispatch and talk around among themselves without the whole couny hearing. An alternative to that is the State-wide fire frequencies we can use. Come in handy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Western Wake Fire Rescue, Raleigh, NC


    In our county we have 1 main dispatch channel, 1 main fireground channel (recorded), 6 tatical channels (simplex, non-repeated), and our department has 2 "private" non-repeated channels. We also have the state-wide M/A Fire "State Fire" in our "B" banks

    Set up like this in our radios:

    Wake Fire 1
    Wake Fire 2
    Western Wake 3
    Western Wake 4
    Raleigh Fire (4 of em, they have a total of 10)
    Apex Fire
    Wake Tact 1
    Wake Tact 2
    Wake Tact 3
    Wake Tact 4
    Wake Tact 5
    Wake Tact 6

    We've had alot of discussion recently about "switching on arrival" or "switching right now"

    I have a huge problem with switching on arrival, this means if i'm in a truck that doesn't have scan on the radio I may miss important communications, usually i'll take the handheld and put it on the fireground freq (as the officer).

    We also had problems wtih going to our private channels for responses that were within our department, problem is.. they aren't repeated and we have a fairly wide spread district. So now we reserve these channels for "talk around" non-emergency type stuff, trainings, etc...

    If we have multi department responses we'll go to Wake Fire 2, which is repeated, recorded and we have communication with dispatch on. This is for reasons that other have listed above.

    We'll use the Tact Channels if Wake Fire 2 isn't available, or it's our department only that's on the call.

    sound confusing.. it is...

    somebody once told me.. keep it on 1.. if it isn't important enough to say on 1, then it's not that important.

    We've tried to get to where only on long drawn out or multi department responses that we go to channel 2. The exception is if dispatch is very busy we'll take our stuff to a different channel so that we don't tie up dispatch and we can have uninterrupted communications...

    word on the street is that 800 is coming to our area and dispatch will be assigning tact channels on dispatch, which will be very nice.

    oh yeah did i mention if we go with 2 of our M/A departments we have to use an 800 radio???

    it sucks
    Shevais M. Shrum
    Western Wake Fire Rescue

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2001


    Can someone fill me in on the different terms used in radio lingo? PL's - they are used in repeaters?
    Simplex - the opposite of repeater?

    My dept. gets dispatched on the same freq as every dept in the county. After, we switch to a fire(truck to truck, fireground) which is used throughout the township, by about 15 depts. We have no repeaters to my knowledge in a 12 square mile district. All freqs are in the 40's. Our radio system is a bit antiquated, what could we do to update it?

  11. #11
    Forum Member firemed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001


    To clear up some information:
    a "PL", along with "DPL" and "CTCSS" are subaudible markers that are sent when the radio is keyed, and only radios that have the same markers or no markers at all will receive the transmittion. They are also known as Private Line codes, hence "PL". They were originally designed so companies that were issued the same frequency would not have to listen to each other. For example, there are two towns on 154.400, over 50 miles apart, but the radios they use are strong enough to hear each other clear as day. By both having seperate PLs, neither have to listen to each other. The codes can be used on either simplex or repeater frequencies.

    Simplex means direct contact. This means that you use one channel, and goes from radio to radio without assistance of a repeater.

    A repeater is a device that takes a transmittion on one channel, and sends it out at a higher strength on another channel, so everyone can here what is being said. They allow use of radios over a large span on land.

    As for updating from a low band system (40.00 is lowband), my opinion is if it works, then don't. If its not, and you need a system, I would suggest a simple VHF system, possibly a VHF repeater if you have areas where the radios dont work.

    In my department we use our primary channel as our dispatch and emergency channel, and use the tactical channel for second calls, and other radio traffic not involving the incident going on. We have a county wide channel used for water supply, and a state wide channel for mutual aid.
    Last edited by firemed9; 03-01-2002 at 04:38 AM.
    Lieutenant / EMT- Paramedic
    Protective Services Officer

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