Thread: Radio Ettique

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    Exclamation Radio Ettique

    I'm on a vollie dept. in NE Ohio. Our primary frequency is a county wide fire band. It seems that when ever we are on a call between the hours of 5:00pm to 7:00pm, we have a hard time communicating because there is a county dispatch center to the south of us that dispatches 6 dept. and one to the north of us that dispatches 5 dept. that do their nighty radio tests during these hours. We have repeatedly asked them to give courtesy to those on emergency operations and hold off testing, but our pleas have been ignored by both agencies. We have spoke with the chiefs of the dept. being dispatched at the agencies, still with no avail. Our Chiefs even have rudely told them over the radio to cease testing, but the still do it. We have talked
    using a dispatch frequency and a fireground frequency. What are the pros and cons of doing this. Thanks in advance for any help.

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    I'm kind of confused by the info. Your on a countywide band, but 2 other counties other then your own are on your frequency as well? If that's the case then there are obviously too many agencies operating on a single frequency.

    If I'm missing something, then I'm equally confused why fire chiefs from other dept's would ignoring your chief's request to cease testing when your out on a call. (responder safety issue!) But I can't give advice on what sounds like a political ****ing contest.

    In my area of Illinois we have 3 diffferent firegrounds for all agencies we in dispatch, or the field responders, can choose to move to instead of using our fire main which is dedicated to the 4 FD's my agency dispatch's for. The con is that, as dispatch, I am unable to transmit on 2 of the 3 firegrounds (red and blue). I am able to transmit on white. Red is frequently used first and there are times where incident command will start talking to us on fire ground red... I might be able to hear them (assuming I have Red turned up) and I can just answer them on Main which they'll probably hear even though they're on red... But that mistake happens and delays smooth communication.

    The pro's are that radio etiquette (and safety!) dictates that if another dept is using Red, then they should go to white or blue. And vice versa, I wont let one of my Dept's move to any fireground that is being used by another dept. I'll keep them on Main or move them to a different Fireground channel. And while we are in a congested suburban area outside of Chicago, it's rare that we can't find an available frequency to use (or at least politely share).
    Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But maybe time is also a companion who goes with us on our journey, and reminds us to cherish the moments of our lives because they will never come again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJim911 View Post
    I'm kind of confused by the info. Your on a countywide band, but 2 other counties other then your own are on your frequency as well? If that's the case then there are obviously too many agencies operating on a single frequency.

    If I'm missing something, then I'm equally confused why fire chiefs from other dept's would ignoring your chief's request to cease testing when your out on a call. (responder safety issue!) But I can't give advice on what sounds like a political ****ing contest.

    In my area of Illinois we have 3 diffferent firegrounds for all agencies we in dispatch, or the field responders, can choose to move to instead of using our fire main which is dedicated to the 4 FD's my agency dispatch's for. The con is that, as dispatch, I am unable to transmit on 2 of the 3 firegrounds (red and blue). I am able to transmit on white. Red is frequently used first and there are times where incident command will start talking to us on fire ground red... I might be able to hear them (assuming I have Red turned up) and I can just answer them on Main which they'll probably hear even though they're on red... But that mistake happens and delays smooth communication.

    The pro's are that radio etiquette (and safety!) dictates that if another dept is using Red, then they should go to white or blue. And vice versa, I wont let one of my Dept's move to any fireground that is being used by another dept. I'll keep them on Main or move them to a different Fireground channel. And while we are in a congested suburban area outside of Chicago, it's rare that we can't find an available frequency to use (or at least politely share).
    mrjim911 he is trying to say we have about 24 different depts. on our county band, between the hrs. of 1700-1900 about 8 of the depts do a radio and pager test. In my opinion they really don't need to do it every single day especially if you just had a call an hr. before this. The county fire association has written letter's to these depts. to please hold off testing while someone else is out on a call. The dispatch that is to the north of us has a higher wattage output (I think that is what it is) than most people on our county band, and can walk all over anyone else, heck I live less than a mile from our own dispatcher and can't even pick them up when the dispatcher to the north is transmitting.

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    Unhappy Radio Ettique

    Mr.Jim911, What I am sayin is that there are 34 different agencies from 2 counties on one frequency. It is a big ****ing match. Both of the dispatch centers that are causing the problems turn their radios all the way down. If the agency they are dispatching for has a call or it is test time they turn the radio up. They do what they need to do and turn the radio down. Believe me, if I had my way they would not be dispatching ever. Hope that clears it up.

    You were saying, as a dispatcher you could select one of three channels for everyone on the fireground? The personnel on the fireground would not have to worry what channel they were on because the dispatcher chose the one with the least traffic? That would be nice.

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    Thanks for clarifying the channel congestion situation, I see why that would be annoying. Without different agencies applying to get their own channels that will be hard to negotiate.

    And yes, we have our main and then the 3 fire grounds. I can see much easier then IC which channels are being used/busy and will direct him and the responding units which ground channel to go to if the IC wants to go to a ground.
    Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But maybe time is also a companion who goes with us on our journey, and reminds us to cherish the moments of our lives because they will never come again.

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    Depts around here have all gone to private high band freq. It works great. Each dept also programs their radios with the surronding depts high bands for use on mutual aids.

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    Default Fire Ground Freq

    We have a single dispatch frequency for the city. Once a unit is assigned to a call we work off of one frequency. For example:

    Dispatch Frequency: E1 still medical at 123 3rd St respond on FIRE 2

    All traffic for the incident b/w units and b/w dispatch will be on FIRE 2

    At the end of the incident we go "available back to dispatch frequency"

    It works pretty well, and we don't get jammed up trying to communicate over all the other trucks going available, back in quarters, etc.

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    I'm assuming that everyone involved is properly licensed to operate on that frequency and at the power they're using?

    You might want to contact the FCC. Cooperation on a shared public service frequncy is required -- it isn't just good etiquette. Routine radio tests carried out while the frequency is in use by another agency for emergency traffic is arguably "harmful interference" and is prohibited by FCC regulations.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Thanks for the info Deputy Marshal. I will get in touch with the FCC to rectify the problem.

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    While we don't share with another county before any type of non emergency transmissions need to be done while an active incident is going on our dispatchers will advise command if it is 10-4 for them to do whatever another department in the county wants done such as a pager test. They have even postponed our weekly test of all pagers and sirens due to active incidents where command still needed dispatch to stay open.

    I think someone asked earlier but why have the shared frequency between 2 counties anyway that is whats getting me ??

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    have you considered pl or dpl tones? our county dispatch has pl tones and it gets rid of alot of the unwanted "overlapping" of other county dispatches and radio traffic. my dept is getting a pl for our tactical channel because of unwanted radio traffic from two neighboring counties.

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    Just remember, a PL tone will help prevent unwanted signals on a duplex system from being retransmitted over your repeaters but it won't prevent them from "walking" on either your Tx or Rx frequency if they're strong enough.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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