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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    A small town with primarily mobile homes and single family residences certainly does not need a radio for every riding position and every member. As long as the members are equipped with PASS devices, and the lead member of the crews have a radio, these structures are small enough that a radio is not needed for all.

    Communties with larger structures may need to consider radios for all riding posistions, however, even there, personnel should be operating, at a minimum as a 2 man team. As long as one member of the team has a radio, that should be more than sufficiant.

    On the fireground we could operate with far fewer radios without a compromise in firefighter safety.


    I agree with Jasper, you sir are a hypocrit. You bash other departments consistently over safety issues, even suggesting stopping at green lights. Yet, when it comes to key LIFESAVING issues, you are complacent.

    Depends on structure you say. So a firegighter can't get lost in a mobile home or single family dwelling? They can't be caught in a collapse? Having a PASS makes everything OK?

    Good God, please stay in the south, better yet, get out of the fire service entirely.

    The part I highlighted in bold is for a very significant reason. We lost a firefighter last year in a house fire. He was part of a two man team when the floor gave way. They were seperated with the collapse, one went one way, the other went the other way. One got out, because they found a door. The other died because he was trapped in a room with no doors or windows and the only exit was blocked by debris.

    Guess what moron, he was still able to call a MAYDAY because he had a radio, as well as his partner was also able to call a MAYDAY.


    Point is, there should be NO DAMN EXCUSE for each firefighter not having their own radio. No one can predict the conditions that one may encounter.


  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    If programmed, they will automatically alert the dispatcher of a firefighter in trouble. The computer screen will gather the mobile serial number and what unit it is assigned to. While it will not be announced, the dispatcher can query the unit and be able to tell which firefighter is in trouble by employee ID, badge, shield etc for information purposes to the COD.

    If activated, the dispatcher will call either the unit OIC or the IC, informing them to call dispatch Code 1 (here in Va Beach). If a member accidentally hit the emergency button, they personally should reply back, Dispatch Code 1 Error. If the member has physically removed their radio and is in rehab, and the OIC has a visual on the firefighter and it was an accident, the OIC will reply Engine 14, Code 1 Error.

    If activated in a true emergency, the OIC and the IC will be called in teh same practice. Often with IC's having 12 radios crammed into their ears so that they can talk to the police, sanitation, the Red Cross, the local minister, VDot, VNG, Dominion Power, President Bush, the Pentagon and whoever else needs to fill in command slots, it is possible to miss a mayday or urgent message.


    We have the same orange buttons on the radios and do act as described here. However, they are good to alert dispatch if in a situation where police may need to be involved, such as on a med call with people being threatened. This way the party doesn't see someone calling police on the radio.

    For fireground emergencies though, the button does not work well to call a mayday or an emergency situation. It is hard to activate with a gloved hand. On our channel selector switch the first and last channel are EMERGENCY channel, so no matter which way one turns the knob, they will get the EMERGENCY channel.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    If you have a CDM1550 Series radio, it can be programmed to decode and acknowledge an emergency alarm. I am also fairly certain Morotola GM300 and Maxtrac series radios will as well.

    If you are using HT750/1250 series portables, I am 95 percent certain they require a revert frequency for the emergency alarm. Regardless of the frequency you are on the radio will transmit the emergency on the revert frequency that is determined in the programming software. Older Ht1000/MT2000 series radios can be programmed to transmit the emergency ID on the selected frequency or they can revert.
    Thank you sir, I believe I understand. We are using the 1250's. Our central center only monitors 2 freqs that are available to us, one is our regional comm, and the other is a county wide repeater. Its sorta irrelevant at this point because they don't have the interface to acknowledge the emergency radio. Hopefully in this decade they'll catch up on some technology.

  4. #44
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    DOVFD ...

    If you read my post ... on my current department all firefighters have radios. Support members, many of whom are EMS certified, also have radios so they can give patient reports if they arrive on EMS scenes before the apparatus and ambulances. Juiors have them simply because we made the decision eliminate pagers a few years ago as the price difference between radios and pagers in now very small. Do juniors need them? No, but it's just simplier and we can stop buying pagers.

    We are lucky in that we have the money to do this. Most rural departments simply don't.

    Crabby ..

    We disagree. If crew intergrity is maintained and the person responsible for monitering the crew does his/her job, there is no need for everyone to have a radio in most fireground situations in most small-community fire departments that protect mostly SF residences and some businesses. Crews are supposed to stay together and communicate. If members from that crew drift off ... yes, you have a problem. But that should not be occuring. That needs to be addressed with training.

    The reality is that most fire departments in most small towns simply cannot afford to give all riding positions, much less all members, radios without impacting some other needed area. In a perfect world where money isn't an issue, give everyone a radio, but in the real world, where choices often have to be made, there very well may be other firefighter safety issues that need to be funded as well.

    Nothing hypocritic about that. Just a real world view.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-07-2007 at 10:34 AM.

  5. #45
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    We wouldn't think of sending someone in on an interior attack without turnout gear, would we? Would we send someone in with an attack line, in their bluejeans, saying "well, they've got the line and can protect themselves with water"?

    Or perhaps more fairly, would we send someone in without a PASS device because, chances are, they probably won't need it?

    There are two things in this thread that I find offensive. The first is the situation I'm trying to analogize to above (and yes, I agree there is a difference between turnouts and radios). It is simply unacceptable to ask someone to run into a burning building without all of the necessary safety gear that they should have. We cannot say that money is the issue preventing us from being safe...that is a slippery slope to losing more firefighters. What about the fire service isn't expensive? We need to make hard decisions about what we will and will not do. I won't go into a dangerous situation with less equipment than what I need to safely protect myself and others. From my perspective, a radio is included in that list. I don't think it is acceptable for anyone to say that something which may protect my safety is too expensive...even if it is something that I would not need in the ordinary course of events. Is there a line which must be drawn somewhere? Sure...there is a limit to how much protection we can have. Is that a hard line to draw? Yep. But if you're going into a situation where you will be unable to be heard by command if you're shouting, you need a radio. It is that simple. Guys go down in fires, at accidents, and in training, from external threats, heart attacks, and a multitude of other causes. In 2007, there is simply no excuse to not give us the ability to call for help when we need it, whether for ourselves, our buddies, or the victims of incidents.

    The second argument that I cannot accept is that firefighters cannot maintain radio discipline and will be jabbering incessantly if given a radio. Frankly, if you have someone on your department who cannot maintain radio discipline, then what on earth are you doing with them at a fire scene? If you can't keep off the radio, you have no business going into a fire, driving a fire engine, or doing anything else in the fire service. Keeping your mouth shut and off the radio, except when necessary to talk on the radio, is far simpler than nearly any of the other tasks that we are called upon to perform. Again, if you cannot do that, you have no business in the fire service, either volunteer or otherwise.

  6. #46
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    Every guy does not have a radio here. On the engine the officer and hydrant man have one. On the truck it's the officer, one roofman, and the rear man.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF View Post
    Every guy does not have a radio here. On the engine the officer and hydrant man have one. On the truck it's the officer, one roofman, and the rear man.

    Are you guys looking to change that or are you OK with it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    Are you guys looking to change that or are you OK with it?
    Me? I'm fine with it. I never really gave it much thought. The hydrant radio was added to the engines a couple of years ago and I suppose it is occasionally handy to have.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    DOVFD ...


    We disagree. If crew intergrity is maintained and the person responsible for monitering the crew does his/her job, there is no need for everyone to have a radio in most fireground situations in most small-community fire departments that protect mostly SF residences and some businesses. Crews are supposed to stay together and communicate. If members from that crew drift off ... yes, you have a problem. But that should not be occuring. That needs to be addressed with training.

    The reality is that most fire departments in most small towns simply cannot afford to give all riding positions, much less all members, radios without impacting some other needed area. In a perfect world where money isn't an issue, give everyone a radio, but in the real world, where choices often have to be made, there very well may be other firefighter safety issues that need to be funded as well.

    Nothing hypocritic about that. Just a real world view.
    Yes, for you, this is extremely hypocritical. Given you past rantings on safety issues, this is out in left field. Your "real world view" does not make the above statement any less hazardous. In your mind if crew integrity is maintained is there no chance one of the two members could be trapped or fall through the floor? If the radio equipped member goes through the floor, the member w/o is alone, has another firefighter down and must leave to report it! Great scenario!
    Quote Originally Posted by LawFires View Post
    The second argument that I cannot accept is that firefighters cannot maintain radio discipline and will be jabbering incessantly if given a radio. Frankly, if you have someone on your department who cannot maintain radio discipline, then what on earth are you doing with them at a fire scene? If you can't keep off the radio, you have no business going into a fire, driving a fire engine, or doing anything else in the fire service. Keeping your mouth shut and off the radio, except when necessary to talk on the radio, is far simpler than nearly any of the other tasks that we are called upon to perform. Again, if you cannot do that, you have no business in the fire service, either volunteer or otherwise.
    In my area as I noted, the county bought a few hundred portables and gave them out. My dept? No issue, we have absolute discipline. It's a bunch of other yokels that suddenly were raised to some ridiculous level of self-importance that feel everyone needs to know they're every movement when a call goes out. We have fought to make other chief's take care of the issue as we're on a county-wide dispatch freq. to little avail. I couldn't agree more on the useless radio drivel, but the reality is that we are having a difficult time making a bunch of 50 call a year vollie chief's enforce rules on their members. It certainly isn't an excuse to not have radios, yet a caution that issuing personal radios must be done along with sound radio policies and enforcement of them.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 09-07-2007 at 08:25 PM.

  10. #50
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    Yes, for you, this is extremely hypocritical. Given you past rantings on safety issues, this is out in left field. Your "real world view" does not make the above statement any less hazardous. In your mind if crew integrity is maintained is there no chance one of the two members could be trapped or fall through the floor? If the radio equipped member goes through the floor, the member w/o is alone, has another firefighter down and must leave to report it! Great scenario

    You see it as hypocritical. I don't. Yes, something may happen. The floor may collapse, the ceiling may come down or something else may happen that may require assistance. The fact is, if the crew is operating together and constantly communicating, the crew officer/leader will know something has happened to one of thier members and be able to radio for assistance. If the firefighter down is the one with the radio thier PASS will self-activate. The firefighters who do not go through the floor can also activate thier PASS devices. In a small or meduim sized residence, this will get assistance as other crews will be operating close enough to hear the PASS. There are ways of getting help. I have been doing this long enough in small and meduim sized towns to know that this is not unsafe.

    The reality is that most fire departments in most small towns simply cannot afford to give all riding positions, much less all members, radios without impacting some other needed area. In a perfect world where money isn't an issue, give everyone a radio, but in the real world, where choices often have to be made, there very well may be other firefighter safety issues that need to be funded as well.

    This is from my last post. There are departments out there that can afford to buy radios for all members without impacting other areas of thier budgets. There are thousands of departments out there who can't. So where do you suggest these departments take the money from? Purchasing PPE? Purchasing PASS devices? Training? Vehicle Maintanence? New, reliable hose and tools? All of these areas impact firefighter safety everyday as much, or in most cases, more than radios for each firefighter.

    Just a few weeks ago there was a thread about mandating bailout systems for all firefighters in New York state. Radios for all members for into the same catagory. Nice thought but not grounded, in most cases, fiscal reality.

    I stand by my statement that radios for each firefighter isn't a need, it's a luxury that some departments can afford but most can't. I have served in these departments that very much struggle day to day and have far greater and far more basic needs that radios for each member.

    When you can tell me how these departments, many of whom don't even have money for pagers and still rely on a siren for notification, are supposed to come up with the extra money for the radios, I'll agree that I'm a hypocrite. Until then, I see myself as viewing this issue through a real world perspective.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-08-2007 at 07:57 AM.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    [B]I stand by my statement that radios for each firefighter isn't a need, it's a luxury that some departments can afford but most can't.
    If this forum was around 30-40 years ago, I wonder if the same comment would've been made about SCBA's.

    I bet it would've.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Thanks, I was really asking how well does it work. I am just nervous that we'll have accidental activations and that it will tie up radio traffic with the signal being sent... Open mics are bad enough.

    What this guy said, ha http://forums.firehouse.com/showpost...2&postcount=38

    The radio's down here are digital. An accidental activation has never "locked" up a Tac Channel. The signal is all computer to computer (not sure of the word I am looking for). The entire sequence from dispatch receiving and calling the person, and person calling back takes very little air time.
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    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  13. #53
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    Ken ..

    I don't put radios in the same catagory as SCBA's, but you very well might be right.

    In terms of basic firefighting protective equipment, I would rank the needs as follows:

    1. Servicable gear including Hood.
    2. Sufficiant Current SCBA for all interior and roof personnel.
    3. PASS devices for all SCBA.
    4. Radios for all riding positions.
    5. Radios for all members on the fireground.
    6. Bailout equipment for departments who routinly operate in 3+ stroy buildings.

    I don't see how you can address #4 and #5 until you have addesssed 1,2 and 3. There are thousands of departments that struggle with the basics of 1-3 everyday. There is simply no way that you can say a radio is more important than gear, current SCBA and PASS devices. I think it's a fair statement to say that most, if not all, would agree with that.

    In the cases of those departments that are able to provide the basics in personal protective equipment to thier members, and can afford to purchase radios for all members, they should be purchased.

    My point is that there are thousands of departments where the funds are simply not available and that is not a realistic option.

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    It has been my opinion that each and every fire fighter who goes into a burning building should have a radio. Anything could happen. The radio could fail, the person with the radio could fall through the floor or have debris fall on him. What if the person with the radio drops it or looses it somehow. As a minimum, each SCBA should be equipped with an emergency distress signal that transmits to a master control panel on the exterior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Yes, for you, this is extremely hypocritical. Given you past rantings on safety issues, this is out in left field. Your "real world view" does not make the above statement any less hazardous. In your mind if crew integrity is maintained is there no chance one of the two members could be trapped or fall through the floor? If the radio equipped member goes through the floor, the member w/o is alone, has another firefighter down and must leave to report it! Great scenario

    You see it as hypocritical. I don't. Yes, something may happen. The floor may collapse, the ceiling may come down or something else may happen that may require assistance. The fact is, if the crew is operating together and constantly communicating, the crew officer/leader will know something has happened to one of thier members and be able to radio for assistance. If the firefighter down is the one with the radio thier PASS will self-activate. The firefighters who do not go through the floor can also activate thier PASS devices. In a small or meduim sized residence, this will get assistance as other crews will be operating close enough to hear the PASS. There are ways of getting help. I have been doing this long enough in small and meduim sized towns to know that this is not unsafe.

    The reality is that most fire departments in most small towns simply cannot afford to give all riding positions, much less all members, radios without impacting some other needed area. In a perfect world where money isn't an issue, give everyone a radio, but in the real world, where choices often have to be made, there very well may be other firefighter safety issues that need to be funded as well.

    I stand by my statement that radios for each firefighter isn't a need, it's a luxury that some departments can afford but most can't. I have served in these departments that very much struggle day to day and have far greater and far more basic needs that radios for each member.


    Thank you RFDACM02 for seeing what my post was about. You nailed it with your response.

    LA...you are still without a clue here. You keep saying if the two stick together etc there is no reason for each FF to have a radio. Yet, my example was not a WHAT IF, it was REALITY. That actually happened and a FF died. During a search both FF's had a radio and one was on the wall the other one held the the FF's boot doing a search. The floor collapsed and one went one way, one went the other.

    Both were able to call a MAYDAY. You BS answer is saying that if together there is no need for two radios. Well if such a situation happens again, how can the one without a radio be sure help is on the way, or that the one with a radio is still conscious and able to call a MAYDAY.

    Go ahead and hide behind the budget excuse. This is a firefighter safety issue (one you tout so much). A radio is a crucial piece of equipment for a fire department. Instead of finding excuses as to why NOT to have one, a dept should be finding ways to make it so everyone has one.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You see it as hypocritical. I don't.
    Actually, it would appear that quite a few people in this thread have called you on your hypocrisy, not just a singular "you". You can add me to the list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Ken ..

    I don't put radios in the same catagory as SCBA's, but you very well might be right.

    In terms of basic firefighting protective equipment, I would rank the needs as follows:

    1. Servicable gear including Hood.
    2. Sufficiant Current SCBA for all interior and roof personnel.
    3. PASS devices for all SCBA.
    4. Radios for all riding positions.
    5. Radios for all members on the fireground.
    6. Bailout equipment for departments who routinly operate in 3+ stroy buildings.

    I don't see how you can address #4 and #5 until you have addesssed 1,2 and 3. There are thousands of departments that struggle with the basics of 1-3 everyday. There is simply no way that you can say a radio is more important than gear, current SCBA and PASS devices. I think it's a fair statement to say that most, if not all, would agree with that.

    In the cases of those departments that are able to provide the basics in personal protective equipment to thier members, and can afford to purchase radios for all members, they should be purchased.

    My point is that there are thousands of departments where the funds are simply not available and that is not a realistic option.
    I believe that NFPA already requires integrated PASS devices in SCBA. Why not also include integrated radios with each SCBA as well. A PASS alarm only makes a noise and flashes. A better solution is the accountability systems currently on the market that will monitor the status on a PC screen, perhaps at the command post. But realistically, with a radio, if I get separated I can call for help. And it happens all the time, just read the NIOSH reports. Also, we aren't talking about radios for everyone, just for the guys who go interior. In most cases you would need an additional 4 or 5 radios, that cost is minimal. And for departments with low budgets they should consider including this kind of stuff in a grant request.

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    Last edited by 5alarmcooker; 03-17-2008 at 06:19 PM.

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    Smile radios, E-PASS, and the next good idea

    I think it was ChiefKN that said it, (sorry if I misquote) if this was 40 yrs ago this would be about SCBA. Fifteen ago, first gen. PASS. There will always be something (I hope) new to help protect us and make our job safer. Some will have it immediately, some not. All the "preachers" need to study the lesson. We do what we can with what we got. Know any units still running apparatus that are featured in museums, I do. We donated Nomex coats and pants to a dept. that was still wearing cotton duck and you'da thought we gave 'em bags of gold. They operate a 1946 GMC that looks & runs better than a lot of 90's rigs. They have one radio and it is on a desk in the station. Their air packs are 5 "new" MSAs with intergrated PASS.
    OH, and by the way, they cover about 110 sq. miles as their first due. They go to fires, and the fires get put out.

    Maybe in 10-15 yrs we will be on here typing (or maybe it'll be telepathic by then) about how if you ain't got "X", you shouldn't fight fires. Makes good reading though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Point is, there should be NO DAMN EXCUSE for each firefighter not having their own radio. No one can predict the conditions that one may encounter.
    Bravo sir, bravo...And sorry to hear of your loss.

    With the costs involved with radios these days (ours are $3500 ea), I can understand why some small, rural, very small budget volly FDs might not be able to afford a radio for all. But if your FD does have the money, there is no excuse for not having them. None.

    We have one per seat on each rig and staff officers have their own. Its been that way since I signed on in '83.
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