Firefighting

Radios should fit needs

Issue 6 and Volume 150.

Radios should fit needs Irvin Lichtenstein Erdenheim, Pennsylvania Robert C. Bingham in “Improving Fireground Radio Communications” (February 1997) rightly focuses on the content of the communication and the need for precise language to ensure communication is achieved. His brief comments on modern portable radios need some expansion and clarification, however. As radio systems became more complex and increasingly controlled by computer systems, the portable radio had to become more complex and more capable. In some instances, the added abilities came as a “freebie” when a computer became the radio-control device. In other instances, the complexity of the command structure and the communications system required the features. Typically today, a fire company is dispatched on one channel, talks to dispatch on a second channel, and fights the fire on a third channel. In many suburban areas with regional dispatch centers, there may be zone channels, repeater, and unrepeater (simplex) channels, township…

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