Firefighting

Preventing RIC Radio Chaos: The 3/3 Option

Issue 12 and Volume 163.

BY ANTHONY AVILLO It started out as a routine familiarization and training drill with a new piece of equipment that our department had recently purchased. Ultimately, however, it changed the way we looked at rapid intervention company (RIC) operations, especially from a command and control standpoint. North Hudson (NJ) Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR) recently acquired a firefighter locator system, consisting of personal transmitters individual firefighters attach to their clothing or integrate into their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and the receivers to which they transmit. The department equipped all its battalion commander vehicles, all squad companies that respond as RICs, and the safety officer with handheld firefighter locator receivers. According to the manufacturer’s Web site, the individual transmitter emits a high-frequency, 2.46-GHz signal that can be tracked using the handheld receiver. Unlike ultrasonic waves that bounce off all walls and ceilings, this firefighter locator’s signal can penetrate walls, ceilings, and…

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