The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has completed a project with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) to study what important areas of safety and technology discussed in the USFA manual Fire Department Communications Manual – A Basic Guide to System Concepts and Equipment (FA-160) needed to be updated or revised, as well as what topics and technology related to fire department communications not discussed in the manual needed to be added since its development in 1996. This joint USFA and IAFF study was conducted with support from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) SAFECOM Program Office.
“The need for an understanding of today’s modern communications concepts and technology for firefighter and citizen life safety and operational effectiveness remains as valid, if not more so today, than it did when this USFA document was first produced in 1996,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Greg Cade. “USFA was pleased to work with DHS SAFECOM and the IAFF on this study to provide critical information to the fire service.”
The new manual, Voice Radio Communications Guide for the Fire Service, provides updated information on communications technology and discusses critical homeland security issues and concepts, such as SAFECOM, that did not exist when the original manual was first published. It also provides a wide fire service audience with a minimum level of familiarity with basic communications issues such as hardware, policy and procedures, and human interface.
“The safety of both firefighters and citizens depends on reliable, functional communication tools that work in the harshest and most hostile of environments,” said IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “The IAFF was pleased to work with USFA on this important project.”
For further information about this partnership effort and to download the manual free of charge, please visit the USFA Web site at http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/research/safety/communication.shtm.