How Cincinnati Fire Radio Functions

How Cincinnati Fire Radio Functions

On February 8, 1949, the Cincinnati, Ohio, Fire Department placed its Radio Station WJRJ in service, operating on 154.31 me for the station and 154.07 me for the mobile units. The Station is op erated by the Fire Alarm Operators and is entirely independent of Police. The Radio Operator in the Police Radio Station monitors the fire radio as well as the Police and attends to all adjustments of technical nature for both Stations. The radio system augments the fire department’s regular teletype and alarm system and is used to contact the fire department mobile units when on the street.

There are at present 23 fire department units equipped with 2-way and 8 with receivers only. All the cliief officers’ cars have 2-way. The terrain of the citv is quite hilly but through many tests it has been found that dead spots and other interference that were expected and feared are non-existent. The installation represents the near-fulfillment of Fire Chief Barney Houston’s long dream for complete fire department radio, with fire and police services having their own independent radio frequencies. Chief Houston wanted fire department radio, like fire alarm wired communications, handled by men who “spoke the language of the fireman.”

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New Bean Fog Fire Fighter Is Accepted by the Purchaser, Cy. Hyde. Left to Right Are Chief Roy Stone, Webster, N. H.; Bruce Anderson, President, Hotel Olds, Lansing, Mich.; Cy. Hyde, Owner Hy-Mar Lodge, Webster, N. H., and Roy G. Pulver, Sales Manager, Bean Fire Truck Division, Lansing, Mich.

Cincinnati Fire Radio

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The Cincinnati Fire Department uses no code numbers in connection with its radio communications. All messages are held as short as possible. All dispatch of equipment on any emergency is broadcast over the regular signal system after the equipment has been sent. This is done so that any fire officer or personnel of a piece of equipment that is out of quarters knows what is going on, and if an extra alarm or other special order is sent out every one is acquainted with the amount of equipment that has been sent previously. This also lets the officials who are out of quarters know what the lights that flash during the movement of a piece of emergency equipment are in operation for; thus if i_____ does not concern any officer’s unit he may continue without calling the Fire Tower (fire alarm bureau) for information as he would not be sure his radio had received the call, although the receivers and transmitters are tested twice daily (Cincinnati operates a traffic light control system which indicates to the public whenever an emergency vehicle is on the road, or whenever a fire officer desires to have the streets along his route cleared for him).

Here are a few random cases where Cincinnati’s fire radio has proved invaluable :

One ambulance was carrying a badly burned man to the General Hospital; the officer on the ambulance radioed to the Fire Tower to notify the receiving ward at the hospital that they had a serious burn case and that the hospital should have plasma and equipment for administering it ready for such a serious case. This was done and a great amount of time saved on arrival of the patient at the hospital. The patient was saved,

Accident to Apparatus

A pumper was responding to a fire and had an accident in which a civilian riding in the car involved in the accident with the apparatus was injured; a chief’s car, following the apparatus, radioed that the accident had occurred and requested another pumper be sent to the fire as the one involved had to remain at the scene of the mishap. A police accident squad also was ordered to the scene, and an ambulance, to handle the injured man. The time saved over having to seek a telephone was of great value.

A district chief returning from a fire was stopped by a party that reported another fire. The district chief radioed that he had a pumper with him but to send a box quota for the second fire (less the pumper he had on hand).

A district chief had a fire in a suburban area that was “an hour’s stand” (operation) for the companies on the scene, which would normally mean a move-up because the area was so far out. but the chief radioed that he was sending one of the pumpers to a strategic fire house to cover the territory, thus saving the move-up of apparatus and men.

A district chief at a fire called for two additional engine companies and ordered apparatus that could bring its own water with them. One was to come in from the north of the fire and one to come in from the west of the fire. This was done and the fire was held to the point of origin. This sort of information direct to the fire alarm office speeds up response and attack and saves time. The directions to the companies that responded were given as soon as the message was completed.

The captain of the Salvage Corps ra| dioed that he wanted another salvage j unit and for its crew to bring the reserve truck that was loaded with covers with them; also to have a couple of men from the other unit responding to man the reserve truck.

A district chief was responding from one fire to another, on a radio call, and was blocked by a train that was in mechanical trouble. He radioed his plight and directed the Fire Tower to send another district chief, which was done. The fire was a serious one.

A district chief responding to a fire with the second-due engine company was blocked by a train. He could see the fire in a dwelling on a hill from his blocked location. Here again radio came to the rescue. He ordered a company dispatched to the fire from another direction and by so doing so saved the dwelling, as the operation was one that required long hose “lays.”

The Superintendent of Cincinnati’s Communication System is C. S. Jones; James L. Hearne is Chief Radiotrician. The call set-up was devised by Assistant Chief H. C. Williams and A. W. Nightengale, Assistant Superintendent of Communications.

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