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Emergency Communication Procedures and the RIT

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  • Emergency Communication Procedures and the RIT

    I am doing some personnal reseach on Emergency Communications and the RIT and would appreciate any responses to the following:
    1. Does your department use Standard
    Operating Procedures?
    2. If so, do these procedures address
    Emergency/Distress radio procedures?
    3. Is establishing a standard "Mayday"
    call to provide the IC, other
    companies and the RIT with as much
    information to aid in the rescue of
    a brother or sister necessary?
    4. What is your personnal opinion on
    SOP's for fireground operations
    and RIT evolutions?
    I would greatly appreciate any replies to these questions. And once again, these questions and any replies are strictly to hear what others have to say. These questions, in no way, reflect any interests or operational policies of my current employer or my Local.

    Thanks, Truckcoff

  • #2
    1. yes we do
    2. yes they do.
    3. Yes it is. The IC calls for radio silence. the IC then directs who is to talk.
    We are in the midst of getting a new 800 mhz trunked system with a built in button, when it is hit it disables all other radios that way the person or persons in trouble are guaranteed that their transmission is heard
    4. I think is important. in my department we often have mutual aid companys as the RIT so it is important everyone is on the same level

    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff!
    Visit our Dept. Schodack Valley


    • #3
      We have standard county radio procedures which include "Mayday" and Emergency Evacuation signal and All Hands Fire.

      The mayday has the dispatcher sound an alert tone and call for radio silence except for the trapped member and IC.

      Emergency evac calls for an alert tone, radio transmission ordering the evac and the sounding of warning devices, though I'd love to get to a point where we had radio PASS or enough portables to stop doing the warning device thing.

      The All Hands is requested by the Chief and is basically a filled out first alarm. You can add what you want, an extra engine, FAST company, air unit plus make notifications to the water company, fire marshal, officers, etc...

      Fireground SOPS are absolutely mandatory.. no way to fight, without a plan.


      • #4
        We use a county wide, standard, Incident Command system. All support activities are placed on channel 2, all tactical activities are on channel 3.(these are low band channels) We also use UHF cross banded to lowband channel 3 for tactical. All frequencies are monitored in the command post.

        RIT operations are put on a designated, "clean" frequency. We use the term "MAYDAY" to communicate there is a problem. Command then goes on the air and announces a MAYDAY in progress, stay off the air. Command then tries to determine the location of the MAYDAY. Command then communicates this information directly to the RIT on their "clean" frequency.

        This allows for absolutely clear communication with the RIT. This also gives you the option to send "Feed Back" over the tactical channel (ch.3 lowband) to turn the downed f/f's radio into a PASS device, aiding in locating the victim.

        We are also updating the county 911 center to monitor all fire ground frequencies ( currently they monitor only channel 1&2), just in case command misses the MAYDAY call. If you have every been to an "All Hands", multi department fire you know how much traffic is on the air. This gives you another set of ears.

        Another point, several of our neighboring department's program would ask the downed f/f to change his/her radio to another clean channel to talk directly to command. After discussing this we decided this was not a good idea. I'm sure if I'm the one who is trapped or lost, and I realize my life now is in danger, I don't want to be trying to change channels on my radio. We feel it is easier to change the rest of the operation to another frequency and leave the MAYDAY on the channel it comes in on.

        We also have up to 12 other UHF frequencies which we can assign to any function or operation.

        RIT SOP's have been developed and adopted by all of the 7 departments in our section. This way we all follow the same guidelines, use the same radio procedures, and everyone knows what is expected when they arrive as the RIT. This has been in the works for almost a year and is dynamic. Almost everytime we go out or do a joint drill we discover one more point or question to answer.

        Hope this has helped.

        Be Safe,



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