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  • #16
    We use signals:
    Signal 50 is a fire alarm
    Signal 23 is some type of emergency (usually medical)
    53 is reponding
    63 is on scene
    72 is a working fire

    However, a lot of our guys use plain talk too, although it is not the standard.

    Personally, I like plain talk, and it really helps on mutual aid incidents, as not every county uses the same codes and signals.

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    • #17
      Plain English is best. You can be a lot more specific than with a 10 code and most people can say what they need to in 10 words or less so 10 codes really don't save much time. Granted there are the ocasional yahoos who talk quite a bit...but still it works better.

      In my area all the fire departments use plain english however the police departments all use 10 codes and signals. Because of this sometimes some of the signals like for an accident or calls for assistance are carried over.
      Move fast or move aside...

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      • #18
        Almost all Fire Stations in my area are Dispatched by the County 911 Center. Everyone uses Plain Text although there are times I've wanted to take the Batteries out of certain Peoples Radios bu, you'll have this. The Police and Emergency Services Officers use the 10 codess and signals. My vote has always been for Plain Text.

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        • #19
          'round here - Fire and EMS are *supposed* to use plain english however since we are dispatched by a centeral 911 center that also dispatches/interfaces with 6 or 7 enforcement agencies then we still get a few 10 codes.

          *L* sometimes we will give a dispatcher a message in plain English and get the "read back" in 10-code.

          Also - being in a very southern drawl speech area - I use the term "plain english" very loosely

          Most of the 10 Codes we do use are:
          10-4 - Msg ack. or O.K.
          10-8 - In Service
          10-22 - Disregard
          10-50 - MVA
          10-70 - Fire - Will be followed by type. I.E. 10-70 Structure, Brush, Fire Alarm, etc.

          There are also "codes" in plain english. ALthou no one hardly ever uses them properly - our radio protocol states that "Responding" indicates a Lights & Siren Response (I.E. Med 3 Responding 2314 Peek-A-Boo Street - Subject Unresponsive) vs. En Route meaning a Quiet Response (Med 5B En Route 1816 Lois Lane - Transport to Dr. Appointment)

          Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
          Stephen
          FF/Paramedic
          Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
          Stephen
          FF/Paramedic
          Instructor

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          • #20
            We use a combination of the 10-Code and plain text. Just like everthing else, there is a fool on every side of it. Someone can always throw a monkey wrench into things.

            *Mark
            FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

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            • #21
              Here is another part,how about post locations?Like 10-24,10-76 to post 5.which means the chief has seen us enough for one evening and is going home.Post 1 is our quarters and post 5 is the home of whatever person is reporting it.Our chief toned a still alarm a few years back,we dont use that code but he put it in to play as it was the 7th time this buildings alarm had gone off(on this the day after Turkey day no less)the basic message was "Still alarm! Alarm still ringing....."Remember stay safe and have a leftover drumstick on us.Sorry pies all gone.

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              • #22
                Plain english, as little as possible, and standardized. Instead of having 3 different ways of saying "enroute", "responding" or "on the air," etc., we try to keep it to justone agreed upon word. "Responding," in our case.
                The opinions expressed here are that of my own and in no way reflect the opinions of my administration or department.

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                • #23
                  We are using plain text for all dispatches. If there is any sensitive dispatches they will sent them over our alpha pagers. The only "code" we have is for firefighter/medic in distress, and that is used because we dont want the person with the gun to know we are calling in the calvary.
                  Firefighter/NREMT-B/Hazmat Tech
                  To the Lord Jesus Christ: Thanks for providing a career where we can make a difference.

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                  • #24
                    We currently use 10 codes and signals...but are switching over to plain text...either Dec 1 or Jan 1. Some of us already use simple ones, like responding, on the scene, available, etc. One of the departments I used to run a ton of mutal aid with used plain text and it seemed to be much more simple than 10 codes for most people, although I really don't have trouble with the 10 codes and signals being a former dispatcher.

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                    • #25
                      The only ten codes we use on the FD are 10-7 and 10-8. The rest is "plain English" (depends on who's screaming into the radio whether you can understand them or not )
                      10-7 is when a piece is out of service, unable to respond to emergency's
                      10-8 is when a unit is back in service or back in quarters...either from being 10-7 or from a call.

                      Now, the ambulance squad is a totally different monster. we are dispatched by a PD that does dispatching fro 3 towns.

                      Signal 4-arriving location
                      Signal 5-responding
                      signal 14-clear of call/back in service
                      Signal 21-suicide/attempted suicide
                      and some other rarely used "odd" codes

                      [ 11-23-2001: Message edited by: EFDems841 ]
                      HELL YEAH!!!
                      The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

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                      • #26
                        I am a great fan of the KISS method (keep it simple stupid) use clear text for all but things that must/should not go over the air but have 2,example in my dept a code is a code 99 and a dead body is a code 100. also w/ the recent anthrax scares we do not use anything related to powder, anthrax or wmd. we tone out for an investigation @ our respective stations than get info via landline from dispatch. clear text is easy and eliminates a code book 4 those 3am calls when remembering your way to the station takes a few seconds. thats all i have except if ur using codes to cover 4 info that u dont want over the air(ie we're broke down) pull out your cell phone/use a landline and call your dispatch.
                        Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
                        New England FOOL
                        "LEATHER FOREVER"
                        As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

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                        • #27
                          Here's a great anecdote for why you should use plain text:

                          In a nearby city, alot of the firefighters used signal codes and ten codes. They had to modify their radio traffic after an incident at a fire. At a fire, the second engine was coming on scene when the IC told them on the radio to "Stretch a line." After several minutes and no line, the IC asked the second engine company where the line was. They were back in quarters, and had now idea what he was talking about, because they thought he had said "Signal 9" (Meaning disregard and report back to quarters). Plain text is the way to go. Leave the other stuff to the police.
                          These are my opinions and not necessarily the views of my employer.

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                          • #28
                            We use plain English. Keeps every one on the same page. Reduces confusion where there is already enough of that going on without throwing 10 codes into the mix. The only exception to that is that a few (4) "Signal"
                            codes are used for particular situations.
                            Lt. Dave Parker
                            Meredith Fire Department
                            Meredith, NH

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              If anybody's interested, the signals and codes we use in Northeast CT are listed here, as well as many other places. Most departments in CT use the signals to some extent. Such as signal 50 for a fire, signal 23 for a non-fire emergency, and so on. Up here in Tolland County we use all of them pretty much. Other departments just use the dispatch related ones. We also have a list of EMS codes we use for ambulance runs.

                              I'm all in favor of the codes over plain text. We have some trouble in certain areas of town with radio communication, due to the terrain. Being able to pick a code out of a static-laden message makes things easier. I guess that's what 10 codes were mostly for when they were invented anyway...

                              Andy

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                              • #30
                                IC told them on the radio to "Stretch a line." After several minutes and no line, the IC asked the second engine company where the line was. They were back in quarters, and had now idea what he was talking about, because they thought he had said "Signal 9" (Meaning disregard and report back to quarters).

                                That's not a problem with codes and signals, that's a communication problem and failure of the message to be acknowledged properly.

                                While we're on the subject of Plain Text V. Codes, why don't we refer to a building as North-East-West-South or Front/Left/Rear/Right sides instead of A-B-C-D? Doesn't North give you a very specific location, where "D" changes depending on orientation? It's also much hard to confuse "North/East/West/South" where as "B" and "D" sound nearly identical (which is why I use Bravo and Delta). When you get down to it, A/B/C/D are just codes, and not universal at that (other departments use 1/2/3/4, etc)

                                I guess just food for thought for those who feel "plain text" solves all problems...
                                IACOJ Canine Officer
                                20/50

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