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Thoughts on Portable Radios

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  • Thoughts on Portable Radios

    After reading another thread in this forum(see protective hoods) it got me to thinking about communications on the fire ground. How do most feel about all members having radios or at least all positions on the truck having radios as opposed to each member being issued a radio. To me it would be the best situation. In my vol. dept. only the officers have radios,which they keep them personally with them, so if they don't respond to an alarm we don't have a portable radio and there have been many times when all were unavailable to respond, so left without any radios. My thoughts are more for safety and being more aware of what is going on, on the fire scene,hearing what everyone else is doing,so as not to prematurely vent or open a nozzle when it should not be done. Interested on everyone's thoughts?

  • #2
    Wow! Your company officers take their radios with them, so if they're not there, you're short a portable??

    No disrespect intended towards your department, but how stupid can you get? At least put all the portables on the apparatus, and keep them there. That way, when the LT doesn't show up, whoever is "riding the seat" will have a portable....sheesh!

    I hope the rest of your department's SOPs are more thought out than *that* one!

    Take care, and stay safe!

    ------------------
    J. Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

    Comment


    • #3
      Your department should keep the portables mounted on the apparatus. Obviously if the apparatus is on scene you or whomever as a member of the attack team can have a means of communication, which in my opinion is vital. On my department, though we are small, each firefighter is issued their own prep.

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      • #4
        We have 2-3 portables on each apparatus. Each officer (& some FF) have a radio, either hand held or mounted in thier POV.

        The only problem we've run into with having the portables on the truck is making sure that the first crew doesn't take all of the radios with them. We've had incidents where a crew was formed, from personnel arriving by POV, and they then had run all over trying to find a truck that still had a radio on it.

        [This message has been edited by Looper (edited 01-07-2001).]

        Comment


        • #5
          Great to read everyone's thoughts, to be totally honest I don't know of any dept in my area that keeps portables in their rigs. That sounds like a great idea, but then how would the officers be able walk around town without having portables to look cool. LOL I realize that chief officers should always have their own portable. My goal is that all members be issued a portable much like Pass alarms.

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          • #6
            In my volly dept. all the officers are issued radios that they keep with them. This is ok when they are in town and respond to all calls.We also have 2 radios in the apparatus. It is my opinion that all officers when in town should have them as well as chief officers. There should also be 2-4 on all apparatus.

            Exp.Captain J.Manes
            Colonia N.J.

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            • #7
              In my department, all of our officers carry portable radios, along with some of our engineers, and then one to two portables on each piece of apparatus. We have approx. 45 career and 100+ volunteers so it would be quite expensive to supply portables and chargers to everybody

              [This message has been edited by firecadetak (edited 01-21-2001).]

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              • #8
                Look, not to beat this to death, and I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but the practice of giving company-level officers their own portables, while the apparatus has none, is going to get someone hurt or killed.

                I liked the post about "...being able to walk around town and look cool..." with a portable. Alright, we're all "wackers" to one degree or another, but unless as a company officer you're willing to run every single call, your silly attempt at coolness is going to have serious consequences when your engine company pulls up first in at a working fire, and sends people inside without portables.

                ------------------
                J. Black

                The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

                Comment


                • #9
                  At my vol. fire department, all personnel get portable radios. The officers get mobiles for their POV's also if we have extras to give out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We are also guilty of having our officers carry portables. I guess somebody thought it was a good idea to have the officers carry radios instead of pagers. But I have to agree with everybody else in saying that they belong in the station or on the trucks. They do not help anyone when they are sitting at home in the charger instead of at an incident.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My department is a small volunteer company, only 48 members. We have 1 Chief, 4 Assistants, and 2 Captains. Each line officer is issued a portable radio. Each piece of apparatus has at least 2 spare portables mounted on it. This system has worked very well for us, and is the system used in many companies in my area.

                      ------------------
                      Glenn Ralston
                      Firefighter/EMT-D
                      Bay Ridge Fire-Rescue
                      [email protected]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Our dept. allows our officers to carry personal portables on them. We also leave three on our pump and one in our rescue. This allows the officer to communicate while responding to the hall (or scene), or to the dispatch when not in station. We are also used by our neighbours to the east to supply air. Therefore we need to be able to communicate with them. If your officers only need them to "look cool", then they must have no other worries.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Our officers have assigned UHF portable radios, and low band Mobiles. The officers all respond direct to scene for medicals, and most respond direct to scene for fire calls. For the most part, the radios live in their POVs, and they carry regular and/or alpha-numeric pagers with them.

                          All our apparatus have at least one portable -- the Rescue and Ladder 2, and the main attack Engine-Tank carries 5. Adding a few more each year, so eventually we'll be at the point of one SCBA, one Portable.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Our officers are the only ones that are issued radios. Each of our rigs has at least one portable.

                            Does your dept. issue pagers to each member? If the pagers are set to "monitor" at least each member can hear what's going on, they just won't be able to talk back.

                            Either way, it seems like each interior crew should have at least one radio for operational as well as safety reasons.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I personally think anyone operating inside the fire building should have the ability to communicate outside. Where I work everyone carries a radio. My volunteer company carries 3 on the engines (enough for 2 crews and the driver to get them), 5 on the truck (one for each riding position) and 3 on the rescue (3 crews). We keep portables in the command vehicles for the chief or duty officers use.

                              Comment

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