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  • UHF or VHF

    I thought it might be cool to see how many use what. UHF or VHF
    21
    VHF
    71.43%
    15
    UHF
    28.57%
    6
    MABAS Div. 45

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  • #2
    We use 800mhz

    Comment


    • #3
      We use 800 mhz but also use VHF for mutual aid to Rock Island
      Lilyogi

      Comment


      • #4
        VHF for us.
        Jack Boczek, Chief
        Ashley Community Fire Protection District

        FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

        Comment


        • #5
          Sumter County uses both a trunked UHF and VHF system. Obvious reason is all the pagers run on VHF.
          Tom Warshaw
          Station 13 (Bethel)
          Sumter Fire Department

          "Scientists believe that the world is composed mainly of hydrogen because in their opinion, it is the most abundant element. I however, feel the earth is composed mainly of stupidity, because it is more abundant than hydrogen." - Frank Zappa

          September 11, 2001. We Must Never Forget.

          In memory of Thomas Sabella, L-13, FDNY


          All opinions stated are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my department or any organization I may belong to.

          Comment


          • #6
            The fact that we have to have a poll like this in Illinois drives me nuts

            Why can't we all get on the same page and use the same frequency band? Makes mutual aid and interoperability soooo much easier. I guess MABAS is trying to drive that with the VHF fireground freqs, but it's still a mess in this state compared to others where everyone is in the same band.

            Andy

            Comment


            • #7
              There isn't enough spectrum even if people pulled their heads out of their asses to do something like that.
              Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

              Comment


              • #8
                That may be true in some areas of the country...I guess I'm "spectrum spoiled" being from a relatively unpopulated area. Nearly all of WI and MI are (were) on VHF for both police and fire, except for some of the metro areas. That's changing in MI now with the statewide 800 system. It makes sense for metro areas to do their own thing in some cases since they have enough resources that they rarely need mutual aid. In the sticks, however, when even a house fire requires mutual aid, it only makes sense to be on the same band as your neighbors. Nationwide interop will always be a problem unless the government mandates something (like moving us all to 700...wouldn't that be interesting?), which they probably won't. The V/U/ITAC channels are a start I guess.

                Andy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nmfire
                  There isn't enough spectrum even if people pulled their heads out of their asses to do something like that.

                  Perhaps our friend down in Florida has a plan - he is all knowing about
                  any kind of communications.....

                  Seriously though - with all the talk about the 700 mhz band,
                  communications bridges, ITAC channels, Multiple tin cans with
                  string, NOTHING WILL WORK, until we change the mindsets of the
                  users.

                  I say it again - NO HARDWARE WILL SOLVE INTEROPERABILITY, until, as
                  you say, people pull their heads out, and work together to solve the
                  problem.

                  Ah, for the good old days. Everyone in the state (almost) was on
                  37.26. Berry Hill PD could talk just about anywhere in the state. Had
                  a car on a prisoner transport to Nashville, and need to talk to him? Ask
                  Berry Hill to relay.

                  Need to talk to Highway Patrol? Call them on your channel, they will
                  hear on the scanner and answer you their channel, that you hear on
                  your scanner.

                  Interoperability can be easy....
                  Last edited by LVFD301; 11-02-2006, 03:52 AM. Reason: Typo

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pelican631
                    . It makes sense for metro areas to do their own thing in some cases since they have enough resources that they rarely need mutual aid. In the sticks,
                    Andy

                    I got to disagree.

                    Even the metro areas, with all the resources in the world, need to maintain
                    an interoperability solution. If they have an aw crap situation, like 9/11,
                    OKC bombing, etc, you can bet they will be using outside resources.

                    Whether that solution be a patch channel, a tactical communications bridge,
                    multiple radios in staff vehicles, there needs to be something. The best
                    solution is to have compatable radios. All those other hardware solutions
                    work, to a fashion, but not as well as a well thought out bandplan.

                    All of those solutions require TRAINING, recurring training. Also, more training.

                    When Nashville TN went UHF, the district chiefs had to keep VHF radios in their vehicles. No equipment would go out on mutual aid without a district chief along, so they had interoperability. One solution.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Let me try to explain. For you interlopers you don't have our system. Has anyone seen the ILEAS comm trucks?, there are 12 in the state. How about the comm trailers? they are state of the art, over $400,000 worth of comm equipment, and there are to be 9 in the state. Now granted these are for your OH-SHEET call, but we got um, and a MABAS call brings um. Now lets talk dept to dept aid or a box alarm, everyone in the state should have gotten at least 1 radio set up with 6 feq's, if you didn't that's your fault, maybe even a starcomm, but that's an argument for a different day. Our main feq is 154.190 and sometimes it sucks, part of the problem is radios are cheaper than pagers, just remember not everyone needs a radio. Training is the key, radio protocal is a must.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yep I've seen the comm trucks. But like everyone has said, they're useless without preplanning and training. How many small departments in Illinois still have 1970's 16 channel radios in their rigs? A lot! So the super comm van pulls into town and sets up tactical nets on interop channels, which the local FDs don't have in their rigs. What good does that do? Granted, every department should have ONE radio now, but that's just one. I'm not trying to slam the comm trucks...they're a good resource to have. I'm just saying that interoperability is something that needs to be planned for ahead of time at the local level, and this is rarely done because so few people really understand all of the nuances of radio communications. What we need is training, training, training. I have yet to see a fire school or other formal training class on radio communications. They touch on it in some NIMs stuff, but not on any of the technical issues. I'd love to see some kind of class developed...Radios 101 for first responders...if anyone wants to collaborate on something like that let me know.

                        Andy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I feel all of your pain. I get nothing but grief from people about how many channels we have to have programmed into our portable radios now. When I took over communications about 3 years ago, our portable radios were VHF and had two channels. It was a truck repeater and talk-around so it wasn't even two seperate frequencies. There was one apparatus mobile low band radio and it had I think 5 channels.

                          Now, in 2006, we have switched to UHF portables and I've filled up 32 channels. The apparatus have matching UHF mobile radios. The apparatus low band radios are up to 15 channels now. And none of these channels are pointless ones that I put in just because I'm a radio nerd. They are all neccesary channels for our surrounding towns we respond to for mutual aid.

                          Why is this such a problem for people? For 75 years, we never had more than two radio channels for us and mutual aid. On top of that,for those 75 years, officers were the only ones who would carry radios at an incident. So the general rank and file never had to care about the radio and the officers were used to not having to care too much. There was never training in communications other than reviewing what the codes mean. Well those days are over.

                          Our neighboring town we respond to the most now has two repeaters with talk-around and two tac channels. All are required. Our other neighboring towns have all been making upgrades with at least one repeater with talk-around or a tac channel. Even the other department in our own town (yes, we have two) is using a seperate frequency for fireground now. We can't NOT have these channels in our radios now so people are just going to have to learn to live with it. There are now portable radios for every position on the apparatus. Every interior firefighter is expected to have a radio on them. It also means the officers are going to have to give in and allow proper in-depth training to take place. I offer all the time but nobody wants to let me do it. I have to be given a logical reason why. Best I can figure is "100 years of tradition, uninhibited by progress."
                          Last edited by nmfire; 11-02-2006, 10:15 AM.
                          Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'll agree about the comm truck, it's a cop thing. On the comm trailer there are enough radios for everyone. And it looks to me like the poor IC going to need about 5 radios. I like the idea of a class, but somehow I feel if I have one nobody will come, although I may in aug at our RTC. Now you got me thinking, what about a MABAS call and just to work on radio protocal....hummmm, I'll work on that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              They've done something like that down here. I think they called it a MABAS "non-moving" drill or something like that. Everyone gets toned out and then just reports in on the radio, but no one rolls equipment (so you don't get any training in on-scene communications, which is also needed). I think it was intended to try to get dispatchers used to IFERN alerting and get the departments involved used to calling in to MABAS dispatch on IFERN instead of their local dispatch channel. I have yet to hear an actual MABAS box alarm called out in this area...everyone is still doing mutual aid the old way, which seems to work just fine. It would seem that they're having a tough time convincing anyone that the MABAS way of doing things is any better than just doing it like it's always been done.

                              Andy

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