Creating a Radio Usage and Interoperability Training Program Proper radio usage is often essential to successful operations in public safety and yet often is the subject with the least amount of training devoted to it. Course Goal Upon completion of this course, participants will have an overview of minimal components necessary to establish and provide initial and sustained training in the fundamentals of using the radio equipment associated with their jurisdiction. 2 Subjects Covered Governance and Requirements Your Radios Operation and Features Controls Channel Access Groups/Zones Access

Radio Applications Operable Interoperable Creating Networks Radio versus Cellular Phone This course is TCOLE Approved Practical Uses Companion Documents ICS 205, Note cards, etc. Exercises / Evaluations 3 Governance and Requirements Affecting

Radio Communications and Interoperability Federal Federal Communications Commission (FCC) National Incident Management System (NIMS) National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) State State of Texas Emergency Management Plan and Annexes Texas Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (T-SCIP) Texas Statewide Interoperability Channel Plan (TSICP) Local Local Emergency Management Plan and Annexes 4 Your Radios Operation and Features Radio Features and Controls - Mobile (used by your entity) - Portables (used by your entity) - Base/Consoles (used by your entity) Channel Awareness and Access Group / Zone Access

Group/Zone Channel Name ? ? ? Function 1/LOCAL METRO PD1 LE Repeater 3/INTEROP VCALL10 Interoperable Calling Ch. Temporary Repeaters (used by your entity, if applicable) Gateways (used by your entity, if applicable) 5

Portable Radio Operation Go through your agencys radio programming and menu options. Include a diagram or picture. Below are some options: Power on/off Volume Push to Talk Change channels Change zones* *Essential for interoperability Scan on/off and priority scan Create and edit scan list Edit Dynamic zones Emergency function Indicator lights and their meaning Icons on the display Monitor Squelch Encryption options Profile Create a slide of your agencys radios and features 6

Portable Radio Operation Include a Fleetmap for your agencys radio. Review interoperable channels and talkgroups that may be used in your region. Create a slide of your agencys radios and features 7 Mobile Radio Operation Do a slide on each radio or radio head. Create a slide of your agencys radios and features 8 Radio Applications Simplex Two or more radios using the same

channel to transmit and receive. There is reliability since only two radios are needed to establish communication between them, without any other infrastructure. The radios must be in effective range of each other. 9 Radio Applications Repeater Radios use one frequency to transmit and another one to receive and a repeater which can simultaneously re-transmit the audio received typically from mobile or portable units. Extends range due to increased transmit power and improved aerial location / height of the repeater. Mobile and portable radios must be in range of the repeater.

10 Radio Applications Direct or Repeater Talk-Around Mobile and/or portable radios transmit and receive on the transmit frequency of the repeater. If mobile and/or portable radios are outside the range of the repeater, but in range of each other, they can still communicate with each other. If the radios are in range of each other, they can communicate without tying up the repeater. If within range of the repeater, they can also monitor it. 11 Radio Applications Mode SIMPLEX REPEATER

TALKAROUND 12 Radio Applications Trunked System Two or more repeaters connected to a common antenna via computer. Allows more users to access the system. Less waiting time for a clear channel. User radios are grouped in dedicated talk groups. When a radio keys up, the computer sends a signal to the other radios in that talk group and switches them automatically to the same assigned repeater. Possible to get a busy signal. Busy signal will sound like a bonk. 13 Radio Applications

Trunked System Capabilities allow radio users to talk on multiple radio systems across Texas as appropriate. System ID Control Channel Frequencies Talkgroup Radio ID Four Components make up a trunked radio system: Radio ID, System ID, Talkgroups Control Channel Frequencies. Interoperability may be achieved when all of these components are made compatible with other radio systems. 14 Radio Applications

Operable Channels These are the day-to-day channels used locally or by a specific agency or entity in support of mission operations. Many end users may not have to change from their normal operating channel for several shifts or longer. This has created some issues with knowing what other channels are in the radio and even how to change channels or access other groups or zones. This has also created issues with the lack of interoperability when those end users need to communicate with an outside agency. 15 Radio Applications Local and Regional Interoperable Channels Review interoperable channels and talkgroups that may be used

in your region. 16 Radio Applications Nationwide Interoperable Channels These are common channels designated by the FCC and used to communicate between different jurisdictions, disciplines, and levels of government, using a variety of frequency bands, as needed and as authorized. Common names, frequencies and tones. Essential for many unified command or mutual aid incidents/events. Required by all federal, tribal, state and local public safety entities. Many end-users dont know how to access or use them. 17

Radio Applications Creating Networks Utilize multiple channels when needed. Dont try to manage large incidents with a single channel. Tactical Communications among tactical resources and with immediate supervisor. May have multiple tactical channels on the incident/event. Command Communications among supervisors on an incident or event. Dispatch Communications between the dispatch point and field units. Air-to-Ground Communications between aircraft and ground resources. 18 SAMPLE NETWORKS

Tactical Div A Tactical - Div B Command Air-to-Ground Dispatch 19 Radio Applications Monitoring Multiple Channels or Networks On many large or complex incidents, multiple channels will be utilized and will require monitoring by supervisors or at the ICP. Utilize a portable and a mobile radio on different channels. Utilize two or more portable radios on different channels. If only one radio is available to monitor,

scan the pertinent incident channels and remove non-essential channels from the scan list. VTAC36 VFIRE26 8TAC91 20 Radio Applications Gateway Device used to connect two or more radios of different frequency bands.. VHF, UHF, 700 and 800 MHz radios need a gateway to communicate with each other. Gateways can be fixed or portable, and often operated on multiple power sources. Radios can transmit and receive signals

to each other if they are on one of the frequencies used by the radio connected to the gateway. VTAC14 UTAC41D 8TAC91 21 Radio Applications Each time that communications on incidents or events is done with one-on-one cellular conversations, situational awareness is dramatically reduced from that of radios, whereby everyone can instantaneously listen in. If routine training on, and the actual use of, radios arent demonstrated and encouraged by leadership, new personnel may not realize the benefits, or even know how to properly use a radio. This could become a safety issue as well. 22

Practical Uses Microphones Hold a few inches from the mouth. Avoid high-noise environments transmitting. when Antennas Radio performs best when antenna is straight up. Check periodically for tightness of antenna and connector and for any damage. Portable radio signal can be blocked by the wearers body. Might need to hold a portable radio in the air to maximize antenna height. Mobile radios have more range than portables. Radios generate energy and heat when transmitting. Avoid touching an antenna, especially on a base or mobile radio. 23

Practical Uses Best Practices Make sure the radio is on the correct channel. Monitor the channel for traffic prior to transmitting, especially if you have just changed channels. Keep radio transmissions as short as possible. Use proper names or unit identification. Dont use profane or unacceptable language. Avoid the use of 10-codes or acronyms that others may not be familiar with. Check periodically to determine that your microphone is not accidentally keyed which could tie up the channel (all radios should be programmed with a transmit time-out timer of no more than 120 seconds/2 minutes) 24 Practical Uses Best Practices Avoid sounding excited on the radio. If multiple channels are used on the

incident/event, say the channel your are on when calling. If using a repeater where there are multiple repeaters being monitored, say the name of the repeater you are using. Ensure the battery is charged on portable radios or that you have an extra battery or means of charging the battery. If a power outage is expected or possible, say due to severe weather, take every opportunity to charge the batteries. 25 Practical Uses Extended Operations Extra Rechargeable Batteries AA Battery Packs

12VDC Mobile Charger AC Charger with 12VDC110VAC inverter Prior to purchasing new portable radios, determine if the manufacturer offers AA battery holders or disposable batteries. 26 VHF 150 MHz Narrowband Interoperability Channels (12.5 kHz) Channel Name Receive Transmit Station Class CTCSS RX/TX

Use VCALL10 155.7525 155.7525 FBT / MO CSQ/156.7 Calling Channel VTAC11 151.1375 151.1375 FBT / MO CSQ/156.7

Tactical Channel 154.4525 154.4525 FBT / MO CSQ/156.7 Tactical Channel 158.7375 158.7375 FBT / MO CSQ/156.7 Tactical Channel

VTAC12 VTAC13 VTAC14 VFIRE21 VFIRE22 VFIRE23 VFIRE24 VFIRE25 VFIRE26 VMED28 VMED29 Sample Interoperable Channel List The frequency band in day-to-day use by the 159.4725 FBT CSQ/156.7 entity should159.4725 be focused on/ MO for internal 154.2800i.e. 154.2800

FBT or / MO CSQ/156.7 training, VHF, UHF, 700 800 MHz. Key items to154.2650 train on for interoperability are 154.2650 FBT / MO CSQ/156.7 the CHANNEL NAME, their USE and HOW TO 154.2950 154.2950 FBT / MO CSQ/156.7 ACCESS THEM in the end-users radio. It 154.2725 154.2725

FBT / MO should be noted that though the useCSQ/156.7 for most 154.2875 FBT / MOthey can CSQ/156.7 of154.2875 these is listed as Tactical be used as a Command, Staging or other 154.3025 154.3025 FBT / by MOthe Incident CSQ/156.7 applications as determined Commander or Communications Unit Leader. These tables can be found in the

155.3400 155.3400 FBT / MO CSQ/156.7 Texas Statewide Interoperability Channel Plan at the Texas DPS Website. Tactical Channel Tactical Channel Tactical Channel Tactical Channel Tactical Channel Tactical Channel Tactical and Air-to-Ground State-Federal Tactical and Air-to-Ground Medical Aircraft 155.3475 155.3475

FBT / MO CSQ/156.7 Tactical Channel VLAW31 155.4750 155.4750 FBT / MO CSQ/156.7 Tactical Channel VLAW32 155.4825

155.4825 FBT / MO CSQ/156.7 Tactical Channel Companion Documents ICS 205 (Communications Plan) Note cards for radios Electronic notes 28 Example of Credit for Training SFFMA Module 4: Firefighter II (Advanced) SECTION 16: FIRE ALARMS AND COMMUNICATION 16-II.01 Trainee shall identify areas assigned for first-alarm response. (via Radio) If this is done by radio instead of simply NFPA 1001 6.2.2 / SFFMA (16-02.01) vocalizing this to an evaluator, the objective can be met and radio training is improved.

16-II.02 Trainee shall demonstrate both mobile and portable radio equipment. NFPA 1001 6.2.2 / SFFMA (16-02.02) ADDED FOR THIS TRAINING: Trainee shall also demonstrate the access to, and use of, interoperable radio channels; There are no NFPA or SFFMA credits for radio interoperability, but this training does comply with NIMS and ICS national and Texas requirements for responders. Portable radios will be furnished by the instructor for this. It will be up to the trainee to practice this with their own equipment upon return to their respective departments. 29 Interoperable Communications Literally millions of tax dollars have been spent across the State of Texas for interoperability, and yet, during the historical 2011 wildfire season, many agencies could not communicate on interoperable channels, sometimes even with brand new radios. Among the reasons were: WHY? Simply not having any interoperable channels programmed into the radio.

If someone had merely dialed through the channel / group lists, this would have been detected prior to them being put into service. Some of these were new radios purchased with funding which specifically targeted interoperability. The wrong name for even the most common interoperable channels were programmed into the radio. Most of these names, frequencies and tones have been available in Texas statewide communications plans and on the internet for eight years prior to the 2011 fire season. The number one issue was that the user didnt know how to change the channel or group selector on the radio to access the interoperable channels because they had never been shown or received any training on it. This must become a LOCAL training and usage priority before the next incident happens. 30 Local Training Exercise (1 of 2) Mobile and Portable Notice Exercise in Field Check-in ICS 205 Reviewed/Distributed Assignment Demonstrate

Ability to operate functions Ability to locate specific channel Evaluation AAR Distributed Base or Dispatch Notice Exercise at Facility Demonstrate Actions for Backup Power Interoperable Channel Repeater Failure Evacuation of Facility Evaluation

AAR Distributed 31 Local Training Exercise (2 of 2) Temporary Repeater Notice (to those that may deploy device) Exercise (Facility or Field) Test with portables and/or mobiles over an area which is beyond their simplex range Demonstrate Ability to set up components Ability to operate functions Evaluation AAR Distributed Gateway Notice (to those that may deploy device)

Exercise (Facility or Field) Demonstrate Actions for Matching radios in the gateway with their cables Tuning (if radios are not part of the gateway package) Communicating with radios of various brands Evaluation AAR Distributed 32 Sample Exercise Area Assigned / Evaluation Area A large parking lot is really all the space that is needed for the evaluation of radio familiarity and interoperability channel access.

Check-in Exit Entrance 33 Radio and Gateway Evaluation Demos Portable radio features and interoperability channel access demonstration This is only meant to be an example of how to evaluate the end-users knowledge of the features and operations of their radios. It would also apply to all of the radios that person might use mobile, base, etc. Gateway setup and demonstration This would apply to those individuals who would be required to set up a gateway, if applicable to that entity. 34 Yarnell Hill Fire Investigative Report

2. The Team recommends that the State of Arizona review the statewide wildfire communications plan and program, as well as similar programs and plans in other states, for possible improvements. Nineteen firefighters died on the Yarnell Hill Fire in central Arizona on June 30, 2013. They were members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC), hosted by the Prescott Fire Department. 4. The Team recommends that the State of Arizona request the National Wildfire Coordination Group (NWCG) to review current technology that could increase resource tracking, communications, real time weather, etc. For example, this may include GPS 35 units and weather applications.

Video of Radio Usage Say it Loud and Clear Firefighter 2 Way Radio Training 36 Electronic Handouts This presentation: Creating a Radio Usage and Interoperability Training Program ICS 205 (and instructions for each block) Exercise setup and evaluation forms TCFP/SFFMA Certification Credits for communications Video: Say It Loud and Clear Firefighter 2 Way Radio Training Links List Thanks for your time. Questions? David Abernathy, Tommy Gonzalez, Larry McRae (Contact Information on next slide)

Instructors David Abernathy Abernathy Training & Consulting [email protected] 903-856-8030 Tommy Gonzalez Texas Department of Public Safety [email protected] 361-290-9418 Larry McRae Mt. Pleasant Fire Department [email protected] 903-575-4144 38

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